Sustainable from the ground up

Laurel-2018.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

New builds are a great opportunity to cut carbon footprints and facilities running costs. In the UK, Fujifilm has recently opened Fujifilm House its new UK headquarters. Built with sustainability in mind the facility has received formal certification using the Built Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). This is a certification method developed by the Built Research Establishment, an organisation that has been around for over 100 years. Today it is in the sustainability data business and provides validations and certifications to an international customer base.

Fujifilm UK has installed eighty solar panels on the new building’s roof. The panels have an annual capacity of 63,000 kW of electricity, which is calculated to save Fujifilm UK some 29 tonnes of CO2 emissions and a load of cash, every year. A centrally controlled heating and ventilating system manages the building’s ambient temperature during the day, switching off at night. Intelligent motion triggered LED lighting systems ensure that the lights go on only when people are moving about. This might not work so well for people sitting at their desks for long periods of time. The car park has sixteen charging points for electric cars and capacity for up to 32 as more drivers switch to electric vehicles.

Waste management is now, or at least should be, a feature of most business operations. Fujifilm UK has a comprehensive waste sorting system that includes printer cartridges, plastics, metal, paper and board, and general waste. The use of reusable cups is being encouraged and the toilets flush using stored rainwater, captured with a collection and storage system. Loo rolls and their dispensers are made from recycled materials and Fujifilm U|K| uses Soap2O. This handsoap is delivered in compact tablets to which water is added on site. The makers claim their product yields a 70% reduction in its packaging and reduced transport emissions due to its lower weight.

The new Fujifilm UK site also provides protected wildlife habitats for plants and animals using biodiverse landscaping. There are, for instance, permeable slabs in the Fujifilm House car park. This helps to prevent flooding and also provides a cosy spot for worms who will benefit from the moisture control these slabs offer. Fujifilm plans to add bee hotels for solitary bees who live alone rather than in colonies as honey bees do, as well as bat boxes and bird feeders.

Many of these initiatives can be undertaken for existing buildings and they do pay off. The solar panels on Fujifilm House can power the whole building when the sun is shining. And waste management should be a no-brainer for all printing companies. Supporting the bees, bats and birds is equally obvious. All it takes is a decision to choose to do better.

– Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, RicohSplash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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