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Environment Action Plan

Apples and Snakes Environmental Action Plan

Current plan updated December 2015 (original plan created May 2014)

This document was developed using guidelines from Julie's Bicycle:


This document is an extension of our existing Environmental and Ethical policy and outlines our environmental pledges, explains how these will be communicated, monitored, reviewed, amended and celebrated.

The Pledges:

  • To reduce paper use by 15% over the next two years
  • To maintain and improve our recycling process to ensure everything that can be recycled is recycled.
  • To continue to use as little energy as possible to assist the Albany to reduce its overall carbon emissions.
  • To reduce our use of water within the office to assist the Albany to reduce the overall water consumption within the building.
  • To minimise our carbon emissions on our travel.
  • To buy environmentally sustainable products where ever possible. 

December 2015 Update 

We have been very successful with our plans to reduce our paper use and actually reached our 15% target at the end of March 2015.  We have therefore put in a new target of a further 15% reduction by the end of 2017. We have ensured that all staff are aware of this plan, including all our pledges and the actions we have put in place to meet these targets.  Additional updates have been added in individual sections if required to highlight specific actions or circumstances.

Communicating the Plan

In addition to specific staff training noted below this plan will be sent to all staff and will be discussed and championed at all staff days in July.  Discussing this plan and its subsequent updates will also be included in our standard induction process, so all new staff understand the importance Apples and Snakes place on the environment and are fully aware of what we expect from them under this plan. 

This action plan will also be posted onto our website. 

December 2015 Update 

We continue to ensure that all new staff are informed about our environmental action plan and our pledges as part of our induction process and the plan was discussed with all current staff at the July 2014 staff days.  The action plan is also available to view on our website.

Monitoring the Pledges

To reduce paper use by 15% over two years

We already have policies in place to try to reduce paper use but with this target in      place we will be more proactive in helping staff to follow these policies at all times.

  • We already have a printer that can print double-sided but we will now be helping all staff to ensure that their computers are set-up to print double sided as standard.
  • We will provide further staff training on all printers to ensure that all staff are fully aware of and confident in the use of all paper saving printing options.
  • We will also be restating the basic principle not to print something out if it is not necessary.  NB We will also add a similar message to our email signatures.
  • We currently print out a lot of contracts each year and we will be working with all staff to monitor the amount of paper used for this purpose and look to move to doing more contracts by email only.
  • We will use the IG Tools provided through Julie's Bicycle to monitor and record our paper use.

December 2015 Update         

As noted above we exceeded our original 15% target by the end of March 2015 and have set a new target of a further 15% reduction in paper use by March 2017. The success in reaching our original target was largely caused by the move to paperless contracting for many of our events and projects and we plan to continue with this over the next two years.  We have also worked with all staff to ensure that printing of other documents is minimised and where absolutely necessary is printed using the minimum amount of paper.  We have also asked all staff to amend their email signatures to include a message asking the recipient to save paper by not printing the email out.

Recycling Process

All staff are aware of our recycling policy and are clear on which items can be                recycled and where they need to place them for recycling.  Any confidential papers        are shredded before recycling.  Our current level of recycling is on average about            two and a half large bags per week and we feel that this represents the majority of        what we can recycle.  We do not want to set a higher target of bags as if our paper use target above is achieved then our recycling needs should actually reduce but we will be doing the following to ensure that we continue to improve our recycling performance.         

  • Providing all staff with a refresher on current recycling processing
  • Ensuring that all new staff are informed about the recycling process as part of their standard induction programme.
  • Working with partner organisations to ensure that all staff/artists are aware of how and where they can recycle when working in other venues.
  • We will use the IG Tools provided through Julie's Bicycle to monitor and record our recycling progress.

 December 2015 Update       

Our London office is based in The Albany and they are responsible for organising the recycling for the whole building.  Currently they have an issue with their recycling partner and we are consequently unable to recycle as much of our waste as we would like.  Our policies are clear however for all staff and we continue to work with the Albany to ensure that we recycle everything that we can. 

Energy Use

We had an environmental report carried out a couple of years ago and following that we instigated all their recommendations, including:

  • Marking all light switches to show which lights in the office they turn on.
  • Setting the Air Conditioning unit to recommended temperature settings in both winter and summer to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a pleasant office environment for all staff.

In order to help the Albany to reduce the overall carbon emissions for the building          as a whole we will:

  • Continue to ensure that all staff (including new staff) are clear about all the energy saving measures that have been recommended to us and that they comply by these guidelines at all times.

Water Use

As we do not have a whole building our water use is minimal.  We will however aim      to assist the Albany in its aim to reduce the amount of water use across the building     as a whole.  To this aim we will:

  • Ensure that all staff is aware of our policy to save water wherever possible


As a national organisation, travel is essential to our charitable aims and objectives.      As such we have long established rules around how staff should travel to and within    work. These are:

  • That all long distance travel should be undertaken by train except in exceptional circumstances
  • That private car use should be kept to a minimum
  • That aircraft tickets should only be purchased for International Travel where no practical land transport alternative is available

Under this action plan we will pledge to remind all staff of these principles and to look at ways to record and monitor our travel using the IG tools provided by Julie's Bicycle.  The current tools provided on the IG Tools site are however quite administratively onerous and given our levels of national travel we feel that it is currently unreasonable to expect a small national charity such as ourselves to record this information on a journey by journey basis (especially given that the distances travelled on rail journeys in particular are difficult to calculate accurately). We therefore currently estimate our annual rail travel based on the number of journeys booked during the year and approximate average distance travelled) for monitoring purposes and to record on the IG Tools site.  We would be happy to form a working group with Julia’s Bicycle and ACE and other interested parties to see if we can create a system that will allow us to record our rail and other journey’s more accurately in future.     

Environmentally Friendly Products

At Apples and Snakes we have a policy to buy environmentally friendly products            where possible.  Under this action plan we pledge to: 

  • Ensure all staff are aware and abide by this preference
  • Monitor this pledge internally and instigate targets if necessary at subsequent reviews.

Review, Amend, Celebrate

This policy will be reviewed by staff and Board annually.

As an organisation we are keen to support and promote good environment management and we will celebrate our successes under this plan with all staff, board and our other stakeholders via our website and blog.

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