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Creating A Carbon Neutral Work Space

by Lotty B

For several years now, our UK headquarters have been based in an old chimney factory in South Wiltshire. The Chimney Company opened on this site in 1968 and for over 30 years was successfully run by the Beaumont family. In fact, the origin of their family business goes back to the late 1800s! Since the closure of the factory, the building has been allowed to gently deteriorate and is now awaiting planning permission for the building of 70 new homes.

It sounds like a peculiar home for a resort wear brand whose inspiration and origin is my home on Mustique Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, but the Beaumont Business Centre has been full of artisan brands for many years now and was home to a successful art gallery up until March 2020. A thriving community of like-minded creative and entrepreneurial people, in fact.

So, with a new home to find for my expanding business, I came back to the UK and was able to secure a new warehouse and office in the nearby village of Semley on the site of a former working dairy farm. It is a wonderful rural business centre and we are very much looking forward to moving in early August.

I have been absolutely determined that this new HQ should become not only a highly functioning office and warehouse, but also a wonderful working environment. With all of the team at Pink House Mustique always questioning our sustainability credentials, it was also a good time to set targets for our own carbon reduction with an ambition to match Wiltshire’s aim to be Net Zero by 2030.

In discussions with an eco consultant who has been guiding us along the way, the walls and ceiling have been insulated; a mezzanine floor installed; new kitchen and bathrooms fitted; warehouse racking put in and the original large roller door has been replaced with glass doors above which are the windows for the newly built first floor offices.

With a view to becoming completely carbon neutral, we are installing an air source heat pump which will be employed to work alongside solar panels that will soon be fitted on the south facing roof. We will monitor usage during our first year and meticulously make notes of how we can improve year on year following that. 

Although we are largely dependent on our supply chain, as we ship worldwide, it is only what we produce at HQ that we can verify, of course. But with everybody working here travelling no further than 7 miles each way from home, it is a very good start. 

The transformation has been something to behold and I am delighted with the results! From an industrial manufacturing unit it has been transformed in to a practical warehouse, with a bespoke picking and packing area and modern offices alongside a beautiful showroom.

Many different people have been involved, including friends and family! I have been able to spend a few weeks embedded at our new building, project managing the changes and designing and hand-painting ceiling panels to create the feel of a Victorian glass house.

In addition, the site is very worker friendly with a wonderful delicatessen and café in the main courtyard and plenty of parking. There are lots of interesting businesses around us and we are looking forward to meeting all our new neighbours. Not least, as we are surrounded by glorious countryside, all the dogs will be coming to the office too – luckily they all get along together very well!

If you ever find yourself in or around Shaftesbury, we are just 2 miles away down the A350 towards Warminster. We think that Wolf & Badger customers will love the aesthetic of Chaldicott Barns and the fabulous surroundings of the Dorset/Wiltshire border.