Good environmental practice recognised with gold award

Posted on: July 5, 2021 at 12:04 pm Nick Bhatnagar and Stephen Ambrose standing alongside an Island Roads electric vehicle holding the Green Impact gold award certificate

Environmental good practice by Island Roads has been recognised with a gold award from Green Impact, a United Nations award-winning environmental programme backed locally by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce.

The highways company contracted to upgrade and maintain the Island’s highways network has achieved a gold standard of environmental practice by taking positive steps to reduce its carbon footprint and make its workplace more sustainable.

The scheme set up by the National Union of Students and now run by Students Organising for Sustainability helps businesses to identify ways they can reduce their environmental impact by taking simple actions – such as energy saving, transport, recycling and education. The more actions completed by an organisation, the more points it scores leading to a Green Impact bronze, silver or gold award.

Since its launch on the Isle of Wight, the Green Impact Programme has resulted in an estimated 7,642kg of CO2 being saved and 16 local students have been trained as environmental auditors to visit participating businesses to assess their progress.

Island Roads has worked with the local Green Impact team to create, develop and implement its green action plan. Steps taken by Island Roads to date include the introduction of grey water systems to reduce water usage, use of renewable energy and green tariffs, electric vehicles and charging points, office recycling points and greener stationary choices, motion sensor lighting in its buildings. It has also worked with staff to encourage greener travel to work and actively engages employees in green initiatives via its Sustainability Forum.

As well as activities to reduce its carbon footprint, Island Roads also undertakes work to encourage biodiversity, for example installing bee tubes in retaining walls for solitary bees, artificial ‘caves’ for Ventnor’s wall lizards and it has also made changes to its weed and verge cutting regime to support the growth of wildflowers to encourage pollinators.

Stephen Ambrose, business manager at Island Roads, said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in terms of our environmental impact and are delighted that our work has been recognised with a gold award. The Green Impact scheme has really helped us to focus on areas in which we can improve and look at different ways we can achieve our green ambitions.”

Emma Lewins, Project Manager at Students Organising for Sustainability, said: “I’m really impressed by how well all of the teams have worked towards becoming more sustainable over the past year. It’s brilliant to see that improvements have continued to be made under difficult circumstances and I am really pleased to see Island Roads’ work recognised with this award.”

A film outlining Island Roads’ green credentials can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Yj7nByhYkN8