Chess’ environmentally responsible approach to business got a green thumbs up from the Prince, and particular praise for its car share scheme that rewards car sharers with free priority parking and the occasional bacon butty!
Chess chief executive David Pollock joined 200 other UK business leaders at the event, which also featured a speech from Prime Minister Gordon Brown. As well as listen to the inspiring speeches, the attending businesses and organisations committed to further action on climate change, including measuring and reducing their carbon footprint.
Chess was specially invited to join just 19 other businesses including the likes of Cadbury Schweppes and Royal Mail and fellow telecoms companies Vodafone, T-Mobile and BT to showcase its environmental efforts at the May Day Marketplace, which was attended by delegates following the morning’s speeches.
The May Day Climate Change summit is a national event led by Prince Charles to raise awareness of environmental and climate change issues and the measures business can take to reduce carbon emissions. Chess was selected as an example of how a comparatively small business (120 employees) can make a big difference, by implementing simple green initiatives and raising awareness both internally and in the wider community.
Chess’ environmental responsibility is largely thanks to its Green Team – a panel of self-appointed ‘Eco-ambassadors’ from all areas of the business. The Green Team meets monthly to develop new initiatives and drive them throughout the organisation. Since its Green Team was established, Chess has increased recycling by 100%, reduced costs by becoming energy efficient and saved over 3 tonnes of paper every year by switching its 10,000 UK business customers to web billing.
Good green practice has also brought about further benefits to Chess including a positive impact on response to recruitment campaigns. This was explained by a recent survey that found more and more people will sacrifice money to be able to work for a green company.
“We were delighted to be invited to the May Day Climate Change summit and have a stall at the marketplace,” said David. “And we were immensely proud for HRH Prince Charles to single out our actions for praise. I strongly believe that as a successful business it is our duty to be socially responsible; to be an example to Chess people, customers, partners and the wider community. As the famous quote goes, we don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children and we owe it to them to play our part. Small, easy changes to everyday business practices can make a big difference and our Green Team are constantly coming up with new initiatives for Chess that not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also invariably benefit the business.”
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