Gentoo Group is encouraging employees to ‘put our planet first’ by making environmentally-friendly decisions.

Planet Smart is the Sunderland-based housing provider’s aim to reduce its impact on the environment and reduce its carbon footprint.

Gentoo’s Planet Smart Charter consists of three themes, transport, energy and waste, and asks employees to be as sustainable as possible in the workplace.

The Charter provides direction and focus for what Gentoo is aiming to achieve as a business; whilst also ensuring the tools are in place to help staff to meet its commitments.

With a selection of schemes and initiatives currently in place, Gentoo has already saved £250k for 2017/18 which is reinvested back into the organisation.

Louise Bassett, executive director at Gentoo, said: “At Gentoo, we are committed to making a positive difference to the environment.

“Through sustainable business practice and energy management we are working smarter and reducing our consumption of resources, be it energy, office goods or travel.

“The consumption of resources is intrinsically linked to cost and by finding ways to consume less, more sustainably, we are positively impacting our business.

“What is really exciting is that Planet Smart has become culturally embedded rather than being solely driven by compliance.”

According to Gentoo, there has been a large reduction in electricity use thanks to a number of initiatives, including the installation of LED lights and ‘switch it off’ stickers in all offices and depots.

This is said to be supported by a number of buildings that are fitted with large Photovoltaic (PV) systems, in addition to 5,000 homes that benefit from PV and clean energy.

Gentoo also provide electric bikes and pool cars to help reduce personal travel mileage and costs for employees, including zero tailpipe emission Nissan Leafs.

James Taylor, Planet Smart champion, added: “At Gentoo, our values are built on doing what’s right, and as a responsible company, making the changes needed to reduce our waste and emissions.

“These values are what attracted me to the Planet Smart Champion role. Being a Planet Smart Champion is an ideal way of making a difference in the workplace and ultimately playing a sustainable part in our planet’s future.”

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