Growing sustainability at Brilliant Noise

We’re an environmentally minded bunch at Brilliant Noise. We use as little throwaway packaging as possible, take part in beach cleans on the weekend and generally do our best to keep things green. We are collectively responsible for ensuring our office is as green as our homes.

Located in the heart of Brighton, we can’t help but put sustainability at the forefront of our workspace. Central Brighton is represented by Caroline Lucas – green party co-leader and the UK’s only Green MP. Our city council recently signed the plastic free pledge – a campaign to remove single use plastics from our city’s supply chain. Brighton and Hove Bus Company operate many hybrid buses, and the Big Lemon Bus Company run six routes across the city. Named for their cheerful paintwork, Big Lemon buses currently run on leftover cooking oil from local restaurants.

So how do we do it?

In the kitchen:

  • We work with Paper Round who are able to recycle pretty much everything. Our paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, batteries, cans, ink cartridges, toners and even Tetra-Pak waste. They also take our compostable food waste, which they turn into biogas and liquid biofertilizer.
  • We swapped our plastic milk delivery for glass bottles. The milkman collects our empties and reuses them for the next week. In the first two weeks we saw a reduction of two-thirds of our plastic recycling.
  • We bulk buy the majority of the items we use everyday, topping up smaller containers. Our cleaning products, from our hand wash to our rinse-aid, are all eco-friendly. We look at ethicalconsumer.org for guidance on the best ethical brands out there.
  • We source our weekly fruit deliveries from local farms. It’s delivered completely plastic free and minimal air miles attached. It’s also seasonal, so extra tasty.
  • We order our coffee from Kingdom Coffee – all their coffee is fair trade and ethically sourced.
  • Our dishwasher is top class energy efficient. By using it we ensure there’s not a steady stream of water flowing while everyone washes up their cups. We use eco-friendly dishwasher tabs and don’t run it until it’s full.
  • We also have ‘WaterBot’ which gives us boiling or cooled purified water at the tap of a button. It negates the need for a kettle or buying bottled water.
  • No plastic straws. Ever. If we need straws for events, we use paper only.

In the office:

  • Temperature is always a point of controversy when you have over forty people with varying needs. In the winter, the heating doesn’t go above 22° C (to keep those germs at bay) so we encourage layers and weather appropriate clothing. In warmer weather we ask our coworkers to open the window before seeing if the air-con needs to go on.
  • Last year we switched all our lighting to LED – nicer for the environment and nicer for our eyes. The master switch for the office lights ensures we don’t leave them on overnight or at weekends.
  • We noticed that we were getting through a lot of disposable coffee cups. We created branded Brilliant Noise Keep Cups, and gave one to every member of the team. New starters get them in their welcome packs, and we give them to our clients too.
  • We have a whole host of plants to offset VOCs and CO2 emissions – and we’re getting even more.
  • We donate our old tech to charity or recycle the un-revivable. Nothing gets sent to landfill.

There’s always more we can do. We have a sustainability channel on our office Slack where we share ideas for improvements. This is what we have planned for 2018:

  • Plastic-free tea bags. Alas, some of our current favourite brands use plastic to heat seal their bags. We’re on the hunt for substitutes.
  • Locally roasted coffee – the one way to make our coffee even more sustainable. Some of our local roasteries even provide their beans in fully compostable packaging.
  • Ensure all our stationery is eco-friendly. Look into pens made from recycled plastics, and get rid of those biros that nobody likes using anyway.
  • Source reusable snack pots for our fruit and nuts. We currently use paper bags, so at least they’re recyclable – but it would be good to find an alternative.
  • Brilliant Noise beach cleans. As the evenings become lighter, we’re going to arm ourselves with litter pickers and head down to the seafront.
  • Reviewing our business travel – how can we make it even greener? We encourage use of public transport, we carbon offset where we can – but we could be doing even more.
  • Waste-free days. We plan to set ourselves a challenge as an office to have a day every month where we try to keep our waste to an absolute minimum. We’ll make it fun (and competitive!) by having teams and a leaderboard.
  • An office wormery. We generate a lot of fruit and vegetable waste – not to mention mountains of teabags. We’ve got plenty of keen gardeners in our midst who’d be happy to take the compost home. Or perhaps a unique keepsake for office visitors…?

This is a glimpse of the methods we use at Brilliant Noise to ensure we are working in the most eco-friendly way possible. It’s an essential mind frame for us both inside and outside of the office. If you’d like to discuss how you can empower your own workplace then get in touch