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Give your carbon footprint the boot

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Pollock, a runner-up in our Growing Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year category, has a game plan to create a £100m-turnover telecoms giant by 2010. But topping his list of priorities is reducing the company’s impact on the environment.

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“People accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon but I’ve always been environmentally friendly,” he said. “I started an organic food business in 1998, for Christ’s sake! The fact that I lost £350,000 on it is beside the point.”

Pollock has set up a Chess “green team” to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Last month, the team organised a Green Day, where all employees – including Pollock – were encouraged to travel into work in environmentally friendly ways. This ranged from car share schemes, public transport, bikes and, yes, pogo sticks. 

Their efforts were rewarded with bacon and egg butties. That’s not all. The company has switched all its customers to online billing, saving a projected three tonnes of paper every year, and has launched a new website, encouraging clients to sign up for products online. And instead of sending out run-of-the mill, Santa-saturated cards this Christmas, Chess sent an e-card to all its customers – and donated the savings to charity.

“We all read about climate change but until somebody actually pokes you in the eye with it and takes a lead, you don’t realise how significant it is,” said Pollock. “As an employer, I think you have an obligation to educate your people and play your part.”

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