Oyster Group Environmental Policy
updated 1st October 2009

The Oyster Group is committed to acting in a socially responsible and sustainable manner and for these reasons has established an environmental policy which has been implemented by all Group companies.

Rather than setting specific rules, a pragmatic holistic approach has been taken whereby each Group company strives to focus upon the areas in which it and its employees have the greatest impact upon the local area and environment.

Each group company participates in a yearly environmental audit undertaken in March, which seeks to identify the environmental impact of the actions of that business and to measure that business's efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.

Having consideration to its environmental audit, each Group company is expected to adhere to the principles set out in this document as a minimum level, but is freed to focus upon the areas where its footprint is greatest as determined by its environmental audit.

This environmental policy is a living document and will be re-evaluated and revised each April to take into account the yearly environmental audits as well as evolving best practices, the introduction of new technologies and advances in local services.

Transport

The Group is committed to reducing unnecessary road journeys and has sought to limit road usage by employees to essential use only. This has been achieved through two main policy strands

  1. The Group has invested in e-Business technologies allowing a significant proportion of our work to be undertaken without the need to travel to client sites or to send physical materials to clients or suppliers. The usage of electronic proofing and file transmission systems has significantly cut the amount of travel undertaken in the course of normal business.
  2. The Group actively encourages the use of public transport by its employees and car sharing where possible, this is reflected in the companies expenses policy and car policies. The Group recognises the challenges posed by the rural location of its offices and often seeks to undertake meetings at other more central locations or client locations in order to allow its practitioners to travel by rail and to save unnecessary car journeys by clients.

Due to the environmental damage caused air travel, the Group does not currently sanction the use of air travel for practitioners working on projects in the UK except under exceptional circumstances.

Business Consumables

The Group is acutely aware that the main physical consumption within the Marketing and Communications industry is business consumables. The Group has sought to implement the use of new technologies to reduce its consumption and the consumption of its suppliers. The Group has foremost sought to reduce consumption of the most environmentally damaging items and the items of which it uses the greatest volumes.

  1. Aerosol Spray Mount: Whilst once a major consumable and virtually the only hazardous substance in regular use, the use of aerosol spray mount has been substantially reduced and virtually phased out. Advanced e-Business technologies have allowed literature mock-ups, models and the other client applications that previously used spray mount to be undertaken on-screen significantly reducing the Groups usage of this aerosol solvent.
    Such substances are now used in less than 5% of their prior applications and the Group is committed to further reducing this figure, when used, this may only be undertaken in an approved spray booth with appropriate filters for extraction.
  2. Photographic Chemicals: The Group commissions and undertakes a wide range of photography for clients. Third party professional laboratories working for the Group utilise a wide variety of photographic chemicals. Where possible the Group has now adopted the use of high resolution digital cameras, thereby virtually eliminating the need for film processing and developing.
  3. Toner Cartridges: Where possible the Group purchases recycled / remanufactured toner cartridges.
  4. Packaging: The Group encourages its suppliers to use the minimum level of packaging necessary when despatching goods to the Group. The Group is committed to reducing packaging volumes and is proactive in this area when consulted by clients regarding packaging design. The Group seeks to use the minimum level of packaging required to ensure safe delivery of goods to clients.

    Wherever possible in making its own despatches the Group re-uses packaging as the most efficient means of recycling.

    Where surplus packaging materials are accumulated and cannot be reused, the Group policy is that these should be sent for recycling.
  5. Papers & Boards: When purchasing on behalf of Clients it is the Groups objective to encourage Clients to actively consider the use of recycled materials or materials from sustainable sources.

    For the Groups own use, purchases should be made from suppliers committed to supplying products using either recycled materials or materials from sustainably managed sources.

    The Groups preference is for the use of Chlorine Free recycled materials. Given that some of our paper requirements are for high quality materials, this may mean that recycled paper is not available or more specifically Chlorine Free recycled material may not be available. In these circumstances paper should be specified that comes from certified sustainable sources.

    The Group is committed to ensuring that at least 95% of paper and board products are from recycled or sustainably managed sources by 2010.

    The Group is a leader in the promotion to clients of putting literature on-line and using digital solutions, thereby reducing the volume of materials printed and distributed by mail. This should considered as a practical and cost effective alternative to normal printed options.

Recycling and Waste Disposal

Where facilities exist within the local area, the Group undertakes to recycle all recyclable materials.

Staff are encouraged to recycle all papers, boards, metals, glass and plastics where possible. Confidential paperwork is securely shredded before disposal to a recycling centre.

Toner cartridges are collected from Group companies and provided to a charity for recycling. This reduces waste volumes and also provides the charity with a revenue stream.

Senior members of the Group participate in a number of local business organisations, and are committed to supporting their efforts to increase environmental sustainability.

Water, Gas & Electricity

Where these utility services are installed within the Group's office locations, usage is to be kept to a minimum. Staff are encouraged to turn off lighting when rooms are not in use and the Group is committed to keeping consumption of water, gas and electricity at / or below 2005 levels, wherever possible low energy lighting should be substituted as long as there are no health and safety issues arising.

Local Sourcing:

The Group actively encourages the use of local suppliers in order to sustain the local economic base, to reduce the distances that items such as literature need to be transported and to allow for face-to-face meetings with suppliers without necessitating long distance travel.