Smarter accounting

Alterledger and the Circular Economy

16 March 2020, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries

Defining the Circular Economy

The circular economy is a viable alternative to former unsustainable ways of operating.  Accountants are joining other businesses and the City of Glasgow in recognising the positive impact of changing working practices to create a more sustainable future.

The circular economy is a direct challenge to the ‘take-make-waste’ mentality of the linear economy.  In a circular economy waste is minimised and resources maximised through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and up-cycling.  Gone are the days where endless paper reports were printed with all the energy consumption and landfill that was caused as a result.

Even your old trainers can become part of the circular economy

Alterledger Activities

Alterledger is committed to sustainability confirmed by our Sustainability Policy.

Transport is transforming from a linear to a circular model.  Alterledger uses sustainable transport wherever possible for client meetings.  The team use Scotrail and nextbike for client meetings and only resort to car use where other alternatives are not practical.  Where cars are used, the first preference is Co-Wheels from the fleet of hybrid and electric cars available in the city centre.  All staff are offered the bike to work scheme.  Currently all staff are either members of the bike to work scheme or use public transport / sustainable options to get to work.

The location of the Alterledger office was chosen for its good transport links.  There is a bus stop outside the building.  Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street stations are a short walk away.  The subway is also within easy walking distance.  Electric or low / no emission travel is a viable option to all staff and clients of Alterledger to reach Legal House.

Digital Services

Alterledger is paperless for more than 99% of activities. Fewer than 5 sheets of A4 paper are printed every month.  All reports are generated digitally and provided to clients in electronic format.  We can’t stop HMRC sending letters, but all paper received is shredded securely and no paper should end up in landfill.  All contracts are issued online using Docusign saving significant waste in paper, printing and transport of documents.

Supporting our clients

Alterledger specialises in digital accounting services.  We use online software to provide a comprehensive service to our clients without the need for them or us to print documents.  We encourage all our clients to move from paper based systems to digital systems.  We provide the software, training and continuing support to help our clients become paperless businesses.

Alterledger has signed up to Scotland Digital Participation Charter and remains committed to supporting organisations to be more sustainable through digitisation of processes.  With any new client we rethink their business model and identify areas for improvement and design their systems for the future.  We help them adapt to a changing business environment and incorporate digital technology to support business sustainability as well as promote environmental sustainability.

Supporting our communities

We work with a number of Community Interest Companies and also Charities to ensure that our local communities can benefit from developments in the circular economy.  We typically find that these organisations generate bookcases full of paper documents each year, which can almost entirely be eliminated following a review of processes by Alterledger.

We support our local communities in partnership with other organisations to provide free training with digital technology.  Book on our next Fine Tune event for Firstport in Coatbridge on 8th April 2020.

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