After watching parts of 'The Human Footprint' documentary on Channel 4 the other evening I visited their website to calculate my own human footprint.
This calculator asks for your date of birth and then tells you how much you will have consumed to date and what the likely total consumption will be during an average lifetime.
This throws up some fascinating statistics. For example, I have eaten 5.3 pigs 3,849 carrots and 425 chickens to date! And my heart has already beaten 1,015,200,000 times!
So this month I wanted to share some of the things we have been doing to make our business a little bit greener. While not a traditional ‘green’ IFA, the business owners of Informed Choice do have a lot of ‘green values’ and we have always done our bit when it comes to the environment.
This week alone we have taken two steps to a greener Informed Choice. Firstly, we changed our office paper brand to Evolve Recycled Paper. Evolve paper is made from 100% recycled paper but, more importantly, it is local.
The paper comes from the New Thames Mill in Kent, and rather than using imported pulp - which I am told typically comes from Scandinavia - Evolve diverts around 180,000 tonnes of waste paper from landfill in the UK every year.
Secondly, we have bought a cycle stand to be fitted in our car park. This has a maximum capacity of five bikes and will ensure that our staff (and clients if they choose) can cycle here rather than drive. It will certainly help keep our reception area clear of clutter.
Where possible we already walk or cycle to the office. Living and working in the same village certainly helps. But while it is tempting to step into the car in the morning it only takes about ten minutes to walk here or less than five minutes to cycle, so this is a bit of a no-brainer activity.
It is good for waking the brain up a bit in the morning as well.
In the wider scheme of things these are only small steps, but we add this to our existing use of energy saving light bulbs, office-wide recycling policy - if it can be recycled, we recycle it - and an experiment into Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar.
It would be interesting to hear what other IFA firms are doing to reduce their business footprint, particularly those who do not have traditionally green credentials.
Martin Bamford is director of Informed Choice.
The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the company he represents or IFAonline.IFAonline
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