Case Studies

Thames Chase Trust

Thames Chase Trust encourages all businesses in Brentwood to engage with the Community Forest

“Thames Chase Trust is very pleased to be part of BEBA. As one of England’s Community Forests, we take great pride in reminding people that we are very fortunate to have a Community Forest in this landscape, particularly at a time when we all need to do our bit to respond to the climate and environment emergency. Thames Chase Trust encourages all businesses in Brentwood to engage with the Community Forest and to benefit from its existence. We look forward to working with BEBA and the increasing and diverse range of Brentwood businesses seeking to go green.”

Dave Bigden, Thames Chase Community Forest Director

Why did you sign the Pledge?

We are Thames Chase Trust, a charitable body responsible for 40 square miles of Community Forest on the edge of east London and south-west Essex known as Thames Chase Community Forest.  The northern part of Thames Chase is located in the borough of Brentwood and Brentwood Borough Council has been a long-standing partner in the Community Forest. Thames Chase Trust is represented on the BEBA Board to increase awareness to the Community Forest and to find ways in which the Forest can help businesses in Brentwood achieve their commitment to going green.

What changes are you making within your business?

The environment is at the core of our business. Thames Chase Community Forest has been transforming landscapes and transforming lives since 1990. On a daily basis, Thames Chase Trust continues to take steps to make our operations more sustainable, whether this be using digital services to reduce paper usage, or encouraging recycling not only of office materials but also food waste which is placed into our composting system for use in our Community Tree Nursery.

The Thames Chase Forest Centre is accessible by public transport, has facilities for cycle parking, and Thames Chase Trust has also installed an electric car charging point for staff. In addition to planting in excess of 1.3 million trees, creating or restoring over 41km of hedgerows, and in excess of 800 hectares of non-woodland habitat since 1990, Thames Chase also actively encourages walking and cycling across the Community Forest with the Forest Circle now in place providing a contiguous circular walking route around the 40 square miles of the Forest.

Case Studies

Ground Control Ltd

Ground Control Ltd, a grounds maintenance firm, is committed to enhancing the physical environment

“The only way we will tackle the climate emergency is by businesses coming and working together, playing their part no matter how big or small. BEBA is a fantastic mechanism to enable local businesses in and around Brentwood to do exactly that, and I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of it.”

Sophie Stephens, Head of Environment & Sustainability

Why did you sign the Pledge?

The green pledge really aligns to values and sustainability commitments at Ground Control. We create better landscapes, nurture natural environments and construct spaces that bring people, places and the planet together. We are committed to enhancing and improving the physical environment with a vision to leave the World in a better place than we found it. As a large local employer based in Billericay we want to share the experiences of our carbon and wider environmental journey with other local business so we can learn and grow together to make Braintree a better place to live, work and play.

What changes are you making within your business?

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we are focusing of four key areas where we feel we can make a difference.

  • Delivering biodiversity enhancements
  • Achieving carbon net zero
  • Sourcing and using materials responsibly
  • Delivering social value in the communities where we work.

At Ground Control we were very proud to be certified as carbon neutral in 2021 by the Carbon Trust. However, we recognise to make a real difference we must be carbon net zero and play our part in preventing global temperatures from rising above 1.5oC. As such we have formally committed to setting Science Based Targets and with the help of the Carbon Trust have recently calculated our full carbon footprint including those within our supply chain (scope 3)

Our primary focus so far has been on reducing the emissions in our direct operations:

  • We have switched to 100% renewable electricity supply
  • We are converting our fleet to fully electric and currently operate the largest Tesla fleet in Europe
  • We are converting our hand tools to battery powered and are using robotic mowers in places such as the Tower of London
  • We are incentivising our employees to switch to a renewable electricity supplier

We are incredibly proud of our Evergreen Fund, that dedicates 5% of our annual net profits to supporting environmental initiatives and carbon sequestration. This includes planting 1 million trees by 2025, much of which will be at our 296 acre Wildfell Centre for Environmental Recovery.

Case Studies

Axis Europe PLC

Axis Europe specialise in the improvement and maintenance of Housing, Heritage, Education, Public and Commercial properties.

“It’s really exciting to be part of this new initiative and really encouraging to be in the company of many great organisations all striving to achieve the same goal.”

