‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ has become a living habit for all the staff at Television Mobiles Ltd (TVM) in Bartlemy in recent months as a result of a fantastic new initiative at the firm to be more environmentally friendly.
It was Helen Arnold, co-director of the company, who first sparked the idea to ‘go green’ as she and her husband Bart have always been strong believers in looking after their local environment and community.
Sky Digital, one of TVM’s main customers, also began an awareness initiative in the past year, highlighting the effect of plastics on wildlife and sea creatures and began implementing cleaner ways of carrying out business in their global company. TVM are very glad to be associated with the initiative and so they decided to make changes in their own workplace.
Back in November 2017, a Green Team was set up and 9 employees took on the responsibility of making TVM a more environmentally friendly business. Their central goal for 2018 is to completely eradicate single use plastics within the company.
NO MORE PLASTIC BOTTLES
The biggest culprit of all had previously been bottled water which was supplied by the company to the 80+ employees at the firm on a daily basis, especially those in the outside broadcast (OB) trucks.
In 2017, TVM bought 17,400 plastic bottles of water. So far in 2018, they have bought none. A branded TVM reusable bottle has been given free of charge to every member of staff, contractors and even the staff of RTE or Sky who would be located in the OB truck during a broadcast, for example.
Further, every OB truck has been fitted with a rented water dispenser and the 10 gallon water drums are sterilised and refilled by Ballygown, to ensure zero waste.
This new initiative has been adapted wholeheartedly into the company by every member of staff and Aoife Robinson, chairperson of the Green Team, felt that the company has already reduced their water wastage by at least half using the new system as well as getting rid of single use plastic bottles.
TVM have also significantly reduced the amount of take-away coffee cups being used by staff as the kitchen now has a supply of mugs which can be washed in the dishwasher after use and reused. In some instances, if a staff member wants to take a coffee with them in the OB truck or in the car, there are some take-away cups available to them but they are made from a biodegradable material.
The HQ itself, which was built in 2012, is a very energy efficient building. There are PV cells covering nearly the entirety of the roof and those cells generate electricity for the building and heat the water.
When it was installed, it was the biggest PV cell system in the whole country.
The building also uses a ‘passivhaus’ system which means that the hot air going out of the building heats the cold air coming in and this significantly improves the energy efficiency and reduces the ecological footprint.
“With a headquarters built to passive haus standards with its green energy credentials, we have a small team of employees, led by director Helen Arnold, actively driving the ‘go-green’ initiative committed to making small meaningful changes in our day to day operations to reduce carbon footprint,” Aoife Robinson told The Avondhu.
In 2013, TVM were awarded Green Building of the Year Award.
BATTERIES AND ELECTRICALS
As TVM need electrical equipment like microphones to run their business, they need to dispose of over 100 batteries per week. They now have WEEE Ireland battery boxes in the HQ and all used batteries are collected and sent to WEEE Ireland who recycle them safely – a donation for every battery recycled goes towards the LauraLynn Foundation.
TVM also organised WEEE Ireland to come on site a few months ago so that the company could recycle any electrical equipment which was no longer in use.
They also have a skip for scrap metal on site at all times which is facilitated by Pouladuff Dismantlers who can recycle all metals.
SAFE TRUCK WASHING
The OB trucks are washed every week at TVM and washing over thirty arctic trucks requires a lot of water and a lot of suds. With this in mind, TVM have set up a water run off system, so that all the water from the roof is stored in a large tank, with the recycled water then used to wash the trucks.
Kevin Galvin, TVM Operations Manager, and member of the Green Team at TVM explained that the company have tried to source the most environmentally friendly products they could find to wash and clean the trucks each week.
He also explained that measures have been taken to ensure that all surface run-off in the yard is filtered before it returns to the water table, to ensure that no oils, etc from the trucks contaminate the water.
The Green Team at TVM have made a conscious effort to improve the recycling practices both at the headquarters in Bartlemy and while on the road.
Specific boxes have been bought for each OB truck marked to be used for the disposal of scripts and other dry recyclables to ensure it is properly recycled when the trucks return to base.
There is also a lot of signage in the canteen to explain to staff what can be recycled and what can’t be. All recycling is collected by Country Clean Recycling.
“It’s a team effort, everyone is coming on board and they are all becoming conscious of recycling in the workplace. We have had huge support from our own crew, customers and venue managers who are all doing their bit to make good ‘green’ decisions,” Aoife Robinson, chair of the Green Team told The Avondhu.
“TVM is committed to actively contributing to the betterment of this planet and make this a better place to live for future generations to come,” she stressed.