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12 May 2021

Meet the member: Shielding the planet

MEET THE MEMBER | PPC103 MAY 2021

In this month’s Meet the Member article, BPCA’s Comms Officer Kat Shaw spoke to Nicholas Illidge from Shield Pest Control, about membership of Planet Mark, the sustainability certification.

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When did Shield decide to start working on environmental and sustainability goals?

Shield has always kept a close eye on its environmental footprint but with the introduction of sustainability support and measurement programmes, we are now able to translate our efforts and progress into a structured approach to reduce our carbon footprint.

Was there a watershed moment when you realised you could be doing more as a business?

Not one moment as such, but we’ve been continuously expanding on all our efforts.

We’ve increased the range of footmen within London, reducing our fuel consumption, and we’ve also started to convert our vehicle fleet to electric models, giving us further sustainability gains.

These environmental improvements to our core business processes have been seamlessly integrated into our customer delivery models.

The changes needed at our headquarters were less obvious.

By getting feedback from our teams we’ve made significant changes in paper consumption, recycling efforts and have converted all lighting to LED, cutting energy usage by over 25%.

Within the community we recycle all our used mobile phones, laptops, printers and desktop computers to local schools and charities. Our recent efforts have extended to working with a local Street Trees charity to fund the planting of new trees outside schools and community areas.

How do you measure how well you are doing?

At Shield we follow a set of closely defined measures, which determine our being awarded sustainability accreditations.

We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions yearly, so in 2020 we were delighted to achieve a 36.1% absolute carbon reduction (47.1% carbon reduction per employee).

We’re also governed closely in all major commercial contracts, to the strictest environmental standards.

The industry has evolved in recent years to become self-policing on supplier sustainability efforts. This is something we welcome at Shield, as it helps double the industry’s effort in achieving a cleaner planet.

The industry has evolved in recent years to become self-policing on supplier sustainability efforts.

Nicholas Illidge, Shield Pest Control

Who are your eco warriors in the business? Does every member of the team get involved?

We have several staff that are hugely committed to improving our sustainability efforts but our leader in this space is our Contracts Manager, Alison Bennett, who has tirelessly run our programmes of improvement and applications for accreditations.

Alison looks at every process through the lens of sustainability, and helps all new starters to understand and embrace our environmental policies.

What are the benefits to being a member of Planet Mark?

We benefit not just from Planet Mark accreditation and the value it brings to our brand, but also the useful tools and support collateral which help us measure performance.

Planet Mark is pragmatic and welcomes the small changes an SME can achieve, but provides the ambition and structure to meet environmental goals.

You’re also members of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Can you tell us what this means?

Royal Warrants of Appointment are marks of recognition to those who supply goods or services to the Royal Households.

As a Royal Warrant Holder for HM The Queen, we are required to demonstrate that we have an appropriate environmental and sustainability policy and action plan.

The Royal Warrant affords Shield a level of accreditation which is unique within the UK and is a great source of pride for everyone working here.

Do you have any tips for a pest control company that wants to reduce its carbon footprint?

The biggest long-term wins are gained through reducing fuel consumption, by investing in a greater number of greener vehicles and increasing technicians in your on-foot team.

As well as the obvious health benefits, the reduction in fuel emissions goes a long way to reducing your carbon footprint.

How do you feel BPCA membership helps your business?

Alongside all the support resources, BPCA membership is crucial for our inclusion in major commercial contracts and gives us a ‘ticket to the game’.

Without it we simply wouldn’t be on the same playing field. We’re proud to be a long-standing BPCA member.

Chat with Kat

Interested in sharing your passion with the pest management community? Set up an interview with Kat today, and you could appear here in the next issue.

hello@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC103