In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, companies face an increasingly complex set of challenges that extend beyond traditional measures of success. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have emerged as key indicators for evaluating a business’s sustainability and long-term viability. ESG encompasses a wide range of considerations, including environmental impact, social responsibility, and effective corporate governance. Understanding what ESG is and why it is crucial for businesses to act on these principles is paramount in shaping a sustainable future.
ESG goes beyond profit margins and shareholder value. It recognizes that businesses have broader responsibilities to society and the environment in which they operate. By actively integrating ESG practices into their operations, organizations can not only mitigate risks but also seize new opportunities and enhance their reputation as responsible corporate citizens.
We put together a team of individuals from across the company last year, under the name Blaze People&Planet to focus on our ESG goals throughout the year on top of their normal roles and responsibilities.
2023 will be the biggest year in the history of Blaze Signs in terms of our ESG initiatives and improvements made across the business, and in this blog post we’ll review the first half of the year, discussing a selection of the things we’ve been doing and where we’ll be going with Blaze People&Planet for the rest of the year!
Vehicle tracking: We installed new trackers to each vehicle in our fleet, which now allows us to record and view multiple data points, some of which are very informative when it comes to carbon emissions.
This is a step in the process we’re undertaking to reduce the level of carbon emissions that our installation teams contribute to the environment. With visibility of where we currently stand, we can now set goals towards the future to minimise the number.
Recycled paper and packaging: We have now begun using more recycled materials in our factory and office facilities, with recycled paper introduced to the office staff, which means we’re now using fewer natural resources for printing requirements.
Additionally, elements of the product packaging in our factory facility are now recycled, including cardboard edge protectors as well as recycled U-foam packaging. This is an element of the process that we’re continually looking at to reduce its impact on the environment.
New printers: Our IT department installed new office printers across both Blaze Broadstairs and Birmingham earlier this year! These are “smart” printers, that record a lot of data ranging from how many trees we have used over a period of time to the specific users and departments that utilise the printers the most.
With this visibility, we can deploy strategies that reduce the overall printing of the business, including messaging that calls for the use of physical documents to be relied upon less.
Of course, we also shared the news that 100% of the waste from our Broadstairs facility was recycled in 2022, which you can read more about here.
Social sustainability work
Mencap signage: We were put in contact with the local charity East Kent Mencap through our Group IT Director, where discussions began about updating and refitting their current signage suite. It’s safe to say the client was impressed with the services we provided, so much so that they had this to say:
“Blaze signs designed, created, and delivered first-class signage for our East Kent Mencap Hub in Margate, which supports people with a learning disability.
The high-quality signage ensures that our Hub is easy for people with a learning disability and our visitors to find and provides us with an impressive brand presence in a busy location.
We are very grateful to the wonderful Blaze team for their incredible generosity, amazing signs, and flexibility during the installation. Thank you, Blaze, from everyone at East Kent Mencap.”
You can read more about the project here.
Comic Relief: The Blaze Signs and Cygnia Maintenance teams from Hexcite worked together to raise money in aid of the now annual event, Comic Relief! The event was held on Friday the 17th of March, but preparations were well underway long before the big day arrived, with many of the team members showing off their baking skills with irresistible cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats that invited us to aid the charitable cause.
You can read more about this event here.
Employability Days: Members of the Blaze Signs team, along with professionals from many other local businesses came together with Education Business Partnership Kent (EBP Kent) to take part in two employability days at schools in East Kent, Dane Court Grammar School, and King Ethelbert School.
Amanda, Chris, Leeroy and Barry from Blaze Signs were on hand to provide talks and interviews for the students, providing them with key insight into what it is like in the working world, and to give invaluable feedback on mock interviews.
You can read more about this initiative here.
Collaboration with educational institutions: We worked separately with both the University of Kent and Dover Technical college to bring their students an interesting and engaging unit with brought together multiple skill sets. This included research, design and development both hand and digital, and creative thinking.
We’ll be sharing more about these initiatives in the coming weeks when we publish a full deep dive into what we did!
…and more…: Various other social sustainability initiatives are continually happening across the business, including but not limited to reading sessions with young children, donations of waste material to schools and after-school clubs, and fundraising for charities and awareness days!
While we are a business that prides itself in looking towards the future and where we are going, it is also important to look back and see just how far we’ve come.
The first half of 2023 has been the most successful year in terms of fundraising, initiatives and improvements made for both the business and our society as a whole due to our contributions, and we are immensely proud of ourselves, the Blaze People&Planet team members and the other team members who have got stuck in!
Looking towards the second half of the year, we’re excited to see that there are many more developments in this space, and we can’t wait to share these with the world.