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Gerson aims to reduce single use plastics

Gerson Relocation aims to reduce single use plastics and waste from its global moving supply chain

Gerson Relocation, the specialist international moving and relocation company, is updating its procurement processes and environmental policy to target the removal of single use plastics.

The initiative will also aim to further reduce waste from the moving process, with an emphasis on single use plastics which have been highlighted in the media over recent months as having a major impact on the environment.

 

Building on an existing environmental programme

Gerson Relocation has a strong environmental policy in place, which already covers recycling and carbon emission management.  The company believes that the recent issues raised in relation to plastics and their effect on the environment means that they feel there is scope for improving their environmental performance.

Chris Mackley, General Manager at Gerson Relocation commented “Sustainability is important to our clients and our staff.  As an international moving and relocation business we have the ability to make a positive impact on the environment by acting responsibly.  We are working with our staff, clients, service partners and supply chain to find ways to reduce waste as a whole and increase recycling.”

The company has conducted a review of its policy, use of materials and is looking at ways it can take its existing environmental programme to the next level.

 

Increasing recyclable materials

The company currently recycles three quarters of materials used, yet it feels that there is still the opportunity to increase recycling.

Through working with its environmental partners it has identified new recycling technology and methods which enable the company to increase the recycling of its own materials and those received from agent partners sending shipments to the UK.

 

Focus on plastics

Plastics only accounts for 1% of the materials used at Gerson Relocation on overseas moves, however given the volume of moves packed and moved each year, this is still an area where the company feels improvements can be achieved.  Therefore, where viable they will be aiming to  substitute plastics for natural materials.  If this is not possible they will aim to move to reusable and recyclable options.

“Materials such as bubblewrap are extremely effective and light, so we need to find alternatives which are equally as effective and this is the challenge we face.  We are reviewing everything, for example plant based materials with similar properties and adapting our packing and preservation techniques. Ultimately we need to be able to move items and remove the risk of any damage to them. We feel that things will become easier as more alternatives come to market through the suppliers so we are talking to them. We are also increasing the range of materials we can recycle so it means that where we cannot get away from plastics we can either re-use them or recycle which reduces waste.” Says Mackley.

Influencing change

The company is focusing on the following areas to make a difference and influence change:

  1. Gerson Relocation’s own employees and moving offices to create awareness of their roles in the workplace and consumer behaviours

  2. Working with clients to help raise awareness, engage with them regarding their own sustainability plans and provide alternative options

  3. Global moving supply chain through influencing agent partners and suppliers to adopt a similar approach

 

Part of a broader CSR approach

The environmental policy is one part of the company’s broader CSR programme which covers employee wellbeing, modern slavery, environment, health and safety, governance, data security, diversity and inclusion. As part of the AGM Group it is possible to make a greater impact still.

 

Updating the environmental policy

The world is changing rapidly, what was not known as a challenge yesterday has become the a priority today, so it is important that policies and organisations are able to adapt to this dynamically. This is the approach that Gerson Relocation is taking and is why it is updating its environmental policy and processes.

Mackley explains “What was best practice becomes outdated and the advice we receive from the leading authorities today is different to what we received only a few years ago.  Therefore we need to keep pace.  We also need to remain focused on the fact that we are an international moving and relocation specialist so we need to ensure our policies remain relevant to who we are as a business and where we create influence.”

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