Mission Statement

VMI has taken great strides to reduce its impact on the environment and continues to do so, going forward, wherever and whenever possible.

Taking this a stage further, in June 2021, VMI committed to becoming a net zero contributor by 2030 and publicly reporting all emissions in order to achieve this lofty goal.

VMI’s efforts on sustainability and its wider influence on the rental industry to help bring about lasting sustainability changes won VMI the Hero of Net Zero award, presented to VMI at the International COP26 climate summit in November 2021.

Recent initiatives include using sustainable bamboo loo roll, using refillable cleaning products (where the pouches are themselves refillable) which will eradicate unnecessary plastic waste, paper-free hand driers, using only recycled paper, commitment to sustainable transport, using only green energy of the highest environmental standards and publicly reporting annual emissions will all help us to achieve this ambitious goal.

VMI wins major Government Climate award at COP 26, in 2021

VMI’s efforts on sustainability and its wider influence on the rental industry to help bring about lasting environmental and carbon reduction measures won VMI the Hero of Net Zero award, presented to VMI at the International COP26 climate summit in November 2021.

The company won over the competition judges for taking responsibility for our sectors environmental impact, spreading the sustainability message as founding members of the Bectu’s-Film-For-Future group.

VMI wins Hero of Net Zero at COP 26

Formal commitment to Net Zero on Government Business Climate Hub

The Government Business Climate Hub keeps a register of all UK companies who have committed to a net Zero Pledge and August saw VMI also adding its name.

Government Business Climate Hub

VMI is voted a Climate Leader by Ealing council in 2021 for its sustainability drive.

Ealing Council Climate Leader

VMI wins award to achieve net-zero by 2030

VMI is the proud recipient of a Better Futures+ Green Innovation Voucher, awarded by West London Business, to help VMI to become a net zero, fully sustainable business by 2030.

VMI was chosen as just one of twelve companies in West London for this process, which involves being coached by Imperial College’s Leonardo Centre, as well as receiving individual coaching/consultancy.

VMI Publishes its 2019 Carbon Audit and Net Zero Plan

We believe in transparency, so are pleased to publish our carbon audit and net zero plans written in mid 2021, so that others can share from the lessons that we have learned, to help others to improve their own emissions and environmental impact.

Going forwards, we commit to completing a carbon audit every year and publicly publishing our results. This way, we can demonstrate that we are taking real action to reduce our emissions annually and hopefully be on track with our net zero commitment.

We know that Rome wasn’t proverbially made in a day, so our plan is to fully offset our 2019 emissions in 2022 and aim to half our real emissions by 2025 and hopefully achieve total net zero by 2030.

Most important, we also want to share all of our findings with all other rental companies, to inspire others to follow our lead.

We have only one world, so let’s act together to protect it for our future generations

VMI 2019 Carbon Audit and Net Zero 2030 Plan

VMI Wins Environmental Award in 2016

Ealing Council praised VMI’s environmental efforts by awarding VMI with an environmental award in October 2016 to recognise its effort in saving energy in a novel IT initiative.  The project managed to consolidate the functions of 4 separate computer servers into one new more efficient server saving both power and also power required to cool the server toom power too.  This award was part of an Ealing Council initiative to reduce power consumption in the West London area.

VMI only uses energy from a certified ‘green deal’ which is 100% renewable.

VMI is now a recognised Albert Supplier

The Albert association is the industry authority on environmental sustainability for film + TV and recognises VMI’s activities for greater sustainability and has classed VMI as a recognised Albert Supplier. Albert Website

VMI is a Green Pledge Contributor

An independent group of rental companies created an action group, chaired by Jason Henwood, to ensure sharing best-practice to promote sustainable business techniques and share good business practice and VMI continue to support this initiative, which we call the Green Pledge V4.5

Jason Henwood, working with the Bectu Camera Branch, has published the latest guidance document detailing policies and and recommendations to help camera assistants, producers and rental companies to adopt more sustainable working practices.

