When Newton Property Management unveiled its 2020 Green Vision last year, it could not have foreseen the success of the campaign and the interest it has generated among its customers and other businesses.

Among the seven “achievable objectives” which include installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points and moving customers’ energy supplies to green energy utility companies, there was also a commitment to encourage as many as possible to move to electronic communication and banish paper billing.

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Chairman, Stephen O’Neill said: “When as a board we measured the impact of sending skip loads of paper communication to our customers we realised we were needlessly putting dozens of vans, driving thousands of miles, on to the roads and could not think of a worse way to continue. We knew that we had to do something about it.”

Newton’s solution was bold. It advised all its customers that it would be introducing a flat rate charge for any (other than those with special needs) who wanted to continue to receive communications by post.

“We wanted to espouse the clear environmental benefits of taking dozens of vans off the road while also ensuring that we weren’t perceived by some of our customers as some kind of pariah,” he said.

“Our decision to partner with and support Energy Action Scotland (EAS), the only national charity with fuel poverty as its sole remit, has been amazingly effective.

“Postal savings made by customers switching to email are being gifted to EAS.

The Herald:

“The support and encouragement we have received from our customers has been overwhelming and thanks to them changing their behaviour, our first contribution to the EAS has taken 10 families out of fuel poverty,” he added.

“I am absolutely convinced that in the not too distant future the public will see companies needlessly sending out screeds of paper as being abhorrent and I would encourage all other volume service providers to make a real difference to the planet and people’s lives.”

The Herald:

It’s an aspiration shared by Norman Kerr, Director of Energy Action Scotland, who said: “We are delighted to be working with Newton Property Management and look forward to sharing our point expertise as we continue our work to ensure that everyone has a warm, dry home.

“Energy Action Scotland will be working with Newton across Scotland to help support its clients as we also benefit from the insights an organisation of this size can provide.”

The Herald:

The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at herald.scotland.com and in Business HQ magazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

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