Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The environmental (and business) case for Cycle Couriers

As a company proud of its Cycle Courier service, we think it is important to recognise the sometimes enormous impact that switching your services to greener sources can have.

One of the areas that many people don’t realise they can switch is their delivery system.  It is important to realise the huge impact that logistics and road infrastructure has on the area we live.  Congestion, air quality, noise, even road safety are all impacted by both logistics and infrastructure and how these are managed and provided. Making our road infrastructure greener makes our city greener.

As part of its Cycling Cities campaign Cycling England estimated that for every £1 spent on cycling infrastructure there was a return on investment of £2.59 for the health benefits achieved alone, without taking into account other economic factors.  Whilst the safety of cycling might concern some, UK research has shown that doubling the levels of cycling in UK cities can reduce the number of road accidents involving cyclists by as much as 34%.

An excellent example of the impact of logistics is the Royal Mail which uses, on average, 150 million tonnes of diesel every year to sustain its logistics network and has over 63 thousand vehicles on the road.  Post Services overall attributed for 0.15% of the total global C02 emissions, which doesn’t sound like much until you realise it’s 0.15% of 38 Billion Tonnes (57 Million Tonnes of C02).
And this air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. Ambient air pollution in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.  (Air Quality – WHO).  By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma

For us, Velopost was born from both Environmental and Economic reasons.
Environmentally, at Velopost, we prevent the production of roughly 7 tonnes of CO2 per annum by ensuring we have no fossil fuel used in our network whatsoever.  Each additional letter adds another 7 grams, which doesn’t sound a lot, but they all add up - all it takes is 500 letters a day to save a tonne of CO2.
There is also a business and economic case for being green. By ensuring we are not reliant on motor vehicles and fossil fuels we are able to keep our costs low and our prices stable. We don’t have to pay extensive maintenance bills or exorbitant fuel prices, so instead we can offer stable and low pricing to our customers. We haven’t increased our prices for the last 3 years whereas the cost of a second class stamp has increased 38% in the same period!

If you want to find out more about the services Velopost offer, please visit our website here.

Additionally, please contact us if you wish to see any of the sources for this article.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Velopost and Pattersons.

As one of Bristol's oldest business still trading in Bristol, catering & cleaning suppliers, Pattersons, wanted to mark turning 125 years old by holding a large event to thank staff, customers and the local community for their continued support. 

Marketing Assistant Rebecca Tebbutt  explains "We wanted to throw a party that reflected our remarkable success whilst also looking forward to our future. That's why we teamed up with the freshest talent in the catering and bar industry, Michelin star chef Josh Eggleton and 5 times world cocktail flarier Tom 'Dangerous' Dyer, who provided free masterclasses, in the bid to inspire future generations of local talent.  We also had leading industry brands demonstrating the latest cleaning innovations and catering products to hit the market. "

The all things catering and cleaning suppliers are still a family owned company spanning four generations. However, reluctant to rest on their laurels, the company is always keen to adopt a fresh approach and are avid supporters of green business practices, as demonstrated by their ISO 14001 accreditation.

"When we were planning the event we knew we had to make our invitations special and an invitation to Velopost’s Urban Green launch provided the inspiration. Velopost provides a cycle delivery service in Bristol and Bath which meant that each of our invitations could be hand delivered. Importantly given our green credentials it also provided us with carbon neutral option and a nod to Bristol’s green ethos.

Additionally Velopost created our own special customised stamps and were even able to make a last minute addition to include our commemorative hot air balloon. " Rebecca added.

The production and delivery methods proved to add a sense of occasion, whilst successfully enabling the company to leverage their event to build awareness of the company's presence on Winterstoke Road, Bristol. This was demonstrated through a high response rate and positive guest feedback.
"It was a pleasure to work with the Velopost team, right form initial consultation to pick up and delivery, we received a consistent and efficient service, meaning all our attention could be focused on planning the event.  We also recognise that to reach another 125 year's benchmark, we need to support any local businesses that promote sustainability, so we shall definitely be using Velopost in the future."

The Living Wall.

