Environmental Policy and Strategy
Environmental Policy ownership and awareness
ComputerMinds Limited operates an environmental policy that is drawn-up and reviewed quarterly at board level. Strict procedures are in place to ensure that the policy is implemented. All employees are made aware of procedures and a training programme is in place to ensure that staff can and do comply with these procedures.
ComputerMinds Limited (“the Company”) is committed to implementing a proactive approach to the environment that is based on the following key principles:
• Environmental procedures will be aligned to corporate and business-plan aims, objectives and priorities. They encompass all security risks that may prevent the Company from fulfilling its objectives.
• Environmental performance meets or exceeds the requirements agreed with the client.
• Good environmental performance is implemented and agreed with all members of the team.
• This policy requires project managers and individual developers to take responsibility for good environmental performance.
Environmental efficiency is the responsibility of ComputerMinds and the client. This strategy replaces any earlier Environmental Strategies.
ComputerMinds has committed to ensuring that its web projects have a smallest carbon footprint and minimal environmental impact. This includes:
1. Minimising the carbon footprint of the company in the delivery of projects
2. Reducing waste in the daily operation of the company
3. Where possible, ensuring that suppliers engender similar principles
4. Where possible, promoting procedures through best practice with clients
Standard procedures and company initiatives are outlined below. Please note that some elements of this environmental policy are available only subject to a binding Non- Disclosure Agreement.
Minimising carbon footprint
Collectively, British businesses could save approx £400m per year through basic emission reduction measures. Realising this, ComputerMinds attempts to minimise its carbon footprint during the tendering, implementation and continued support of all web projects.
Server specification is provided at the beginning of any project and discussed with the client. As a rule of thumb, ComputerMinds Ltd uses Rackspace servers in the UK. This is because, amongst reasons of security, support and uptime, we can ensure that servers meet high power usage efficiencies. Data centres operate with a Power Usage Efficiency of better than 2.0 (DCiE 50%), as defined by the Green Grid (www.thegreengrid.org) For the purposed of protecting our suppliers, precise power usage figures are available subject to a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Office Hardware and Power Management
ComputerMinds ensures that hardware meets high environmental standards. This is because the majority of energy usage with the offices is through computer equipment. For design, development and most administration, Apple Macintosh computers are used. Apple has gone to great lengths to reduce the carbon footprint of individual machines and is now one of the most environmentally efficient computer companies in the world. In the main, ComputerMinds uses Apple Mac mini computers, the manufacturing of which has seen a 30% reduction in carbon output between 2011 and 2017 (in addition to the 52% reduction between 2007 and 2011). The Mac mini exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements by up to 7 times. MacBook Pro laptops, iPads and iPhones are also in use and these demonstrate similar savings.
Of the electricity used in Apple's global facilities, 96% is from renewable sources.
Computers are powered-down when not in use. Laptop batteries are kept in the best possible condition, to ensure longevity.
The energy use of peripheral devices, such as screens, computer mice, routers and modems is also kept to a minimum:
- When not in use, all plugs are switched off at the wall
- When not in use, monitors are kept switched off
- Battery-powered mice use rechargeable batteries
Hardware that is no longer required is disposed of responsibly, either via re-use or recycling in accordance with WEEE directives.
ComputerMinds operates from two locations – one in Bristol and one in Coventry. These are both owned by ComputerMinds.
Energy Performance Certificates were issued at the point of sale on both properties. Precise figures are available subject to a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement.
ComputerMinds uses British Gas to supply electricity. However, this is currently under review and discussions are being held with green energy suppliers. Central heating is carefully monitored and windows and doors are shut when not in use. Redundant internal and external lighting is switched off. A smart meter is employed to monitor energy usage in the Bristol office.
ComputerMinds is keen to develop its existing methods for reducing waste, as well as finding new ones. We believe that waste reduction is embedded in corporate culture and the company believes that environmental efficiency is an important part of employee satisfaction. Current efficiency methods include:
ComputerMinds employees are encouraged to minimise the number and length of journeys and to use public transport where possible. This includes:
1. Cycling, walking or running into work – cycle parking and shower facilities are included on-site.
2. Use of public transport to travel to and from meetings that are off-site
3. Flexible working hours to ensure that personal travel arrangements can be made around public transport timetables.
We operate a cycle-to-work scheme.
Home working is encouraged when presence in offices is not required. Current average mileages are as follows (total for all employees):
Bristol office: 158 miles per week
Coventry office: (currently being audited)
Stationery, supplies and documentation
ComputerMinds uses like-minded suppliers for stationery and office supplies. Where possible, all office supplies are sourced locally. Printer paper is a recycled FSC-compliant brand. Printing is kept to a minimum, since at least 90% of office administration is conducted online. This is via:
1. Cloud-based document storage
2. Collaborative software used for team working.
3. Cloud-based invoicing and receipt handling. Approx 85% of invoices are emailed only; 15% are printed and posted.
4. Internet banking
Where possible, we supply links rather than attachments. Where possible, internal and external documents that may be printed are prepared with grey fonts, to reduce ink. We're aware that appropriate font selection can make a difference to ink usage.
ComputerMinds endeavours to recycle at least 80% of all waste. The following materials are recycled entirely:
- Paper, shredded paper, cardboard, cardboard packaging
- Plastic packaging (all grades) and plastic food packaging
- Plastic carrier bags
- Glass, metal (cans, tins), Tetrapak
- Printer cartridges
ComputerMinds is also currently investigating methods to recycle compostable food waste (other than cardboard, which is already recycled).
Junk and incorrectly addressed mail is returned to sender to reduce future mailings.
Environmentally friendly cleaning materials are used to clean office desks, chairs, kitchens and toilets.
Corporate and Social Responsibility
ComputerMinds is keen to ensure that all employees have the ability to commit to charity work during office hours. Flexible working is encouraged and time-off provided for community projects, including local advocacy and conservation. For more information, see the ComputerMinds CSR policy.