Barker achieves eco ambitions

Dorset based Barker, the domestic laundry and specialist drycleaner, is reflecting on its eco journey to date and achieving the ambitious targets set by the business including reducing their use of ‘single use’ plastic by 90 per cent.

Among the company’s eco initiatives are an investment in washing/water heating technology, a drive to remove single use plastic from packaging across the entire business and a project to reduce electricity via LED replacement of all lighting, an initiative that was completed earlier in 2020. The cost of these initiatives has meant an investment of over £100,000 over the last two years.

MD Matthew Barker said, “Three years ago at Barker we set ourselves the ambitious target of reducing our use of ‘single use’ plastic by 90 per cent. We are extremely proud to say that we have achieved this ambition, particularly pleasing too as it’s been achieved despite the recent challenges of Covid. We have converted almost 95 per cent of our 2,500 domestic laundry customers to long lasting laundry boxes which, whilst still plastic, have a 20-year life span.

“In our drycleaning division we previously reported that we had trialled removing polythene packaging in one of our branches. This initiative proved hugely successful. We subsequently introduced re-useable garment covers in all our four stores and these are proving very popular with our customers, as well as looking extremely smart and professional and doing a great job of protecting clothing items.

“Whilst it’s recognised that we shall never lose plastic, as it’s probably one of the most effective wrappers ever invented, the way in which we use it and handle it will make all the difference to the future of our planet.

“We have always recognised how important it is to bring our team of 50 staff along with us on our eco journey – we carried out an internal initiative to highlight awareness of our environment and the impact and use of plastics within the business.  As a result, everyone is much more conscious, educated, and most importantly motivated to help the business.

“At the end of 2019 we received a low carbon grant funding award of £25,000, allocated by Dorset Council’s ‘Low Carbon Dorset’ Programme and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  Our aim was to improve our energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy and aid the development of new low carbon products. The award allowed us to invest in various new equipment and laundry technology: two new washing machines, a boiler and a state-of-the-art water heating system.

“The new gas fired water heating system has enabled us to change from the steam method by which we previously heated water, thus reducing our use and reliance on fossil fuels by an impressive 50 per cent. The investment in technology has also delivered a significant saving in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

“The investment and commitment that the business has made is certainly the right course of action. We have further ideas and initiatives which we shall review over the coming months.”

Dorset based Barker, the domestic laundry and specialist drycleaner, is reflecting on its eco journey to date and achieving the ambitious targets set by the business including reducing their use of ‘single use’ plastic by 90 per cent.

Among the company’s eco initiatives are an investment in washing/water heating technology, a drive to remove single use plastic from packaging across the entire business and a project to reduce electricity via LED replacement of all lighting, an initiative that was completed earlier in 2020. The cost of these initiatives has meant an investment of over £100,000 over the last two years.

MD Matthew Barker said, “Three years ago at Barker we set ourselves the ambitious target of reducing our use of ‘single use’ plastic by 90 per cent. We are extremely proud to say that we have achieved this ambition, particularly pleasing too as it’s been achieved despite the recent challenges of Covid. We have converted almost 95 per cent of our 2,500 domestic laundry customers to long lasting laundry boxes which, whilst still plastic, have a 20-year life span.

“In our drycleaning division we previously reported that we had trialled removing polythene packaging in one of our branches. This initiative proved hugely successful. We subsequently introduced re-useable garment covers in all our four stores and these are proving very popular with our customers, as well as looking extremely smart and professional and doing a great job of protecting clothing items.

“Whilst it’s recognised that we shall never lose plastic, as it’s probably one of the most effective wrappers ever invented, the way in which we use it and handle it will make all the difference to the future of our planet.

“We have always recognised how important it is to bring our team of 50 staff along with us on our eco journey – we carried out an internal initiative to highlight awareness of our environment and the impact and use of plastics within the business.  As a result, everyone is much more conscious, educated, and most importantly motivated to help the business.

“At the end of 2019 we received a low carbon grant funding award of £25,000, allocated by Dorset Council’s ‘Low Carbon Dorset’ Programme and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  Our aim was to improve our energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy and aid the development of new low carbon products. The award allowed us to invest in various new equipment and laundry technology: two new washing machines, a boiler and a state-of-the-art water heating system.

“The new gas fired water heating system has enabled us to change from the steam method by which we previously heated water, thus reducing our use and reliance on fossil fuels by an impressive 50 per cent. The investment in technology has also delivered a significant saving in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

“The investment and commitment that the business has made is certainly the right course of action. We have further ideas and initiatives which we shall review over the coming months.”

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