Ollie Refson, Sustainability and Quality Manager

Why did you sign the Pledge?

Axis Europe specialise in the improvement and maintenance of Housing, Heritage, Education, Public and Commercial properties. We are dedicated to improving the living conditions of people’s housing and the environment we live and work in. We signed the pledge to do better and encourage others to join us on our journey.

What changes are you making within your business?

Last year was a big step for Axis. We mapped out our entire carbon footprint and put in tangible reduction goals to ensure we are on track to Net Zero by 2050. We have ensured all our paintbrushes are carbon neutral and eco-friendly, recycled every paint can we use and increased our diversion to landfill rate to 97%. As a company we have began planting trees for every employee who has done their first year at Axis and we are on track to plant our 1000th tree!

We know there is a very long way to go to have a real tangible impact on the environment and to see large scale emission reduction. That is why we have begun to electrify are fleet and phase out gas use in our offices. We know there is a big challenge ahead, but we are very excited to tackle it.

Case Studies

Zest Recycle

Zest Recycle, a recycling and waste management company, is dedicated to helping businesses make green choices

“Across the company, we are making changes to ensure we are delivering our vision. We want to be an instrumental partner for businesses striving to implement more sustainable waste management practices that deliver on shared environmental and social aspirations.”

Tony McPartland, Managing Director

Why did you sign the Pledge?

Here at Zest Recycle, positive environmental actions truly sit at the heart of what we do, so signing the pledge was a natural choice for us. We believe that, by making connections, finding solutions, and building partnerships, we can help businesses to develop sustainable waste management practices. Through our partnership with BEBA, we can help businesses develop bespoke resource management plans and optimise processes so that they are good for both our clients and the environment.

What changes are you making within your business?

We have recently joined the Good Business Charter, which demonstrates our commitment to environmental responsibility in the way in which we conduct our business and in setting a path to net-zero carbon.

We have also recently become a Gold Investor in Wildlife, Corporate Member for the Essex Wildlife Trust, the county’s leading conservation charity. They are committed to protecting wildlife, inspiring a lifelong love of nature, and tackling the current climate crisis.

Our latest accreditation includes our membership to the Living Wage Foundation, committing us as a business to pay our employees a real living wage and not just the minimum standards set by the government, now and moving forward.

In terms of our business operations, we are currently in the process of moving our company vehicles to electric vehicles to minimise carbon emissions wherever possible. We are also holding meetings virtually whenever we can, to minimise the amount of avoidable travel required, and to reduce our staff members’ carbon footprint. We are also gradually switching to paperless working by embedding more sustainable working practices and becoming more digitally focused.

One of the key components of our business model is that our services are delivered through a network of regional, specialised supply chain partners, meaning we can provide our customers with sustainable solutions that work for them and their unique circumstances, looking to minimise waste miles wherever possible for our clients and help them reduce our clients’ carbon footprint.

The service we provide to our customers are operated in line with the Waste Hierarchy principle meaning that we aim to prevent and reduce waste wherever possible, for instance, we have partnered with, which provides a sustainable reuse option for office furniture.

Case Studies

Brentwood Borough Council

We have several green initiatives throughout the council, with more coming soon.

“As a council, we are actively developing our green agenda from installing Electric Vehicle Chargers to tree planting initiatives, improving recycling and waste disposal and we have employed a dedicated Climate and Sustainability Officer.

Our Small Sites Affordable Homes Programme is focused on providing affordable homes for local residents by making best use of underused council sites and assets, providing 200 new homes over the next few years. Wherever possible, new appliances and heating systems are designed to achieve carbon reduction and new homes will adopt renewable energy. Providing much needed council homes and reducing our environmental impact is at the heart of our Small Sites Affordable Homes Programme. “

Cllr Chris Hossack

Why did you sign the Pledge?

One of our five themes of our corporate strategy is protecting the environment. By signing the pledge, we are showing our commitment to this, and hope to work with businesses within the Borough to make a big difference on both a local and global level..

What changes are you making within your business?

Brentwood Borough Council is taking both large and small steps to become more sustainable. From banning single-use plastics in our offices to investing in new electric vehicles, we are always looking for sustainable solutions for the day-to-day running of the council.

As a local employer, we are keen to educate our staff into living more sustainable lifestyles and as such have produced an e-learning platform for all staff to use.

