Clampdown on single-use plastics earns Bishop Fleming Surfers Against Sewage ‘Champion’ status

July 25, 2019

Regional accountancy group Bishop Fleming, which has an office in Bath, has been accredited as a ‘Plastic Free Champion’ by conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

The accolade recognises the firm’s efforts to remove all single-use and avoidable plastics from across its office network. 

Bishop Fleming, which employs nearly 350 staff, has taken just six months to completely remove six commonly used single-use plastic items from its offices.

The firm started its plastic-free journey in January when its Bright Futures initiative took up the challenge. The initiative encourages the firm’s young talent from all its offices to work on a different project each year, with this year’s focussing on ‘giving back’.

Since then it has completely got rid of carrier bags, bubble wrap, single-use coffee cups, plastic straws, plates and cutlery and is working on eliminating all plastic from the business.

Audit manager and Bright Futures member Christian Crawford, who is based in its Bristol office, said: “Our group has been responsible for sourcing alternative solutions to single-use plastics that have been swapped by the firm, such as bottles and coffee cups.

“Each staff member has been provided with a reusable water bottle and reusable cup to eliminate the use of these plastics.”

A Surfers Against Sewage spokesperson added: “Congratulations, Bishop Fleming is a Plastic Free Champion. Plastic pollution in our oceans is the ‘new sewage’. It is one of the biggest global environmental threats of our age and fighting it together is our priority issue.”

Bishop Fleming already has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and operating as a sustainable business. It has a target of minimising its carbon footprint by 5% a year, encouraging car sharing and cycle-to-work and walk-to-work schemes and is reducing its number of bins in favour of increased recycling points across its offices.

Last year it saved the equivalent of 110 trees last year by cutting the use of paper compared to where it stood when it started its environmental scheme in 2012.

It also lowered its electricity and gas usage by nearly 3% per employee and its mileage to income by almost 12% through increasing use of technology, Skype and telephone conferencing.

Managing partner Andrew Sandiford said: “In our centenary year, we are very focussed on building a sustainable long-term business. Sustainability for us is a critical part of our DNA and this includes reducing our impact on the environment.

“As we continue our sustainability journey, we are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts to reduce the impact of single-use plastics.”

Bishop Fleming marketing director Paul Seymour, who is also co-lead for corporate social responsibility, added: “We are delighted to receive this recognition for our initiative, but we are well aware this is just another small step in our journey as a responsible business – it is our objective to continue making further positive impact in the future.”

Marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage empowers and unites communities and businesses to help protect the oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife. So far more than 700 business across the UK have become ‘Plastic Free Champions’ with hundreds more working toward to accreditation.

Some 8m pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the ocean every day, with the UK using a staggering 38.5m single-use plastics every day with fewer than 60% recycled.

Bishop Fleming supplies accounting, tax, corporate restructuring and advisory services to businesses, charities and academies, and private wealth advice to individuals.



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