Looking for a green removal company?
These days, almost everything that we do is in some way judged by its green-credentials
and, of course, moving house is no different. The drives are often long, involving
gas-guzzling vans, and there are plenty of environmentally unfriendly packing materials
involved. So, you could be forgiven for believing that there is no such thing as
an eco-friendly move. Yet, a handful of removals companies are now taking ecological
impact into account and seeking to lessen their carbon footprint by becoming environmentally-friendly.
But, how can you do your bit? And, what do you look for in your remover?
Green business expert Keith Farnish believes that you should think more laterally
if you want to cut the carbon impact of your move.
“The move itself a very small part of the pie,” he says. “Obviously the most sustainable
thing is not to do it at all, or at least as infrequently as possible. In the event
that it is necessary then reduce the amount of stuff you take with you - largely
by not accumulating it in the first place - and the distance you travel. Packaging
and boxes are pretty low down the list in terms of reducing overall impact.”
You can follow Farnish’s theory by making sure you have rid yourself of anything
you don’t really need in your new home. T-shirts you have not worn this year can
go to the charity shop, as can those pans and plates that lurk at the back of your
Reducing the effect of the drive
“There is one of our members, OIS Removals,
who operates on a green ticket,” says Martin Rose of the National
Guild of Removers and Storers.
“But it is not that easy to be environmentally-friendly. Most removals are made
over a short distance. About 80% are within 10 miles. Most of the time is spent
outside people’s houses loading or unloading, so not much can be done there.”
What is being done is mostly in the small domestic moves category, with businesses
like London-based OIS using Liquid Petroleum Gas-powered (LPG) vehicles instead
of the traditional diesel van, but no one has yet come up with a green and clean
solution for the full-sized removals van that a large family home may require, as
Jonathan Murray of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership points out.
“There are electric vehicles around at the moment but only up to 7.5tonnes, which
are really inner city delivery vehicles,” he says. “We are doing work on HGVs at
the moment, but that is research in its very early stages. The key thing for a consumer
to focus on would be the fuel and whether they are using biofuels or, potentially,
biomethane but that is as far as you can go at the moment. The
Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) has the CO2 emmission rating of vehicles
listed on its website, which may be useful in terms of selecting a company by the
van they are using.”
Our advice then is, firstly, to reduce the size of your move and then, if you are
moving a long distance, try to find a company which uses vehicles with low emmissions.