LCRI’s Environmental Sustainability Officer, Matthew Jones, works with companies within the Wales Convergence areas, to help develop Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Equality and Diversity (E&D) strategies. This allows businesses to improve their corporate image, make financial savings, and improve their compliance with legislation, all whilst reducing their environmental impacts
TYF is a company that Matthew has worked with this year. Established in 1985, TYF is a multi -faceted organisation offering outdoor adventures, innovation and sustainability support for business, government, and schools, and an ethical, organic outdoor clothing shop. The focus of the company has always been sustainability, and remaining as green and eco-friendly as possible. Their working method reflects the products and services they provide.
When Matthew first began working with TYF they had already maintained a Green Dragon Environmental Standard system to Level 3 for three years. The Green Dragon Standard is a certified badge of approval for environmental management and a useful marketing tool. Many Welsh public sector organisations (including most Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and Welsh Government themselves) operate a Green Dragon system, and it is a recognised environmental credential that can improve a company’s green image whilst attracting new business. TYF were due for a Green Dragon audit, so Matthew helped them by auditing the existing system, looking at new targets and ways to updating their legal register with the latest legislation. This has ensured that they retained their Green Dragon status. As well as working with the LCRI, the company have independently developed very strong sustainability practises. As one of the first companies in the UK to sign up to the 1% For The Planet scheme they donate some of their turnover to environmental charities every year. The Company was a founding member of the St David’s Eco City project and encourage sustainable travel methods for those taking part in their activity days.
They have also taken part in the Cycle to Work scheme; securing small loans for their staff to buy bicycles to commute to work. Recently TYF has installed an electric vehicle charging point, which they use to provide a free charging facility for the Eco City electric car, as well as allowing other owners to charge up. TYF are now looking to install Solar PV panels on their site. They cannot place them on their roof, as they operating from a Grade 2 listed building. Instead, they are hoping to build a new bike shed, and install the Solar PV panels on the shed roof. Further down the line the team are even considering installing a biomass boiler to heat the office and shop.
TYF’s founder, Andy Middleton said “Environmental care and stewardship has been part of TYF's DNA since we started business in 1986. We deeply aware of the increasing impact of environmental factors on business and communities, and our entire business is focused on making a positive difference through by inspiring and guiding sustainable change. Knowing that we are doing the right thing operationally is a central part of this, and Green Dragon has helped us navigate this path safely with excellent support.”
LCRI’s Environmental Sustainability Officer said "Despite their relatively small size, TYF have made huge efforts to be as sustainable as possible in everything they do. This really is a textbook example of best practice in not only the way they operate internally but the lengths they go to in educating the wider public and spreading the message that operating in a more sustainable fashion is not an option for modern businesses but the only way to work.
I took great pleasure in helping this unique Pembrokeshire-based operator gain re-certification to the Green Dragon Standard. Passing the audit allows them to continue to display just one of their many badges recognising their performance. It helps TYF's customers respect where their money goes, and should make other organisations realise sustainability really is good business sense."