By signing this declaration, we endeavour to work alongside Albert to direct our industry into more sustainable practices, including taking trains instead of planes, using sustainable paper, reducing wasteful packaging, minimising the use of single use plastics etc.  Click on the logo for full details of our respective commitments.

Recycled Paper only

VMI only uses recycled paper and recycles all paper waste that it produces.  VMI has separate bins for paper and also recycles plastic and textiles too.  We also have food waste bins and these are common with both VMI buildings.

VMI uses loo paper by WhoGivesACrap which is made from 100% sustainable bamboo.

Sustainable Zero Plastic Waste Essentials

VMI has switched suppliers to Splosh, who provide washing up liquid, cleaning products and hand-wash, in order to entirely eliminate unnecessary plastic waste, since their products are refilled using pouches, which are sent back for refilling, once used. These products are formulated using kind chemicals which are also good for the environment.

No More Plastic to seal cables

In 2019, VMI committed to cease stocking single use plastic to seal cables and filters.

Instead, VMI began using paper adhesive labels to seal cables with, so that we would have a visible indication of whether cables required testing or not.  We were keen to ensure that these were printed on recycled paper for minimum environmental impact.

Link to see VMI supplier of paper labels and label specs

No Waste Sent to Landfill

As part of VMI’s sustainability drive, we are immensely proud to report that a recent waste audit completed by our waste contractor, Collect My Waste, certified that none of the waste collected from both VMI sites in London and Bristol were sent to Landfill.

Danny Shore, the Business Development Manager confirmed that over the 19 month period of November 2019 to June 2021, our London depot recycled 75% and Bristol depot, 56%. However the service provided by the contractor certified that the remaining 25% for London and 44% for Bristol was recovered. The conclusion of this was that absolutely no waste generated by VMI at all was sent to Landfill.

As you can see from the data, for the duration of your time with us, for both sites, no waste has been sent to landfill.

Danny Shore CMW​ Business Development Manager

Biodegradable plastic to seal filters

Just with the cable initiative, VMI found a supplier to manufacture Oxo-biodegradable plastic to sheath our filters into.

Whilst a recycle logo can reassure people, what is lesser known however is that even recycled material put into landfill will degrade, however in the absence of oxygen, the bi-product is methane, rather than carbon dioxide, which is 21x worse as a greenhouse gas…  As a result, we print onto the plastic sheathing that these should be disposed of with the compost waste, so that they can bio-degrade with the least impact on our environment.

Biodegrading test

On the left is an experiment started in October 2019 of leaving two samples of bio-degradable plastic and regular PVC in the Managing Director’s garden over the winter and summer of 2019/2020.

Throughout the first winter, there was little change between the two but as the conditions warmed up in spring and summer (central image), the bio-degradable plastic shows signs of deteriorating rapidly. However by February 2021 (right), some 16 months after being in the open air, the bio degradable plastic tubing is severely damaged and extremely thin, whilst the original PVC version is still very strong.

Conclusion: the Oxo-degradable plastic tubing used by VMI to sheath filters, breaks down adequately if disposed of responsibly

Barry Bassett, Managing Director, VMI

A second experiment started in late 2020, saw both samples planted in a compost heat and it is expected that in the earth, surrounded by water and bacteria, that degradation will take place more rapidly still.   

Link of FAQ of VMI supplier of biodegradable plastic layflat tubing and specs

Further Initatives of Environmental Action/Policies of VMI

Batteries when they are retired from service are sent back to the Manufacturer (Anton Bauer/Hawkswood) for recycling.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and other harmful waste are strictly taken to Council recycling points for correct recycling.

Our building in W3, was purpose built in 2012 and designed with efficiency and reducing VMI’s impact on the Environment as a focus.

The entire building is installed with cool LED lights throughout, which offer a better quality of light, less tiring to staff, as well as reducing electricity and cooling.

The floors of the warehouse are installed with Ecotiles, which are made from recycled tetrapack containers.

By reducing transit charges to clients for non timed deliveries, increases the number of drops per van trip and thus reduces trips saving fuel and emissions and this led to a measurable saving in fuel usage over the past 2 years, since inception.

