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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Price of Fairness?

Here is an excellent post I found on The Green Providers Directory, brought here to share with you:- 

The Price of Fairness?

Dr Gary Robertshaw
May 2011

There is a common misconception that businesses which act fairly, ethically and with a moral code of conduct and who pursue policies that protect the environment and workers rights do so at the risk of comprising their competitiveness in the real world. Such pursuits are a distraction and misuse of resources and may have an impact on overall profitability so the argument goes. Then there are many other businesses who cynically exploit consumer concerns about the environment by adopting pseudo-green policies as evidenced most commonly by some supermarkets. Green on the outside profit driven on the inside.

This misconception is however being increasingly challenged. One of the most striking examples of this is in the High Court ruling on Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) by the banks. The banks have acknowledged mis-selling of PPI and mistreatment of customers; examples include charging PPI to customers who didnt ask for it and selling it to customers who could never have claimed from it (the self-employed who could never make a claim for being made redundant). In other words, profits were put ahead of fairness and ethical conduct. Except that this time they didnt get away with it.

Instead, moral disregard has led to a huge compensation bill for the banks is estimated to be in the region of £6 billion. Which brings us back to the argument about ethically grounded businesses and profitability. In this particular case, profitability was severely compromised by lack of an ethical policy rather than being enhanced by it.

More worryingly, the conduct of banks in general in selling PPI suggests that the lessons of 2007-8 have not been learnt. Reckless lending and a gung ho pursuit of profits brought many of the worlds banks to the brink of bankruptcy.

Perhaps the more recent lesson will make the banking industry and the wider business community realise that pursuing ethical policies is not just a PR gimmick. Rather, it is a prerequisite to engendering customer trust and loyalty, and building a sustainable and prudent foundation for future profitability.

The original article can be found on the Green Directory's blog:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Load Of Rubbish?

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. 

But, did you know that:
  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.
Some Interesting Facts
  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
Source and further information;

From Bottle to Pen!

As a responsible office supplies web-store recognises the requirement to adopt practices which enable our customers to select home and office essentials which are manufactured by methods which are less harmful to the world’s resources. To help you make informed decisions, OfficeThingy has an extensive collection of Green Office products covering everythingy from envelopes and labels, to books, pads and writing instruments. One such green product is the Pilot B2P.

Pilot offers an exciting new concept in recycled writing instruments. It’s all in the name; Bottle to Pen, known as B2P, is a retractable, refillable gel ink rollerball, which is made from recycled plastic bottles and designed to look like one too. Its clever bottle-styled barrel, mirrors the product it’s made from, and shows that everyday products can have a second life.

B2P has outstanding environmental credentials as *89% of its components are made from recycled material. Innovative design and environmental excellence are just part of the story as it’s designed to give superb writing performance in three vivid gel ink colours.

This is the ultimate addition to Pilot’s BegreeN range, which has established itself as the writing industry’s leading range of recycled writing instruments.
* (excluding ink and refill)

Further reading British Plastics Federation;

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Time For "Social Media Restraint"?

I've read today that more people will read my Blog, Facebook Updates and Tweets if I develop a "fun online personality".

Moreover, I should not make every post about my newest special offer or service.  (oops!) i.e. the advice is that I should excercise "social media restraint". Hmmm .. think bubble: I can see the value in that!

It's sooo easy, when I have so many special offers (there I go again), to fire out bogofs, voucher codes and my price match guarantee.  Truth is; my web-store is only 6 months old, though the numerous and exciting learning curves have stretched this time out so it seems more like a year and an about to burst stretch-armstrong half to me. Bottom line is more people have yet to discover my social media.  But I am sure they will and that you (and me) will be back surfing here - maybe from a year or so out there in the future.  "Hello out there in the future! It's great back here. How is it there?  :-)"  

Hmm.. imagination and something other than BOGOF offers.  I like to think I have the "fun personality" but like most of us I guess, I have to leave that face in a jar by the door when I leave the house for work.  Maybe I should bring the face with me and put it on when updating my, drum roll .. "social media".  Sounds like a great and enjoyable idea to me. Win win I'd say. If it doesnt work I - but I think and hope it will - i'll go back to only "wowing" you with special offers.  I do have more than you can shake the proverbial stick at.   Hmmm again... developing a fun personality sounds much more fun. More fun for me and more fun for you as well as you.

And a "fun online personality" can't be about putting on a clown suit and being like that awful office joker guy in the Fast Show, or like David Brent. (I can play guitar but have yet to embarras myself and my colleagues by pulling it out at a team meeting).  I just point them at Youtube - user name "HAFSTRAT" if you're interested.  Have I just been a little "David Brent"?

Maybe a little "fun personality restraint" might be in order too.

Hmm.. perhaps it's not so much about exercising restraint as excercising balance and treating my audience with the respect they deserve me thinks. "Me thinks".  Who says that?

More importantly, please let me know what you think.

Photo caption: Terry Wogan doing his wonderful Janet and John voiceover; "See OfficeThingy.  See OfficeThingy's eyes get wide. See him read the blog.  Watch his eyes pop as he realises he IS THE FUN PERSONALITY of Irongate Group.  See the £16M Turnover. Here OfficeThingy say S*** that's a big responsibility for a little round red fella .... and for me too."

A Fun Personality!

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then I'll Begin.

OfficeThingy would like you to ask yourself 3 questions;

1 Do you get back or neck ache whilst you type or use a screen?
2 Do you ever have a sore arm or wrist when using your mouse?
3 Do you find yourself moving and adjusting to find a comfy position?

According to the latest statistics, around 7 in ever 10 people will suffer from pain at some point due to the way they work at their desks.  Back ache tops the leader board and is the number 2 reason (after colds and flu) for work absence.  Neck ache followed by sore wrists and arms are also issues that we all put up with on a daily basis.

So considering that many of us spend around 8 hours a day at a desk, how comfortable are your really?  If you answer YES to any of the questions above, there is every chance you are putting your health at risk - or at the very least wasting time trying to get yourself comfortable.

Don't Panic!

Professor Ergo is here to show you how to ...."Sit up to a smarter way of working".

There are some simple steps you (and your business) can take to ditch the bad habits and poor practice that leads to discomfort and chronic pain.  Fellowes' new Professor Ergo campaign aims to encourage businesses and employees to  assess their work spaces and help educate them on why ergonomic products are of a benefit and highlight what products are available.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to find out if the way you are working at your computer could lead to or is causing pain and discomfort is to take a simple workstation risk assessment.  Fellowes and Professor Ergo have developed an interactive assessment which is quick and free for everyone to use.

Simply take 5 minutes now to go to and take your free workspace health check.  You'll be given a personalised analysis of any risks and hot spots associated with your workspace as well as solutions and tips including recommended products,  There's also an option for you to forward to your HR manager or boss which means companies can send the link to their employees and then ask for the results to help in ordering products.

Click on for interactive videos, workspace assessment, down loadable posters, competitions and product sample offers. 

And here are a couple of our top selling Fellowes lines for you to check out: 

BB91926 - foam back support.  BB81215 - foot rest.  

BB810335 Promotional pack containing a black Crystal gel wrist support and Crystal gel mouse pad wrist support (BB52717 BB52718) plus a free Fellowes paper stand. While stocks last!

.... and here's a humorous caption for the above pic for any Pink Floyd fans out there, "Myyyyy ... bum, has become, comfortably numb."  And a link to a superb piece of guitar playing on the theme of numbness :-)

Fellowes products (see also their excellent shredders and storage boxes) are without doubt amongst the best in the world, but also stocks the value with quality Q-Connect brand as well as products from 3M and Acco.

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