Sustainability and protecting the environment
At Belle France, we’ve introduced a program of eco-friendly initiatives designed to reduce the environmental impacts of both staff and customers. Find out how.
GOGREEN is our sustainability & environmental initiative aimed at reducing our company's carbon footprint. It covers who we work with, how we operate internally, transparency and promotion.
Our four-point plan
As part of the program, we've produced a plan which covers our commitments and targets. We promise to:
- Continuously improve our environmental performance and integrate recognised environmental management into our business operations.
- Give due consideration to environmental issues when sourcing resources and reduce our consumption and improve the efficiency of those resources.
- Manage waste generated from our business operations incorporating reduction, re-use and recycling principles.
- Comply with all relevant environmental legislation as well as other environmental requirements and work towards targets set both internally and by the UK Government.
Working with green partners
Eurostar introduced their own environmental policy in 2007. The 'Tread Lightly' plan sets out the company's goals and policies in accordance with the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement and includes targets relating to energy efficiency, reduction of plastic waste and other waste and commitments to sustainability. You can find out more about Eurostar's Tread Lightly plan here.
SNCF have also committed to reducing their environmental footprint with a three-point plan. Their key efforts include bringing their facilities into compliance with environmental standards, reducing inputs, pollutions and nuisances, consuming less energy and raw materials and protecting biodiversity. To learn more about SNCF's environmental policies, visit their website.
Mixam is our printer, they print all our brochures and other mass-printed customer literature and they feel just as strongly as we do when it comes to the environment. All our brochures are printed with vegetable based inks on sustainably sourced FSC® accredited paper. When you've finished with your brochure, make sure to add it to your household paper and cardboard recycling box.
In-office recycling and sustainability procedures
Recycling We're making changes internally too. By bringing in plastic and aluminium recycling initiatives alongside our current paper and cardboard recycling program we aim to cut our office waste by over half.
Food Waste In September 2019 we launched new measures to tackle office food waste. Organic foodstuffs including tea bags, tea leaves, raw fruit and veg peelings and cores and some cooked leftover food are composted.
Paper Use A new paper-lite policy has been introduced to cut down our reliance on paper within the office. This excludes our customer packs and other customer-related literature although we do try to send email confirmations where possible.
Other Recyclables and Efficiency Measures We already recycle all our spent batteries, used printer cartridges and empty coffee capsules and we're switching all our traditional fluorescent tube lighting to more efficient LED tube lighting.
Redundant Computer Equipment We donate all of our old or unused computers and equipment to Computers4Africa, a charity which aims to lift Africa out of poverty by providing the next generation with the technology and support to work in a global environment.
Events Throughout the year we host various events for staff including our annual summer BBQ. We wanted to make sure our staff could let their hair down whilst still partying responsibly so we've swapped out plastic cutlery for wooden cutlery and ditched the single-use plastic cups and plates for reusable plastic alternatives.
What changes will I see?
While a lot of the changes we're making are internal, you, as a customer, will also see some changes, although they may not be so obvious.
Customer Travel Packs While we are sending out more email booking confirmations, we are continuing to send out printed travel packs for customers. From early 2020 we will be sending all our customer packs and brochure orders in biodegradable plastic polybags. The 'plastic' is made using potato starch and can, therefore, be composted and poses no risk to the environment.
Our team, together with our parent company and other partners, are currently putting together further plans on how we can fight climate change. We will be adding to our GOGREEN policy in due course.
The steps we take may be small but each and every one counts towards a greener and healthier future.