Environmental Aspects

Topics: Recycling, Waste, Waste management Pages: 15 (4080 words) Published: April 2, 2013
Darren Sowden

Module 5 Assignment – Environmental Option


In this report I will identify and explain the specific environmental aspects and impacts that are relevant to my business unit. I will outline my recommendations for reducing these impacts and improving sustainability, highlighting the expected business benefits for Royal Mail. I will conclude by identifying some future improvements that the business can take forward.


I am currently employed as an operational manager at Plymouth Manual Data Entry Centre (MDEC).

What is a Manual Data Entry Centre?

Royal Mail operates three MDEC’s, located at Stoke, Stockport and Plymouth. In addition to this, another temporary site is opened at Doxford to assist during the annual Christmas pressure period. The Plymouth site is the largest of the three, employing over six hundred and fifty staff across three shifts and operating twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The primary function of the MDEC’s is to assist with the automatic sortation of letter and packets. This is achieved by helping the specialist software (Address Interpretation) to locate and ‘read’ the addresses on the mail pieces. The main benefits to Royal Mail are costs savings through vastly reduced manual sortation and a leaner, more agile supply chain. The main operational role at Plymouth MDEC is that of a Data Entry Keyer. Each operator or keyer will sit at a workstation and enter data as requested by the Address Interpretation software using a keyboard, computer mouse and vdu screen as illustrated in the picture below: [pic]

Historically, the units concern for its environmental impact has been poor. This has been due to a lack of guidance and direction from Royal Mail as a business and also due to a lack of local initiatives from the staff employed here. There were a couple of initiatives launched in 2007 to introduce battery and cardboard recycling schemes, however these never came to fruition due to contractual issues with local recycling companies.

The last few years however have seen a dramatic change in Royal Mail’s commitment to environmental issues. It has been a bearer of the Carbon Trust Standard since 2008 (Carbontruststandard.com) and is currently ranked 208th out of 2103 companies in the Carbon Reduction Commitment league table (carbonreductioncommitment.info).

Within the last year attitudes within the unit have also changed dramatically with the introduction of World Class Mail to the unit. The World Class Mail initiative is a comprehensive programme for continuous improvement (myroyalmail.com) that places the environment as one of its core ‘pillars’. This change has been supported by challenging national environmental targets set by the business which are as follows:

• Reduce carbon emissions by 40%, relative to 2009-10 levels, by 2012 • Reduce carbon emissions by 50%, relative to 2009-10 levels, by 2015 • Reduce water use by 5% from 2004-05

Royal Mail’s current environment policy can be found in appendix 1.

Environmental Aspects and Impacts

Plymouth MDEC has recently identified ten key environmental aspects with respect to our processes which can be seen in the following table:

|Energy Consumption |
|Waste & recycling |
|Noise and Nuisance |
|Hazardous Waste |
|Sensitive Waste |
|Water |
|Pollution |
|Bio-Diversity |
|Dust |

These aspects were then ranked regarding their likelihood of occurrence and potential consequences using the following matrix:


References: Lane P. and Peto M. (1995) Environment Act 1995, Blackstone Press Limited: London
Netregs.gov.uk, viewed 10th May 2012
Preuss L. (2005) The Green Multiplier, Palgrave Macmillan: London
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