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Lockdown offers opportunity to unite staff and focus on sustainability

Person cutting fabric for clothing

Staff from award-winning rental clothing business ACS Clothing Ltd (ACS) benefited from our digital outreach support during the coronavirus pandemic.

ACS is a Glasgow based company with sustainability at its heart, and winner of the 2019 VIBES Scottish Environment Business Leadership Scotland award. Specialising in the fashion rental revolution, ACS is leading the way to make the clothing sector more sustainable by promoting clothing hire, reuse and refurbishment.

ACS invited us to deliver a programme of events and workshops that would help its employees adopt low-carbon behaviour at home and at work.

The activity was put on hold when lockdown restrictions were introduced in March 2020. Determined to continue supporting employers like ACS, we created a new suite of interactive online workshops to help people save energy and money during the crisis. 

ACS was the first employer to try out the online workshops. During the session, we shared tips and advice to help employees reduce food waste, cut their water use, save energy at home, and travel more sustainably. Staff also learned about funding available to help them make their home more energy efficient or switch to an electric car or ebike, including grants and interest-free loans.

We got lots of positive feedback about the workshops, which were delivered in a group setting to help employees feel more connected during a difficult time. Participants learned that making small changes in their everyday lives could make a big difference. Many employees have already put some of this advice into practice and are now more aware of ways to work more sustainably too.

ACS employee Dianne said, “After these workshops, I started to take shorter showers and I am generally more aware of my water use and waste. I also didn’t know it was possible to freeze egg yolks. Game changer!”

We continued to work with ACS after the workshops, offering one-to-one appointments for employees who were struggling to manage their energy costs and needed more help. We’ve now helped around 10% of the ACS workforce in this way, offering support including financial help for people with prepayment meters who were worried about being able to top up during lockdown.

Anthony Burns, ACS Ltd Chief Operating Officer said:

“Working in partnership with Home Energy Scotland is making a big difference to our company and our staffs’ approach to sustainability – they are making our journey to zero carbon easy, efficient, and enjoyable.”

“The exceptional support Home Energy Scotland provide has made our improvements at work and home easier and we have achieved much more. During the challenges of the pandemic, the workshops gave us a united focus on sustainability, a time to reflect, and a time to plan future improvements.”

Linda Lepkowski, Outreach Lead at Home Energy Scotland said: 

“We are really impressed with ACS. They are one of the most sustainability focussed organisations we have worked with, both from a business development perspective, and in terms of wanting to do everything they can to help and support their staff. It’s been great working with ACS, engaging with colleagues and developing new workshops and ways of working to support ACS ambition. We look forward to our partnership going from strength to strength.”

Find out more about our free and interactive employee engagement services, including workshops and e-learning to help your colleagues save energy and reduce their bills.