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Utilise Plus Event Report: Sustainability Tour of Canon’s UK Headquarters, Reigate

On a sunny morning in September, the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC welcomed delegates to Reigate in Surrey for a Sustainability Tour of Canon’s UK Headquarters. This event was held as part of the SBP CIC’s ongoing Utilise Plus programme, which helps small and medium sized enterprises to reduce their costs and carbon emissions by saving energy, in partnership with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

The SBP CIC’s Jack Dale introduced the event by giving an overview of Utilise Plus and its achievements. Since launching in late 2017, hundreds of organisations have been supported through the programme, helping them to make a combined, annual saving of over 750 tonnes of carbon emissions while reducing their individual energy bills by an average of 27%. With Utilise Plus closing at the end of September, Jack urged delegates to make use of the free Energy Saving Reviews while they last.

Jack then handed over to Bob Pickles, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs at Canon. Bob gave an overview of Canon’s sustainability vision which is based on the Japanese philosophy of Kyosei, meaning “living and working together for the common good.” Bob explained that as signatories of the UN Global Compact, Canon’s customers can be sure that they’re a responsible choice when it comes to human rights and championing sustainability. What’s more, Canon’s products and services help their customers to reduce their own environmental impact by developing more energy-efficient printing solutions, offering a cartridge recycling scheme, and more.

After Bob’s talk it was time for the tour! Their office in Reigate is surrounded by beautiful scenery which they take great pride in and they frequently hold BBQs for their staff by the surrounding lake. When they constructed their new building decades ago they were keen to keep all the existing trees and only had to cut down one, with more foliage planted to take its place. Their Japanese origins are noticeable with their tranquil garden and ponds full of koi carp. One of their ponds doubles up as an innovative means of cooling the building – the cool water runs underneath the building before running into the pond. We also took a look at their office area, with curved ceilings to reduce sound, a small hub for printing to reduce paper waste, and a whole floor area dedicated to processing equipment for recycling.

The event came to a close with networking over lunch. Delegates enjoyed the event, with John Taylor of GSE Energy Hub calling it a “great chance to hear from a global corporate leader alongside local SMEs,” while Marloes Van Der Meer of Integration Consulting valued the “informal way to connect businesses and share best sustainability practices,” and Thomas Ouseph of Woodmans Group described it as “very well organised.”

This event was fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). At the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC, we always want to hear from passionate speakers, interesting venues, and enthusiastic event partners. If you’d like to work with us then please get in touch.

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