CHELMSFORD Star Co-op is to introduce environmental training programmes for staff from this month as part of its commitment to maintaining the standards set out in the society's third annual Social Report.
The latest report ? which was enthusiastically received by members at the recent Annual General Meeting ? covers important areas such as the society's innovative governance structure, remuneration, customer satisfaction, initiatives in membership, a three-year staff development strategy and plans for a more sustainable future.
Recognising the impact its operations on the local environment, the society published both an environmental and energy policy last year.
As well as the campaign to promote environmental awareness among employees by launching training programmes, the environmental policy covers areas such as, the need to reduce waste by sound waste management procedures, a commitment to purchasing electricity from renewable sources through the Co-operative Energy Consortium and the desirability of using energy efficient equipment wherever possible.
The society's Deputy Chief Executive Barry Wood told the News: "It's surprising when you put your mind to it just how many areas you can make savings in ultimately resulting on less impact on the environment.
"Publishing the Social Report certainly concentrates the mind on where we are going for the future and although some people might ask why we didn't start this process earlier, it's definitely a case of better late than never."
The society has also just installed smart meters in all its food stores as part of its energy management programme.
Meanwhile the society's fifth funeral home has been officially opened by the then Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr. Margaret Hutchon.
The premises, in Main Road, Danbury, was previously a fashion shop though, coincidentally, the society operated a food store there from 1925.
Funeral Manager Stephanie Butler commented: "Our funeral division is proud to have won the Best Customer Services awards in the Mid Essex Business Awards for the past four years and I know that our very high standards will fit in with exactly what the village and surrounding area of Danbury expect."