We have also developed a draft environment strategy which highlights the key areas to reduce our environmental impact. We will be sending this out for consultation in the coming months because as a local authority, it is key that our residents and businesses support and have an opportunity to have their say on our environmental initiatives and plans.

Case Studies

Newton Wright Advisors

Business advisors, Newton Wright Advisors, pledge to help the local community reduce its carbon footprint

“BEBA is a fantastic initiative to build a business community where local businesses can support each other and collaborate with the common goal of contributing to the drive towards net zero. I’m delighted to be part of it and work with like-minded business leaders. I’m sure that with our collective skills and experiences, we can find solutions more quickly than by working on our own to tackle the daunting climate challenge.”

David Dahan, Managing Director

Why did you sign the Pledge?

I am a business advisor. I help organisations with two key aspects: one, their strategy and transformational change; and, two, measuring and reducing their carbon footprint. I conduct these activities through Newton Wright Advisors (strategy) and my affiliation with the 100-strong Auditel network (carbon footprint & cost management). I strongly believe that we all have a responsibility to do as much as we can to make our planet sustainable for future generations, no matter the size of our business. As a Brentwood local for over 20 years, I was keen to help our local community with sharing some of my experience and knowledge in sustainability and carbon footprint reduction.

What changes are you making within your business?

My business is a micro-business with my office based in my home, so in many ways, the changes I make are intertwined with those made in the home. From an energy consumption perspective, I’ve moved to renewable energy for electricity (or so I am told by the energy company), my technology is cloud-based (though I am still trying to get information on carbon emissions from my provider), I follow good energy efficiency measures (e.g. turning off all technology and lighting). From a materials perspective, I am paper-free for my own office and when necessary use recyclable materials for documents to clients. From a transport perspective, I use public transport when I can, but I will also be transitioning to an electric vehicle by the end of Q3. In working with clients, even when not specifically on carbon footprint projects, I can’t help myself but try to shift mindset to carbon emission reduction.

Case Studies

Baker Labels

Baker Labels is the leading UK trade label manufacturer focused on improving their green credentials

“There’s so much we can do and are already doing as a business but if we can also do it while improving Brentwood and Essex through our involvement with BEBA, that’s even better.”

Steve Baker, Managing Director

Why did you sign the Pledge?

We are a manufacturer of self-adhesive labels and flexible packaging, with a large production facility in Brentwood. We are conscious of using a lot of energy and creating a fair amount of waste during our production processes. Although there are ways to reduce some of the waste we produce, there will always be a lot – it is unavoidable. We started a journey to look into offsetting anything we couldn’t avoid. During this process we discovered there is a lot more we can do in other areas of the business.

By signing the pledge we are committing to improving our environmental credentials, and to learning as much as we can about how to be more sustainable in all areas of the business. As well as being good for the planet, we know it will also be good for the business.

We hope to attract new business from customers looking for greener suppliers as well as build on the relationships we have with new products. Our employee wellbeing program is a valuable part of the success of our business and working for a company that cares about the environment and the planet we live on feels good. Staff appreciate the effort and can be proud to be part of it going forward.

What changes are you making within your business?

We started by first ensuring we used a green energy supplier, so all our electricity is supplied from a renewable source. Our waste is now “Zero to Landfill” and we recycle / repurpose as much as possible. This includes sending our large cardboard cores to wildlife sanctuaries for animal enrichment programs.

 Within our facility we have made a number of changes:

  • We now only use LED lightings, all of which automatically switch off when there is no activity
  • Plastic curtains installed over our despatch and delivery doors to minimise loss of heat
  • Insulating and maintaining our roof areas to reduce heating costs
  • Installed an EV charge point in our staff car park
  • Fully digital admin process where we only print what is absolutely necessary.

Although we have made a number of valuable steps, we are still in the early stages of our sustainability project. We have plans to measure and subsequently reduce our carbon footprint to work towards becoming carbon neutral. Discovering and embracing new technologies and ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a very interesting journey for all of us.

Case Studies

Howe Chartered Surveyors

Howe Chartered Surveyors is a property consultancy determined to make business operations as sustainable as possible

“BEBA is an inspiring, action-based organisation. With no real roadmap for small businesses to navigate their green journey, BEBA is more than shaping up to fill this gap, which is something I am excited to be a part of.”

