Accountant cuts carbon footprint

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South west accountancy firm, Bishop Fleming, has exceeded its energy reduction targets, despite its continued expansion.

Since introducing an Environmental Management System (EMS) in 2011, Bishop Fleming has increased its offices from five to seven across the region and increased its staff from 200 to 300.

Nonetheless, the firm has out-performed its 5% reduction target for energy consumption, car mileage, and the use of paper.

Over the past year, gas and electricity consumption per employee has been cut by more than 8%, car-mileage per employee has dropped by 6%, and paper use has been trimmed by almost 17%.

Matthew Lee, Bishop Fleming‘s managing partner: “We have been concerned with rising energy and commodity costs, both for ourselves as a business, as well as for our client base. The EMS works on the basis that what gets measured, gets managed and minimised and so our first step was to understand where the energy was being used and develop plans to reduce it.”

Director of corporate development and sustainable energy specialist, Ewan McClymont, based in Bishop Fleming’s Truro office, has introduced the firm’s EMS into all seven offices, and tracks the outcomes.

He said: “Given that our spread of offices spans Worcester to Truro, our car mileage target was the biggest challenge. Recent investment into an advanced telecoms system has enabled us to cut the number of car journeys, which consume both time and fuel.”

Accountants must still use paper, but the Bishop Fleming plan has made big inroads.

“We have reduced our paper use from 18 reams per employee to 15 over the past year,” said McClymont.

“However, the fact remains that we used more than two million sheets of paper in 2012, so we still have scope for further improvement.”