If any of you have visited CFH recently, you can’t fail to see the bright green foliage that meets you on arrival.  Considering the building houses a factory, it is a remarkably jolly place to visit.  This wasn’t always the case, here is a picture of the drab exterior before Abi Broadway got her hands on the place!

We thought it might be nice to hear from Abi about the living wall, how she got the idea and why she thought it had a place on the exterior of a printing company.

“The idea stemmed from a collection of factory improvements I was working on last year. It was felt that the signage on the old factory could do with a bit of improvement, so I began working on that.

I was very into my gardening and was watching Gardeners World, where they had a section on living walls. I had the sudden idea that we could cover the old factory in panels of living plants.

The factory before Abi made her big plans.

A living wall can be described simply as vertical gardening. The living wall consists of steel installation mounting attached directly to the brickwork of the building which is then used to mount living wall panels to the face of the factory. These panels contain a growing medium into which the plants are introduced and then an irrigation system is used to feed and water the plants. Furthermore, the medium which the plants are growing in is recycled materials!

There are a lot of environmental benefits to a living wall, for example:
  • Improved biodiversity in urban areas for birds and insects
  • Plants reduce the air temperature and humidity around them thereby reducing the urban heat island effect
  • Plants purify the air by reducing CO2, NO2 and PM10s
  • Our factory can be quite loud due to the large machinery which can be running all hours of the day and night; living walls assist in sound reduction    
  • Living walls keep the building they are part of warm in winter and cool in summer"

In case you are interested, it is possible to accomplish something similar at home too with a bit of DIY or to purchase a smaller version of the real deal.

Our living wall was made by Enterprise Plants who can be found here: http://www.enterpriseplants.com/

If you want to find out how CFH Docmail could help your business, please contact Emma, Rayne or Alicia from our customer service team:

or telephone: number- 01761 409701

who will be happy to talk to you

Monday, 1 August 2016

The power of the letter.

How a simple flu recall letter delivered a winter health check for patients
and a ground breaking administration process. 

Klaus Green works at The Mill Medical Practice in Godalming, Surrey.  At a time when flu vaccinations are reportedly down, Mill Hill Practice has achieved a 79% take up level amongst the over 65s and 53% of 2-4 year old children, some of the best results in their Clinical Commissioning Group.  Klaus attributes their success to an innovative approach to the process and use of our Docmail service.

Klaus says ‘We started refining our approach four years ago. We began to use the EMIS search tools to cross check patients and establish lists of patients with the same vaccination requirements e.g. those that only need a flu vaccination and those that need a “once only” pneumococcal vaccination to protect against the commonest strains of infection that cause pneumonia.  We also look at patients eligible for Zostavax, and ended up with four different lists to which we can tailor our messages.

The letters are personally addressed to each patient giving them information about why they need to attend and timings.

All the lists and the letter copy are set up on Docmail and the system prints, stuffs and delivers the letters.  All we do is press the buttons.

We invite patients to attend a one off flu clinic which is held on a Saturday morning. Time slots are allocated in blocks according to surname.  It is a very streamlined with patients entering through the front entrance and then leaving by the back door.

The patient letter is not only the prompt to attend but it is also the administration document and includes everything we need for the process which means that we don’t have to do any computer look ups or cross checks on the day.

Once the patient has been vaccinated the letter they hand in is stickered with the relevant batch numbers and we also use the opportunity to check the patient’s smoking status and their blood pressure which is noted on the same document.

On the Monday morning we record all the information on our system using an EMIS protocol and confirm uptake figures.

This year 15 staff at our Flu Clinic vaccinated 2,100 patients in one morning. Using Docmail each invitation costs less than a second class stamp, and we meet our contractual requirement to have a robust call and recall service for the clinic.

As well as good medicine, it’s also a good opportunity for teamwork within the practice as we pull together to deliver a service that the patients appreciate’.

If you want to find out how CFH Docmail could help you, please contact Emma, Rayne or Alicia from our customer service team:

or telephone: number- 01761 409701
Or visit our website here: http://www.docmail.co.uk/flu/

who will be happy to talk to you