Old threads, new beds
Posted 05 Aug 2011
As an airline we produce a weird and wonderful collection of waste. There's no secret to managing waste – we're following the three-step 'reduce, reuse, recycle' approach, and recognise that our first priority is to reduce the amount of waste we generate in the first place; to re-use and recycle as much as we can of what's left; and to generally avoid the use of landfill sites where possible.
With such a varied collection of waste we are incredibly fortunate to work with some really innovative organisations who give our waste a pretty incredible second life! Take Old Threads for example – two busy mums with backgrounds in fine art and illustration who design and make beautiful toddler quilts using upcycled and sustainable materials. But they don't just use any old upcycled fabric – their amazing products are made from our old upper class duvet covers.
Once they've checked, washed and unpicked every single piece, it's then hand printed with limited edition artwork. They use non toxic, low-impact dyes, and only print short runs which gives them much greater flexibility.
Take a peek at their website www.oldthreads.com
Richard Branson's special award for the environment
Posted 24 Sep 2007
It's been said before that it's the people who make Virgin Atlantic what it is. That's particularly true when we talk about sustainability. From designing and championing new lighter weight and more sustainable products, to devising new recycling schemes, our staff's initiative and hard work enables us to make massive progress towards our sustainability targets.
A great example of this is Mel Weymes, Facilities Contracts Manager, who this year won Virgin Stars Special Award for Environment. Virgin Stars is an award night to celebrate the top performing employees from across all of the Virgin companies. Mel scoped the prize for her outstanding waste reduction work.
Mel has been working with a range of contractors and staff to reduce the environmental impact of chemicals used for cleaning, making compost and everything in between. Over the last year Mel has been tireless in her efforts to significantly reduce monthly waste at the non-airport properties. By altering things, like how milk is provided to the office areas, between 2008 and 2010 there was a reduction in waste of around 30%, which is the equivalent of two 747-400 aircraft worth of rubbish!
Working with their waste contractor to recycle the more unusual items, such as porridge pots and coffee cups, Mel has played a massive part in diverting waste away from landfill. Across all their sites, they have increased the percentage of total waste recycled from 40% in 2008 to 61% in 2011.
Well done to Mel – keep up the good work!