VMI has also discarded the use of water coolers, which increase fuel use (for deliveries), plastic production (for the bottles) and electricity consumption (for keeping the water cool). Instead, it has installed water fountains that supply ground-cooled water straight out of the water main for staff and clients to drink.

VMI has also eradicated towel waste, having installed Dyson Blade hand driers in both toilets.

VMI also encourages its staff to use public transport and sponsors staff to buy bicycles.  At VMI today, at least 3 members of staff ride to work by bicycle as does Barry Bassett, VMI’s Managing Director.

VMEDIA uses electric car for deliveries

VMI’s media rental arm, VMEDIA, offers a unique delivery service using an Eco-friendly electric powered BMW. As a low-carbon service, the vehicle incurs no congestion charge and this saving is passed on to customers by offering a complementary free local and national delivery service * or with a subsidised fixed deliver/collection service, which is equivalent to the cost of a bike courier.

Full details here.

Clean Electric Vehicle Plan

VMI recognises that clean electric vehicles are the future, so we are preparing for this and plan for 20% of our fleet to be electric by 2022.

Our Acton car park has 3 x spaces dedicated to electric vehicles in anticipation of this.

VMI Environmental policy statement

VMI also takes its environmental impact very seriously. The Board of Directors determines the overall environmental policy for VMI paying due regard to the protection of the environment, the effective and efficient use of energy and raw materials, and the minimisation of waste.

The aim of the policy is not simply legislative compliance, we wish to enhance our corporate social responsibility by supporting the development of best practice and innovative solutions to deliver sustainable growth whilst continually improving environmental standards.

VMI commits to:

  • 100% net carbon free emissions by 2030.
  • The education and training of employees in environmental issues and the environmental effects of their activities.
  • To continually improve on environmental performance and review this annually.
  • VMI only uses recycled paper and recycles all paper and cardboard waste that it produces. Faxes are now received and filed electronically avoiding unnecessary printing them – likewise with electronic mail.
  • Promoting the use of sustainable transport amongst its staff. Included in this is the provision for home-working which reduces commuting journeys which is supported by at least 3 members of staff on a regular basis including VMI’s Managing Director.
  • VMI also encourages its staff to use bicycles to commute and supports the bicycle to work scheme.- at least 3 members of the team frequently ride to work.
  • VMI promotes the merits of tape-less technology to avoid stock waste.
  • The minimising of unnecessary journeys of delivery vehicles through efficient planning and scheduling and have reduced transit charges to clients for non-timed deliveries to encourage enable multiple drops to be possible on round trips.
  • VMI also promote to West-End clients a subsidised delivery service providing they book their deliveries and collections in advance, thus enabling VMI to efficiently schedule multiple trips to W1 and avoid unnecessary duplicitous journeys.
  • Where possible, VMI try to sub-hire equipment from local companies to VMI to minimise on road delivery miles.
  • Minimising on wasteful packaging, such as the unnecessary bagging of cables, which though they improve presentation, they actually serve no practical purpose.
  • VMI is also discarding the use of water coolers, which increase fuel use (for deliveries), plastic production (for the bottles) and electricity consumption (for keeping the water cool). Instead, it is installing water fountains that supply ground-cooled water straight out of the water main for staff and clients to drink.
  • Efficient use of water and energy by installing water meters to monitor and regulate water usage and avoid costly air-conditioning in the offices where possible.
  • The use of biodegradable chemicals where possible.
  • Minimising use of solvents and lead-based paints,
  • In building projects, VMI require that builders only use timber from sustainable (managed) forests.
  • Minimising noise disturbance to neighbours.
  • The phasing out of CFCs and ozone-depleting substances. VMI use very few chemicals but are sensitive to the environmental damage of using them and so restrict their use. VMI no longer buys canned air but instead uses a compressor to deliver pressurised air to the work benches.
  • Ideally, VMI would choose to work with clients and suppliers to achieve the common aim.

The Board accepts responsibility for the overall effectiveness of the environmental policy and recognises the essential role that employees at all levels need to play in the development of environmental awareness and efficiency.

Updated October 2020

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