2018: A Year in Review

From upping our recycling campaign to launching our own bikes-for-hire (not to mention making plans for yoga classes at PW), sustainability and wellness have been the focus of 2018 at PW. Works Post took a look back at the year gone by.

beryl launched #secretcycles

Earlier this year, beryl launched #secretcycles for us to use at PW. Their free-to-use bike-share scheme was made available for exclusive use by the PW community, and is running as a test-bed for the new bike-share technologies they are developing as part of a project looking at the future of bike-sharing in the city.

So far, beryl’s #secretcycles have travelled 1,661 km across 756 journeys lasting 138 hours! Take a look at the gif below to see where the bikes have gone.

If you’d like to borrow a bike, download beryl’s #secretcycles app for iPhone and Android.You’ll be asked to login using your company email address (beryl has already approved many companies at Perseverance Works and Printing House Yard giving them automatic access to the app).

To read more about beryl (formerly known as Blaze), check out an article we wrote about their mission to make city cycling safer, or take a look at their website.

Cyclists might also like to check out beryl’s latest podcast on how to lock your bike up properly – an essential skill in London!

we upped our recycling campaign

At Perseverance Works we are committed to playing our part in protecting the environment. In December 2017, Paul paid a visit to our recycling firm Paper Round to see what happens to our waste once it leaves the site with sustainability consultant James Robb. “We saw first-hand the Paper Round ‘MRF’ in action, sorting the recyclable waste and compacting it into bales for reprocessing into useful raw materials – glass, metals, plastics, paper and food,” said James. “We also saw a lot of contaminated recyclables being sent for incineration…. hopefully we can reduce this quantity in 2018!” he added.

Following on from this visit, and conversations with James and Fred from Paper Round, we invited all shareholders to a small conference to discuss new recycling strategies.James reviewed our total waste figures over the years, and focused in on a recent three-month period. On average, we have 12 waste lorries visiting the site each week, collecting general waste, mixed recycling and food waste

We recycled around 38% of our waste last year, but we want to grow that figure to 65-70%. To help us achieve that aim, James gave us some handy tips. 

  • Abolish under-desk bins! Centralised, differentiated bins encourage best recycling behaviour. Without the temptation to chuck everything in a bin beneath your desk, you’ll be forced to think about the rubbish in your hand and how to best dispose of it. Ask Paul if you’d like help making your signage even clearer by your centralised bins.
  • Talk about recycling! Track your recycling in your studio and share improvement stats with your team.
  • Get colour-coding. Make sure you have the correct coloured bags for each bin. Brown bins have brown bags, blue bags live in blue bins… Simple!

We carried on working closely with ZEN

The Zero Emissions Network (ZEN) launched in Hackney in 2012, with the aim of helping local businesses to reduce their impact on air quality. Realising that this was a cross-boundary issue – air pollution travels! – ZEN quickly expanded to include the nearby boroughs of Islington and Tower Hamlets.

So how can ZEN help you? PW’s Atelier 10 has worked with ZEN to organise bike checkups in the courtyard with Dr Bike, who can fix small problems on the spot and get your wheels ready for the open road. They also offer energy audits, where a member visits your business to assess things like heating, lighting and water use and suggests small changes that could make a big difference (and £250 is available to help each business make the change!). It could be something as small as swapping halogen lightbulbs for LEDs.

Keep your eyes peeled in 2019 for their next round of applications to secure a grant of up to £2,000 to help your business go green! This money could be used to encourage cycling to work, or make a large buy like an electric van.

We raised money (and lights!) for charity

In October, jj Media Group and The Tree, Printing House Yard, held their annual Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise money for Macmillan. Ross in the courtyard kindly donated 20% of his profits that day, too. In December, beryl’s Christmas Lights event in the courtyard saw PW tenants treated to mulled wine and mince pies, and some took part in a bike light trade-in to support the Bike Project. Since 2013, the project has given away nearly 3,000 bikes to refugees, helping them to access food banks, legal advice, healthcare and education. beryl’s event helped to make make sure the bikes are equipped with lights to keep riders safe.

We planned the launch of a PW yoga class

Kate from Atelier 10 will be running a yoga class for PW tenants wishing to start the New Year with a mindful approach to wellbeing. Kate leads the graphics team at Atelier Ten, one of the larger companies at Perseverance Works. She first started yoga more than 9 years ago and can personally attest to experiencing all the benefits listed below. Kate has been teaching yoga to her colleagues here at PW since 2015, and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2016. She is partway through an advanced 500-hour teacher training and will be finished with this in spring next year.

Curious about the ways in which yoga might be good for you? Kate wrote us a short piece about the many benefits of yoga:

Get away from your screen for an hour

Put away your phone, your laptop, your other phone, and turn off your desktop computer for 60 minutes. No distractions, no other requirements or demands on your time. You will feel refreshed; your concentration and focus will be improved.

Yoga is good for our mental health

Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga can decrease stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep quality and may even help fight depression. Even if you don’t feel you are affected by any of these, yoga will help you maintain your mental health.

Yoga is good for flexibility – and for strength

We’ve all seen the bendy-yogi-pretzels. That is not the goal of this class. However, if you practice sports or other fitness modalities where you are continuously contracting your muscles, yoga will help lengthen and stretch them. This can improve your performance, help prevent injuries, and increase range of motion.

The strength you can build from yoga is often overlooked. Supporting your weight on your hands (whether in downward facing dog or a handstand) requires strength. I also include a particular focus on strengthening the back of the body, which helps counteract the oh-so-common “desk-worker hunch”.

Yoga improves posture

The head is heavy – if you are often letting it lean forward (while reading your phone, say), this will fatigue the muscles in your neck and back. Practicing yoga will help you be more aware of your posture, find good posture more quickly, and relieve tension from poor posture.

Breathing is so good for you

We know that we can’t live without our breath. But how often do you really think about your breathing? Try this simple exercise wherever you are right now:

Feel your feet on the floor.

Slowly inhale for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of four. Slowly exhale for a count of four. Hold your breath out for a count of four.

Repeat this pattern 3 more times.

Do you feel calmer? Imagine breathing like that for an hour. Breathing deeply calms your nervous system and encourages your body to relax. Over time, your lung capacity will increase.

The new weekly yoga class will take place at Eastside Educational Trust in their downstairs studio on Wednesday mornings 8:15 – 9:15am. Mats are provided; just show up in clothes you can bend and stretch in (no footwear required).

If you are interested in joining the PW yoga class, or have any questions about yoga, please drop Kate a line at kate.carpenter@atelierten.com

PW Finance Manager Sue Kowszun helped us get ready for HMRC’s changes to VAT

As the Making Tax Digital for VAT deadline of April 2019 gets closer, there’s no better time to prepare for one of the most important changes for UK businesses. To help you prepare, PW Finance Manager Sue shared her tips to guide you through your preparations. The article linked here is definitely a useful one to bookmark for the New Year!

We would like to wish all tenants a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you have a peaceful break with friends and family.