When we think about limiting our impact on the environment, it’s not just the manufacturing process and our products that we have in mind. We want to reduce the effect our office, business operations and travel have on the environment, too. Here at Speedo, our facilities team coordinate our efforts to keep our footprint low, but all Speedo employees play a role. Our priorities are to use less energy, to recycle more and to use water and other resources responsibly.

Here are a few of the ways we’re doing this

Energy

In 2010, we moved to our new headquarters in Nottingham, UK. Designed with energy-efficiency in mind, the building is rated as ‘excellent’ by sustainable building experts BREEAM, has a level B Energy Performance Certificate (the second highest rating), and uses half as much energy as our previous base.

Energy-saving technologies include lights fitted with motion sensors that automatically dim on a bright day, revolving entrance doors that help regulate inside air temperature, and a ground source heat pump that makes use of warmth from the ground outside. The building is also fitted with photovoltaic solar panels.

We’re also working to reduce emissions from business travel and commuting. Although many Speedo team members need to travel to visit manufacturing sites and our offices around the world, we avoid flights where possible by using state-of-the-art video conferencing technology.

To help our employees do their bit during the commute, we offer discounted season tickets for local public transport, arrange for a mechanic to visit our office to service employees’ bicycles, and have showers and lockers on site for those who choose to cycle to work. We have also switched to lower emission vehicles in our company fleet.

Waste

We recycle 94 percent of our waste and we’re working towards sending zero waste to landfill.

As part of this effort, we promote recycling and have centralised waste bins that help employees to recycle everything namely paper, cardboard, batteries, wood, metal electronic waste, photocopier and printer toner cartridges more easily.

We have just introduced Food Waste Recycling with Wastecycle. Food waste goes either to in-vessel composting or an anaerobic digestion facility, where it is used to produce a soil improver product, as well as recover energy.

Where possible we also look to reuse furniture. When we moved offices, we recycled over 150 metal cabinets by re-spraying them to suit the new building design, donating anything we couldn’t re-use to local hospices and to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s nearby Attenborough Nature Reserve, where they were used to furnish the café.

Natural Resources

As a company, water is close to our hearts, so we take care to use it, and other natural resources, responsibly.

Our water consumption is relatively low and our bathroom facilities are set up to use groundwater from boreholes, further reducing our reliance on mains water. Rather than using disposable bottled drinking water, our mains-fed water dispensers help reduce plastic wastage.

All the paper we use is Forest Stewardship Council certified, and when we have to make purchases for our office, we look for furniture with high recycled content.

Highlighting climate change with lewis pugh

We have supported ocean advocate and pioneer swimmer, Lewis Pugh, since 2007. Renowned for swimming in vulnerable ecosystems, Lewis aims to draw attention to the human impact on the world’s oceans and raise global awareness about environmental issues.

Lewis has always worn Speedo and we have supported a number of his expeditions, including:

  • 1km arctic swim at the North Pole in 2007
  • 1km glacial lake swim in Lake Pumori on Mount Everest in 2010

Both of these swims – across a formerly frozen sea and a lake formed by melting glaciers –helped highlight the impacts of climate change.

Lewis has published two inspirational books, the second of which is titled 21 Yaks and a Speedo.