UAP is committed to improving people’s lives and general wellbeing, and we believe that we have a responsibility to significantly reduce our impact on the environment for the good of the planet. This is why we work closely with suppliers and customers around the world to implement ethical and environmentally-friendly business solutions. We have been able to find ways to lower our environmental impact while also boosting our credibility and raising profit margins, proving that becoming a more eco-friendly business doesn’t have to come with a large economic cost and cut to earnings, it’s just a win-win. Here are some things we’ve been doing over the years to reduce our impact on our planet.
Child Labour Laws
By 2004, we ensured that all our suppliers had ethical policies relating to child labour. This kicked off our concerns about how our products and business as a whole affected the planet, leading to the other initiatives and improvements that we involve ourselves in today.
Around the same time as the child labour laws issue, we became involved in local environment and community issues including protection of a local reservoir habitat.
Virtually Grid Neutral
We keep our energy and heat usage in our 50,000 square foot warehouses and offices over six buildings as low as possible – our energy bill comes to a little over £100 per building per month – not much more than the average homeowner would use.
Plant a Tree
We are very proud to say that we are confirmed as having offset all emissions by plant-a-tree-today.org, a highly regarded UK-registered charity. With the charity, we have funded the planting of over 56,000 trees over a three-year reforestation project in the Far East. The aim of planting the trees was not just to improve the condition of the environment, but to facilitate the re-introduction of many endangered species of wildlife so that they can be restored and flourish in their natural habitat.
Solar Power & Eco Renovations
Over time as the company has grown, we have had the opportunity to build upon and expand our Whitefield premises. In doing so, we chose to do it the greenest way possible, by installing solar panels and other low-energy and energy efficient features. These again contribute to our lower running costs, lowering overheads.
The plan going forward is to harness and retain the solar power energy that we generate during non-work periods to become virtually grid neutral, which will be a major step for us as an eco-friendly company.
Since the solar panels, we have also added thermodynamic water heating which links back to them, as well as a further 12kW of solar panels added to the roof. The addition of 150mm of roof insulation prevents our buildings from losing heat in the colder months so we don’t need to over-heat our offices.
The majority of our company cars are eco-friendly hybrids. In our company car park, we have installed EV charging units for electric cars, plus one for customers to use as well.
Recycle & Re-use
We have always been a company that likes to re-use what we have spare, packaging our products in recycled material – we shred old packaging to re-use as infill packing material and prioritise using recyclable material such as cardboard over plastic bags and blister packs. In the beginning, we did this for economic reasons as a small company with limited spare cash.
We use 3D printers to make prototypes of our products before production. This saves us from wasting materials while in development, but 3D printers print in plastic filament. Our product developer John found a way to recycle this material and use it over and over again – we use a 3devo machine to shred, dry, melt, and spool it back into a useable product again and again.
Lowering Our Meat Consumption
We are all aware these days that lowering our meat consumption as a society can only benefit the planet, as animal agriculture uses a lot of energy, land and water that could be utilised for other things, as well as producing a lot of CO2 and emptying the oceans. At UAP, all staff are entitled to a free lunch every day provided by the company, and many of the options on the menu are vegetarian and vegan.