Lucy Dekker, Business Development Manager

Why did you sign the Pledge?

Howe Chartered Surveyors are property consultants based in Shenfield. We are currently developing our CSR strategy and believe a good place to start is to make a commitment to going green. Our emissions may be relatively low due to us having no supply chain, and being a service-based business, however we recognise we still have a footprint which can and should be reduced.

What changes are you making within your business?

As is probably the case with most small businesses, we are at the start of navigating our way to carbon neutrality. We made a big step towards becoming paperless, with the introduction of our project management software last year. The first essential step we are taking now is to understand our baseline emissions and identify where we can make impactful improvements. We are finding that this is by no means an exact science, as the majority of our emissions are Scope 3, and finding ways to operationalise our impact is challenging. As part of the initial process for this first step, we have so far identified three objectives we are working toward. These are:

  1. To ensure office space is run as sustainably as it can be in terms of energy and waste.
  2. To set up and maintain a cycle to work scheme, as part of our current cycle club.
  3. To increase personal awareness of carbon footprint reduction with employees, focusing on sustainable travel.
Case Studies

Attract & Engage

Attract & Engage is a marketing agency doing their bit to have a positive impact on the environment

“We believe that all businesses regardless of size, can do their bit to have a positive impact on the environment”. 

Jill Willis, Attract & Engage

Why did you sign the Pledge?

We are Attract & Engage, a Billericay based marketing and PR agency.  We signed the BEBA Pledge, and made a commitment to going green, because we believe that all businesses regardless of size, can do their bit to have a positive impact on the environment.

What changes are you making within your business?

Day to day we’re taking small steps to make our office operation more sustainable. We keep things digital wherever possible to reduce paper usage, have a recycling program, a strict ‘everything off at night’ policy, and we ensure office cleaning products are eco-friendly. Office air quality is kept clean by an array of indoor plants, and colleagues are encouraged to lower commuting emissions by walking, cycling, or using public transport wherever possible.

We are at the start of our carbon neutral journey, with the first tangible goal being to set our carbon footprint.  From here we can begin to make informed decisions about where we can improve business operations and how we can measure the positive impact this has.

“It is an absolute privilege to be part of BEBA and to work with such an array of green businesses, all doing their utmost to be part of the solution to arrest the climate emergency.  For me, there is no question about this direction of travel, or what local businesses need to do to respond to it.”

Jill Willis, founder and managing partner
Case Studies

The Electric Bike Shop

“We believe that electric bikes are the future. Letting more people get out onto two wheels, getting people out of traffic jams causing less pollution, and helping friends and families spend more time together.”

The Electric Bike shop

Why did you sign the Pledge?

We’ve been selling electric bikes for six years. We believe that electric bikes are the future. Letting more people get out onto two wheels, getting people out of traffic jams causing less pollution, and helping friends and families spend more time together are just some of the benefits that became the driving force behind The Electric Bike Shop.

What changes are you making within your business?

Electric bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered motor attached. When you pedal, the motor gives you assistance, making hills easier, helping you in stop-start traffic, and reducing the strain

In all our stores, we prefer to recycle and reuse rather than buy new. For example, our new Brentwood store has kept all the original aesthetics with just a refreshing coat of paint. As we have just moved into our new premises, we will be installing LED lighting to replace the high-cost Halogen lighting currently in situ. The savings alone will pay for the lights in about two years. This will help us with the cost of running the shop and assist in reducing our carbon footprint.

We’re part of several Cycle to Work schemes, such as Green Commute, Cycle Solutions, Bike to Work Scheme and My Benefits World, these schemes are government backed incentives. These enable employers to add to the staff benefits they offer their employees. These schemes in turn allow them to purchase a bike with a great tax saving of between 30% and 42%. We encourage you to ask your employer which scheme they are with if you’re interested in a new bike. If you would like to talk to one of our team, pop into the store at 63 High Street Brentwood and they’ll be happy to help.

We stock E-Bikes from Babboe, Cube, Eovlt, GoCycle, Haibike, Lapierre, Moustache, Raleigh and Tern, covering all uses from leisure and commuting to off road mountain biking.

Visit The Electric Bike Shop.