The climate emergency is just that – an emergency. It provides the single biggest challenge to civilisation today, presenting us all with urgent global challenges that demand immediate action – from individuals, communities, and organisations.
By limiting the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, the hope is that we can stave off severe climate disruptions. Without it we will see catastrophic climate disaster. That is sadly an irreversible predicament.
We all have a part to play in the climate emergency. As a major leader in the workplace technology sector, Agilico recognises the role it has to play and the positive impact it can have.
Agilico has grown over the past decades, supporting businesses since the early 70s. Through a combination of organic growth, coupled with key strategic acquisitions, we have become the sizable player we are today in the workplace technology space.
Today we have around 500 colleagues throughout our UK operations. We have a UK-wide presence with offices from southwest England to Inverness in Scotland.
Agilico serves more than 14,000 customers who are on a mission to build organisations fully equipped for success in the face of rapid change in the business and economic landscape. A fundamental part of that challenge is doing business in a better way – one which factors in both people and the planet.
A key aim for Agilico is to maximise operational effectiveness and make work easier for people through the use of cutting-edge workplace technology, with expertise and experience spanning these key areas:
- Managed Print
- Accounts Payable Automation
- Hosted VoIP Telephony
- Information and Document Management
- Agile Working
For many years we have seen sustainability as crucial to our identity. Our principles of ESG – Environmental, Social, Governance – have been part of the Agilico fabric for many years now, helping us define our commitment to the planet, people, customers and communities. This is very much part of the business’ raison d’etre and built into our DNA.
However, we have more recently taken a bold step – to reduce our impact on carbon emissions head on and reach Net Zero by 2030.
Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere. We are committing to a net zero carbon emissions approach. We see net zero as a fundamental platform in our future strategic vision, and intrinsically understand the importance of it – for our own customers, colleagues and suppliers and for the survival of the planet and future generations.
Agilico’s mission and our future growth strategy is underpinned by a dedicated focus on sustainability and supporting customers and suppliers to become more environmentally conscious.
There is a very clear reason for this approach. We understand the simple but alarming science behind climate change. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and ecosystem disruptions are just some of the consequences of increased greenhouse gas emissions.
To mitigate these effects and secure a sustainable future, businesses must take proactive measures to reduce their carbon footprint. We are taking the lead in the workplace technology sector, inspiring other organisations to follow suit and prioritise sustainability in their operations.
We have put our money where our mouth is and instigated numerous initiatives and projects which have a real tangible impact on carbon reduction.
In terms of current sustainability initiatives, Agilico has already made significant progress in reducing our carbon emissions and implementing sustainable practices. Some of the initiatives currently in place include:
Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
We have embraced electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce our carbon footprint. 10% of our company car fleet is electric, while 50% consists of hybrid vehicles, promoting cleaner transportation options for employees. Our commitment is one hundred percent to be EV or hybrid by 2024.
EV Charging Infrastructure
To support the adoption of electric vehicles, we have installed EV charging points at our sites across the country. This infrastructure encourages employees and visitors to choose electric vehicles and facilitates the transition to cleaner transportation.
We have taken steps to harness renewable energy by installing solar panels at several of our premises, including our HQ. This initiative not only reduces our reliance on fossil fuels but also serves as an example for other locations, where similar installations are planned, including our new Team Valley site.
Our national MFD (Multifunctional Print Device) refurbishment centres tackle circular economy challenges by giving used machines a new lease of life, reducing the impact on the environment in the process. This approach promotes resource efficiency, reduces waste, and extends the lifespan of electronic devices. It is estimated that 57% emissions savings come from using remanufactured technology.
Our commitment to the circular economy, one which repurposes equipment, reduces waste and improves sustainability, is a key component of our net zero strategy.
We are proactively working with a sustainability leader Circularity First who provide expert consultancy services around sustainability and net zero strategies.
We see the importance of the role it can play in showing how technological services can support the improvement of both energy efficiency and sustainability. Technological and cloud-based services are not always seen as contributors to greenhouse gases. But put simply, less data means less servers, less servers mean less energy, less energy and less servers equates to less carbon.
In addition, our refurbished devices support carbon reduction, by returning an average saving of at least 600 kg carbon dioxide emissions per device.
This focus on the circular economy impacts our processes and can provide huge savings for customers as well as the environment.
Equally our mantra talks of investment in ‘premises’ and ‘people’ in addition to ‘processes’.
In terms of property, this circular approach touches on retrofit and refurbished premises too in addition to new build facilities. For instance, our new office facilities in Team Valley Gateshead in August 2023 have solar panels fitted to contribute to energy efficiency.
This modern new state-of-the-art premises will upgrade some existing plants, plus add newly created offices and a brand new sizable showroom space. By creating a sustainable business environment, we aim to provide an inspiring workplace that aligns with our commitment to reduce environmental impact.
Furthermore, the expansion of the office facilities will allow us to bring together workers from two sites into one upgraded facility. This consolidation enhances operational efficiency, reduces duplication, and fosters a collaborative work environment. The transition will also provide opportunities for job creation, as we plan to recruit new business development personnel, account handlers, and finance professionals. We are a business with a national mindset and national customer-base, but with a strong sense of local and regional responsibility – providing local jobs and a local voice.
It’s not just about creating nice new or upgraded premises though, and ‘people’ are also part of the Agilico mantra.
The premises provide new facilities so we can retrain, retain, and attract staff. We foster an inclusive supportive environment across the whole operation, with wellbeing champions at each of our sites, supporting our people.
Agilico’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond our own operations. We actively support our customers and suppliers in their efforts to become more environmentally friendly. By providing innovative workplace technology solutions and consultancy services, we help our clients optimise their operations, reduce waste, and lower their carbon footprint. Customers’ awareness of the challenges are growing. They are asking whether partners have a sustainability agenda. Often they need advice, services and solutions in this space.
Our mission to achieve Net Zero status by 2030 exemplifies our commitment to addressing climate change and fostering sustainability as part of our business ethos. Through ongoing initiatives and future growth strategies, we demonstrate our dedication to reducing carbon emissions, adopting renewable energy, and promoting a circular economy. Our intention is to emphasise the importance of net zero – to our people, customers and supply chain. We will empower our people to make a difference – adopting sustainable principles, technologies and processes across the working environment.
By leading the way in the workplace technology sector, we hope to inspire others to prioritise sustainability, contributing to a collective effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change. As the world faces the challenges of a changing climate, our proactive approach should serve as a benchmark for businesses seeking to create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.
This article is also featured in:
Public Sector Sustainability Association
North East England Chamber of Commerce
Sustainable Business Magazine