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Tim Wilkinson- Hall, Head of Knowledge and Culture, explores what Chess and Our People are doing for the environment including:

Earth Day is an annual celebration that honours the achievements of the environmental movement. It is celebrated across the world to bring attention to the climate issues we are facing.

It celebrates the things we are doing that contribute to a better environment and raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.

Chess' Green Efforts - What we were doing before COVID-19

Our Blueprint sets out the reasons why we want to grow, our vision for the future, the areas we want to focus on, and the importance we attach to our culture and values. Looking after the environment and taking care with our environmental impact is a part of this. Chess has always cared about the environment, and we have always wanted to play our part by reducing our carbon footprint. 

View Our Blueprint

Some of the key ways in which we have been reducing our carbon footprint are by the introduction of bike to work schemes, an electric car charging point at head office, and we have even made an effort to reduce single-use plastic consumption by purchasing a reusable water bottles for each and every one of our people.

Encouraging small changes is a key part of helping reduce our environmental impact. Within the office, we have encouraged the smallest changes such as turning off monitors at the end of the day, ensuring windows are closed if the air-conditioning is switched on, promoting recycling with dedicated recycle bins, and making sure our people are switching lights off when leaving the kitchen.

These little changes on their own might not seem like much, but they all add up to help make an impact.

The Chess Eco team objectives and focus areas before COVID were:

  • Reduce paper usage
  • Increase environmental profile
  • Reduce Electricity per head
  • Crisp packet recycling
  • Electronic meetings and calls
  • Reduce Business Travel
  • Car Share
  • Replace R22 gas air conditioning units

Chess' Green Efforts - Present

Comparing 2019 to 2022

A good way to measure the progress that Chess has already made through our eco-objectives is by comparing January 2019 to January 2022. The infographic below displays some of the key ways in which Chess can observe and measure our environmental impact.

Home First

After talking to our people, we found that working from home was the way forward. Not only does it allow our people flexibility, but it also had environmental perks too. With all our people now on to home working contracts, this means no daily travel into offices.

Another huge benefit of moving to a home-first model is that our people are in a better position to make healthier and more eco-friendly food choices, choosing fresh, locally sourced organically grown foods as they will have more time to prepare when at home rather than “grab a meal deal” from the local supermarket, reducing plastic waste in turn and hopefully reducing meat intake.

Benefits of home working can come from the smallest changes such as brewing coffee at home can reduce the usage of plastic lids/take away coffee cups. Cooking at home can reduce the use of plastics used by food delivery services. Drinking tap water from home reduces the continuous consumption of single-use water bottles.

Our Hubs

We have closed all of our offices except head office at Alderley Edge and we have a hub based in Burnley that holds a maximum of 12 people. This hugely reduces travel, helping Chess and our people to play their part in reducing their carbon footprint.

Our Hubs are there for our people, but we encourage limited use of the hubs where possible.

Read more about Hybrid Working:


With the move to home first, the costs and use of gas and electric to eat and light large offices is also massively reduced. However, Chess is aware that home-first working can impact the utility bills of our people. Chess, therefore, made a choice to pay all our people the government’s £26 home working tax-free grant monthly so they don’t have to claim it back.

Stop, Go, Continue Survey

We ran a stop, go, continue survey for our green team members and found that many factors overlapped in terms of what they want to commit to – here are some that continually arose:

  • East less meat
  • Reduce food waste
  • Reduce single-use plastic usage
  • Reduce energy use
  • Recycle more
  • Walk/cycle/ use public transport more rather than the car
  • Change to an electric vehicle
  • Switch to LED light bulbs
  • Charitable giving to plant more trees

Earth Day 2022

We asked our people to calculate their carbon footprints and we found that the average carbon footprint for our people was 12.2 tonnes. This is larger than the WWF’s recommended target of 10.5 tonnes.

As part of Earth Day, we have launched a Green Pledge. Our people can pledge to make changes to improve their environmental impact and reduce their carbon footprints. We will then review bi-annually so we can track our progress.

We are always happy to help if you want a chat about how hybrid working and technology helps us go greener. Contact our consultancy team through the form below, speak to your account manager or don't hesitate to contact me directly at

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Tim Wilkinson-Hall

Tim Wilkinson-Hall

Tim Wilkinson-Hall is a CIPD-qualified experienced Knowledge Leader. Having joined Chess in 2008, Tim has worked in various Training and Leadership roles within the business and is now Head of Knowledge and Culture. Together with his team, he is responsible for internal and external learning and making Chess a Great Place to Work.

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