As COP26 continues in Glasgow, SLC colleagues reflect on the organisation’s role in tackling climate change. Head of Estates and Business Continuity, Mark Cassidy updates on progress so far.

At SLC, we continue to introduce measures across all our sites – Glasgow (City Centre and Hillington), Lingfield Point, Darlington, and Llandudno Junction, Conwy – to reduce our impact on the environment and enhance our sustainability.

All our buildings have cycle storage and showers to encourage colleagues to cycle to work and electric car charging is available either on site or close to our offices. We have removed all single use plastic cups and issued colleagues with reusable alternatives.

We have also taken steps to manage and minimise waste, all of which is streamed and recycled or used to create energy. In 2018/19, SLC sent 53 tonnes to landfill which we reduced to 11.9 tonnes in 2019/20; a substantial reduction of 77%. We will continue to build on this success.

At our headquarters in Glasgow city centre, the office cooling system has been upgraded and water-cooling towers replaced with an external chilling plant – this has reduced our water and electricity usage. Passive infrared sensors have been fitted to our lights which means when areas are unoccupied, they automatically switch off; and 90% of toilet taps have been replaced with sensor taps to reduce wastage.

Our Darlington office itself is a recycled building and has won several awards. Most of the hot water used on site is generated via solar panels and all confidential waste is shredded, baled, then used for paper recycling. SLC’s Llandudno Junction site is naturally ventilated and cooled using CO2 and temperature sensors which open and close windows; and is heated via a biomass boiler.

We know there is always more that can be done, and we have commissioned an estate-wide energy efficiency and sustainability review. We will always strive to take preventative action wherever possible to care for our environment. COP26 reminds us that we all have an important role to play.

*Colleagues at SLC’s Glasgow city centre headquarters will relocate to a brand new, purpose-built office at Buchanan Wharf in 2023, which is being designed to be Net Zero Carbon. The all electric building, powered from sustainable sources, will significantly reduce SLC’s environmental impact.

Published 4 November 2021