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RJ Power Networks have recently commenced an environmental project to try and help raise awareness around bee endangerment

RJ Power Networks have a great opportunity to try and give a little back to the environment, as the Networks office at Polhill have their own back garden, which was previously left overgrown and then became a storage area for left over scraps and various other junk items, until it gets disposed of by professional waste and recycling companies. During the Networks ISO accreditation assessments, it was suggested that we could utilise the garden area in a unique way, by creating a Bee, Butterfly insect and bird friendly sanctuary from recycled materials that the Networks team have left over from the running of day to day operations.

The extinction of Bees has been in the eye of the media a lot over the last 12-18 months and the RJ Power Networks team want to help support the cause of protecting them. We are hoping that the new Recycled Garden will help towards support the colonisation of bees within the garden, as the plants used will be specifically bee, butterfly, bird and insect friendly to help create a haven for them to live and thrive in.

Bees and other pollinators are responsible for up to 35% of the worlds crop harvests. There are currently over 7 billion people living on the planet and the reduction of 35% of crops could have detrimental effects to the human race, as well as other species living on our planet. Without bee’s pollinating the worlds crops other species will begin to die off due to a lack of food, which will then richochet up the food chain creating a mass starvation and reduction in numbers, maybe even extinction across all species of animals.

Beekeepers first started losing their hives around 2006, with numbers of lost colonies rising each year, they are facing significant financial losses and the crop pollination that all species depend on are being threatened by the declining bee numbers. Scientists have studied the problem and identified that it could be due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – they have identified several possible contributing factors, including agricultural chemicals, diseases, parasites and stress. The most recent evidence suggests a combination of these factors may be the cause of CCD.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) can be identified easily in hives because of its unique symptoms. Firstly, the hive is abandoned by nearly all the adult bees. Usually, only a living queen is left behind in the hive. However, no dead bodies of bees are found in or around the hive.

Our aim is to not use any pesticides or chemicals on the garden area and leave it to grow as much a possible with minimal human interaction. Recycled objects used in the garden include:

  • Wooden Pallets – The Networks team get a lot of deliveries on wooden pallets, which were then recycled or sometimes just thrown away. Throwing wooden pallets away is a waste of good materials as they can be used time and time again due to their durability, however many delivery companies don’t take their pallets back with them. The team have saved some of the pallets received during deliveries and used the pallets to make flower beds, a table and benches.
  • Tarpaulin – From some of our sites we require the use of tarpaulin, however larger sizes are sometimes ordered and we are left with spare tarpaulin in the storage areas. Any left-over tarpaulin found in storage was used to line the larger pallets so that the soil and plants stay within the pallet.
  • Tyres – have been used to create plant pots, insect and bee houses and part of the recycled furniture. The tyres have all been donated by the employees of RJ Power Networks.

Although it is not currently the height of bee season the Networks garden area has been worked on since October 2017 so everything needed could be organised and planted to grow in time for the spring/summer bloom. The current plants in the garden are winter/spring plants which have helped to protect smaller insects during the winter months as well as giving the current plants time to grow to a good size ready for spring. Once the winter season is over the winter plants will die off and the garden will be ready to plant more spring and summer flowers in the recycled pallets, such as; Cornflower, lavender, Marigolds and so on which are bee friendly and encourage pollination.

The making of our garden has prompted the Networks team to reflect on how as a company we can become kinder to our environment. These are just some of the things we plan to do going forward:

  • In 2017 the Networks team started to use a paperless system on tablets and phones. This system dramatically reduced the amount of paper used on site, because all the site teams have their own iPads and log in details. The employees can fill out all paper work electronically. The paperless system has also helped to improve productivity within the business starting from site right through to the end production of reports, as there is a lot less time wasted on writing or retyping sheets from site. This electronic system also saves ink (carbon) and money as productivity is improved because we can use man hours more effectively elsewhere in the business, as well as noticing a big reduction on the amount of ink, toner and paper purchased.
  • Recycling bins have been implemented for paper, dry recycling, fruit and vegetables and batteries into our office.
  • All redundant equipment taken from site, such as transformers that are being upgraded/replaced, are passed to a specialist recycling company where the metals, plastics, rubber and coolants (any gas or oils) are disposed of effectively and safely.
  • The business as a whole try to keep transportation and vehicles as efficient as possible with regular services and trackers to check speed, which both help towards fuel efficiency. The teams often arrange for shared vehicle transportation where the team go up together in one vehicle to reduce the number of unnecessary vehicles on our roads.

World Bee Day 2019 took place on the 20th May, and was introduced by the UN general assembly The UN general assembly after adopting a resolution proposed by Slovenia, where the Carniolan honeybee is native.

World Bee Day is supported by all UN Member States and the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations. Its aim is to raise public awareness about the importance of bees, highlighting how the beekeeping sector helps in such matters as poverty alleviation, preserving a healthy environment and in maintaining biodiversity.

The Networks team look forward to providing ongoing updates around their efforts to contribute positively to the environment and local areas around them- please continue to like and share our updates to help promote our environmental initiatives!

RJ Power Networks Limited provides electrical installation, operation and maintenance services to end users and duty holders throughout the UK. Our experienced and multiskilled team work to the highest standards to achieve excellence in the engineering services we provide. Please see the RJ Power Brochure for more information about the services we offer and our Case studies page for examples of our excellent standards of delivery.


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