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Indirect Sales teams ‘hoover the beach’ to clean up in the UK’s fight against plastic

Indirect Sales teams ‘hoover the beach’ to clean up in the UK’s fight against plastic

This week management, sales teams and support staff at Alphabet’s Indirect Sales Channels were inspired to ‘give something back’ by undertaking a ‘beach hoover’ operation to remove plastic from along the coast near Bournemouth.

Over 20 individuals from Alphabet Partner, the Business Partnership Programme and Alphabet’s Affinity Partnerships took time out of their working week to spend a day removing plastic and rubbish from Durley Chine beach, helping to help make the area cleaner for the local community, sea life and birdlife.

Head of Indirect Sales, Gavin Davies explains: “Every Alphabet employee is entitled to a couple of ‘corporate social responsibility (CSR) days’ every year within their official ‘work time’ which can be used to support the work of local and national organisations. Earlier this year, during a team meeting someone suggested using one of our CSR days to do something to help address the rising problem of plastic in the seas and around the shores of the UK.

 Clearly David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet 2’ had really touched lots of people in the team and inspired us into action. We decided that a ‘beach hoover’ – where we collected up plastic as well as other bits of rubbish from the coastline – would a great way for everyone in the team to get involved and make a personal contribution to addressing the problem on our doorstep. Obviously, being based in Farnborough we don’t have many beaches in our vicinity, but we have a number of customers on the south coast so we quickly decided that area would be our focus. Poole Bay is home to hundreds of marine species and around 40 species of fish, so it’s an important place for sea life, the local community and holidaymakers.”

Graham Meeres, National Development Manager for Fleet Sales Partnership, added: “We contacted Bournemouth Borough Council and the local Tourism Office to organise the activity with their seafront team. They were really grateful we’d offered to contribute to their ongoing efforts to keep these beaches clean. We collected bags full of rubbish throughout the day and as we wilted a bit under the hot sun it gave everyone a lift to hear the appreciation of our efforts from local residents, dog walkers and families using the beach. Local people continually expressed how happy they were to see a business taking time out to make a positive contribution to reducing the amount of plastic and rubbish on the beach.

Even though the Bournemouth coastline appears relatively clean from a distance, the tide sweeps in all kinds of plastic and other rubbish twice a day so it’s an ongoing challenge. Durley Chine is a popular, family-friendly beach and even has an RNLI Lifeguard Station, so a lot of local people and visitors use it regularly. The most revealing aspect for me and shared with many team members was how abundant the very small pieces of plastic and rubbish were. When you look at the beach from the top of the cliff it looks quite clean but up close we were shocked by the amount of tiny bits of plastic and small detritus like cigarette butts that littered the area. It was a real eye-opener and I’m pleased say that by the end of the day we had really made a difference.”

Gavin Davies, Head of Indirect Sales summarised: “In the Indirect Sales team we have an approach we call ‘Limitless’ because by working together, supporting each other and using our individual skills and strengths there’s no limit to what we can achieve – and this was a great example of Limitless in action, with the team achieving a great result.

As a company, we take responsibility very seriously – whether that’s as a lender, as an employer or as a business. But we also know how to have fun and at the end of the day we enjoyed a beach barbeque to celebrate and enjoy the beach we’d just cleaned. Rest assured we made absolutely sure we tidied up after ourselves and more! I’m absolutely delighted that we could do something as a team which directly benefited so many people and was our contribution to the ongoing fight against plastic in the seas around the UK.”