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August Update

Chess Green Team

Stephen Dracup, COO at Chess, heads up the Green Team in the organisation. He provides an update on what the Green Team has been working on. He covers:

Community Litter Picking >

Our People's Green Pledges >

At Chess, we are passionate about playing our part in the wider community by supporting charities, minimising our impact on the environment, and creating opportunity.

Doing something for the environment doesn’t have to be huge, like changing your entire house-heating system or switching to an all-electric car. Small actions by lots of people can really make a difference, especially within our local communities.

Community Litter Pick

Our Chess Green Team decided to run a community litter-pick from the 11th-17th July. We encouraged our people to get out and about to collect litter from local parks, streets, and community areas. Whether they could collect just a few items of litter or whole bags, our people have been playing their part.

Green Pledge Update

In April, we asked our people to pledge to make changes in their lives for the benefit of the environment. Over 50 of our people made pledges and we’ve caught up with a few of them to see how they are getting on with their pledges and what they have learnt along the way.

Simon Collier, Internal Auditor

"My pledge is to reduce use of single plastic food storage (cling film, freezer bags etc), to leave a "wild" area within my garden to improve biodiversity and to not use the hosepipe."

We’ve done away with the cling film and reduced the freezer bags we buy but not quite managed to fully eliminate them yet. We’ve bought smaller Tupperware boxes that can be reused instead and always consider if we actually need the freezer/sandwich bags before we buy them.

My pledge to create a wild area been successful in that we definitely have an area of garden that looks a bit more wild now! We will continue to leave it until it presents an issue to neighbours etc.

As for hosepipe usage, we have not used this once so far and don’t intend to do so either. We’re not gardeners or have plants to keep watered so this has been quite straightforward! We’ve also not used it for our cars, so they are looking a little dirty but worth it to save the water. Especially topical now given the drought across England and hosepipe bans that are in force in some areas. We live in an area that currently is not operating a ban.

Simon’s Eco Top Tip

Choose aspects that are going to be easy and convenient and that way it will take minimal effort to achieve! For mine, I hate doing anything garden related and am lazy, so it was easy to leave an area untouched! It was easy to use fewer freezer bags due using reusable containers etc.

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Laura Gagon, Office & Knowledge Project Manager

“My pledge is to reduce my car weekly car journeys by 4 school runs per week - this means walking to school on my days off and working from home rather than jumping in the car. I also pledge to reduce my meat intake by having 1 meat-free day per week.”

So I pledged to reduce my car journeys on school trips, I have definitely cut down! I am at about 75% of target.

The challenges have been if I am going somewhere after the school run I tend to still jump in the car but other than that we are a walking school bus!

Laura’s Eco Tip

Other ways to avoid the journey and my top tip  – my neighbour collects the children one pick up per week so it reduces automatically. The kids question me and ask to walk now if we go to jump in the car, so overall a positive change!

Kathryn Flood, Bid Writer

“Reduce the amount of food waste through meal planning & more awareness of what we already have in while shopping. To commit to one meat free day a week for all of us in the household. Finally, to adopt a more green approach to cleaning products around the home.”

In summary we're doing pretty well with our Green pledge - meal planning and online food ordering has definitely helped reduce the food waste we have been generating. Eating meat free each week is, however, still a work in progress - I'm planning to reintroduce that once the summer holidays are over and we're back in a routine.

Kathryn’s Eco Tip

I did some research for green washing alternatives and have discovered the Laundry Egg ecoegg which is a reusable Ecoegg filled with mineral pellets which replaces both washing power and fabric conditioner. I've been giving it a try and it's doing a good job! Using the ecoegg reduces the chemicals and plastics released into the water every time the washing machine is on as well as cutting the number of single use plastic bottles and containers I buy.

Our people’s commitment to playing their part for the environment is fantastic and shows how making your lifestyle more eco-friendly can start with just a few small changes that work for you.

If you want to run a similar event we would be delighted to help – please feel free to drop us an email at and we will see what we can do.

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