Here at Skills, we're committed to sustainable tourism and doing all we can to limit our environmental impact. We're making it our mission to Go Green and reduce our carbon footprint by cutting waste and working smarter. Through our Go Green programme, everyone from our headquarters and shops to our colleagues on the road will make small and significant changes to how they operate.
All our shops and offices now have recycling stations, we're looking at our energy efficiency and working to become a low-carbon business, and we're reviewing our driving operations to reduce fuel usage and emissions. These are just a few of our new initiatives. Please let us know if you have any novel ideas on how we can Go Green. By working smarter, we support sustainable tourism, reducing our carbon footprint and creating a better future. For example, our day trips programme has recently gone paperless as the first stage in eliminating the need for printed confirmations across our entire travel network.
1. WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO GO GREEN TODAY?
Water Filtration System - A naturally capturing water filtration plant has been installed alongside our vehicle wash area. The system collects rainwater from the roof of our main office building and is used in the vehicle wash to clean and maintain all our vehicles.
Solar Power - Over £43,000 has been invested in solar panels to generate and provide electricity for our main office and to generate electricity to be sold back into the grid.
Workplace Parking Levy - Over £7,000 has been invested annually into Nottingham's Workplace Parking Levy as part of a new government incentive to reduce traffic and contribute towards building the Nottingham tram system.
Lead by Example - Both Chairman and the Financial Director regularly cycle to work. In addition, staff are actively encouraged to walk, cycle, use public transport and car share wherever possible.
Social Responsibility - Aiming to promote greener travel solutions, the company encouraged local children in Nottinghamshire to participate in the "Skills Art Competition for Schools" to design a green advert to be featured on the backs of the coaches and buses to promote greener travel solutions.
2. WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO SAVE FUEL TODAY?
Economical Coaches - Today, 85% of our fleet conforms to Euro 5 emissions standards. Since 2008, millions of pounds have been invested in ensuring our fleet is modernised to comply with EU standards. We have also invested over £60,000 in new catalytic converters for all our vehicles.
Efficient Fuelling - Over £15,000 has been invested into new fuel tanks and computerised fuel pumps to monitor individual vehicles' total fuel consumption accurately.
Traffic Management - Over £20,000 has been invested in traffic management and a tracking system to monitor our fleet, providing live data and reducing unnecessary use of fuel mileage and wasted journeys.
3. HOW ARE WE WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE COMMUNITY?
Charity Work - Skills regularly supports local charities and actively participates in fundraising. Nigel Skill and staff have helped raise over £100,000 for charities over the years, contributing to charities such as Cancer Research UK, Race For Life, Maggie's Cancer Care Centre Nottingham, Unique Chromosome Disorder Charity, Children in Need, Poppy Appeal and Sandicliff4Kidz charity for underprivileged kids. In addition, Nigel Skill actively participates in events and, in recent years, has cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats and Twickenham to Stade de France in Paris, all aiding charity.
Community Work - Skills prides itself on its corporate social responsibility and regularly supports and sponsors local community-based projects. Such projects that have seen investment from Skills include local sports clubs, local schools, colleges and universities, local society groups, local charities, apprenticeships, and work placement schemes.
WHAT COULD YOU DO TO GO GREEN TODAY?
You can also help by making more conscious decisions about how you travel or commute. For example, do you need to drive? Could you take the bus, cycle or walk instead? Do you leave the lights on in rooms in your home that you are not using? Could you turn them off instead? If you want to help get involved, you can submit your ideas to us and tell us how we can be even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Email your thoughts to GoGreen@skills.co.uk.