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Five Minutes With... Kieran Keohane

Apr 11, 2024|

In ‘Five Minutes With…’ we share the stories of our Bisley colleagues and business partners, allowing you to get to know them a little better. In this feature, we talk to to Kieran Keohane our Compliance and Sustainability Officer, as he discusses our sustainability efforts and accomplishments here at Bisley.

Since starting your sustainability role at Bisley, how are you working to roll out new sustainability initiatives across the business? What are the changes that you’re already seeing?

When I arrived at Bisley, I wanted to carry out a gap analysis to identify what the company’s sustainability model was, and more importantly, what could be done to further improve the pathway as we continue our journey to net zero. I have begun by ensuring the company has the foundations in place for developing change, by implementing a number of sustainability policies, maintaining compliance with cur-rent accreditations, and ensuring that we are actively monitoring everything we use, with a focus on reducing both emissions and waste.

A big difference has also seen us push our sustainable ambitions, as we have progressed from covering a number of the United Nations SDGs, to encapsulating them all into our working practices. Changes have varied from small initiatives, such as implementing battery boxes for recycling, all the way to going beyond value chain mitigation and helping improve environmental injustices around the globe.

How green are our products?

Our steel products are made from a minimum of 20-40% recycled content and are 100% recyclable at end of life, while our wood uses the FSC chain of custody certification system, confirming that the wood we purchase is separated from any uncontrolled material and supports responsible forestry, protecting biodiversity and improving the local communities. This ensures that Bisley offers both quality and environmentally friendly products.

We like our customers to know exactly what they are buying when purchasing from Bisley and this is why we have Envi-ronmental Product Declarations (EPDs) covering a wide range of our products, providing customers with comprehensive information about the environmental impacts of waste, energy, use, water use and other resources. EPDs are used to identify the environmental impact throughout the life cycle of a product, from raw material supply and manufacturing, right up to end of life. To guarantee reliability and complete transparency, our EPDs are certified under independent external verification, using data driven by science in accordance with ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.

How are we innovating and offering greener products and services?

The New Product Development team strive to incorporate circularity into the design and inception stages of each new product, considering the modularity and recyclability of each component. As we continue to utilise ecological modernisation, the factory improves efficiency and consequently reduces the embodied carbon associated with our products, ensuring that what we make and how we make it is not only high-quality, but also environmentally conscious. As previously mentioned, we are in the process of exploring options to create a fully circular model for our products by incorporating a take back scheme, which will utilise the maximum potential of our products and will prevent unwanted items going to landfill.

A proportion of these products will also go to charity to ensure that we are doing all we can to support those that need it the most, continuing the legacy of giving back, for which the owner, Tony Brown, was famous for doing.

How important is it to work collaboratively across different departments and our stakeholders to promote our sustainability initiatives?

To be a genuine, ethically minded, sustainable company, cross-collaboration across all departments and stakeholders is vital. Shared values and a clear vision communicated effectively ensures everyone is sharing responsibility to improve, acting as individual sustainability champions. To meet the UN targets and to protect the environment against the potentially catastrophic events from exceeding the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, it is imperative that we all work as a team, each doing our small part to make a big difference, and this includes working closely with suppliers to ensure they meet our high standards and expectations.

I am fortunate enough to work alongside some very ethically minded individuals who are constantly pushing the boundaries, not only to reduce our carbon footprint, but to also increase our carbon handprint, making significant efforts to improve both the environment and the lives and well-being of others.

What do you think is the most important thing that our business could do to become even more sustainable?

To me, the biggest thing is building on the significant reductions we have already made by making continual improvements, surpassing the GHG intensity targets required to achieve the goal of net zero by 2050 and setting new, ambitious targets ahead of this national standard. This means that Bisley will continuously evolve, from creating small changes like switching off equipment and sustainable printing, to larger changes like the implementation of photovoltaics to produce our own energy.

Within our own products, we are looking to implement a fully circular lifecycle, creating a cradle-to-cradle policy. We are very fortunate that our products are made for life, ensuring they are high-end quality and therefore easily upcycled. This allows our products to be enjoyed by customers throughout multiple lifetimes.

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