Escapism Plymouth: Black, yellow....and Green!
When we opened the doors to Escapism Plymouth Ltd back in May, we knew we had chosen the right place to open. Plymouth is a city with abundant character, fascinating heritage, and big plans.
We easily fell in love with the city, with its rich mix of local life and bustling tourism, arts and nature, shopping and activities. We love that Plymouth encourages the betterment of the community and aim to work alongside that to achieve our Green Tourism bronze accreditation within our first year of trading. Within the next 5 years we hope to have reached a gold standard, being the first escape room in Plymouth to actively work towards a green goal.
We knew that we wanted to run the business in a sustainable manner, and luckily, we have the amazing support of Destination Plymouth and the Green Tourism initiative to help us on our way. We are choosing to share our sustainability policy here on our blog, and on our social media, because we are proud of the steps we are taking. We hope that we can be a part of Plymouth's wider community, and encourage/ inspire other businesses and individuals to think more sustainably as we move into the future with the rest of Britain’s Ocean City.
For us, sustainability encompasses good eco choices and practices, recycling, power, procurement, modern slavery, equality, community, diversity, and much more. We know that for a lot of people, sustainability means a lot of different things, so we want to invite any feedback or suggestions on our green tourism programme, so that we can make informed and innovative decisions in the future. To leave feedback, please click here.
We are committed to starting as we mean to continue, protecting and enhancing our wonderful city and community. Sustainability has been an immediate priority for us at Escapism Plymouth Ltd since we opened back in May of 2022.
We joined the green tourism scheme back in July in an effort to join a support network who encourage and support businesses to work quickly towards a more green and sustainable way of operating. We have already learnt so much, and have already made improvements based on our ever-expanding learning. We want to continue to investigate different ways to perform, gather feedback and celebrate our success with our team, our customers, and beyond.
We know that sustainable tourism protects the environment, supports local communities, conserves resources, minimises pollution and protects the planet for future generations. We continuously aspire to reduce our carbon footprint and hope that our activities might encourage and inspire our visitors.
One of the first things we are working towards for the near future is providing green travel information for customers making their way to our business. This will include safe cycle routes and the most secure places to park your bike, along with local bus routes and information. We will also include local parking spots, but these will be lower down on the travel suggestions.
Recycling, Resources and cleaning :
We try to keep refuse to a minimum and encourage our customers to recycle with us where possible during their visit. To control how our business disposes of onsite waste we do not have publicly accessible bins, and instead encourage customers to hand their waste to a member of staff who are trained to recycle where possible.
We use the services of Devon Contract Waste who remove and recycle our waste in line with their “Zero to landfill” policy, which diverts 30,000 tonnes from landfill every year.
We primarily use Royal Mail for our game and voucher deliveries, as they have the lowest carbon emissions per parcel delivery out of the couriers in the UK. Alongside that, we do encourage customers to purchase digital gift vouchers rather than physical ones where possible to reduce printing and posting. We also apply these principles in house, as we aspire to run a paperless operation and so most administrative work and communication is completed online/ digitally, to save paper usage.
When we constructed Escapism Plymouth, we removed all the halogen lighting and old air conditioning units, and replaced them with LED lighting and new efficient units. We currently have infrared heating for the benefit of our staff working area which is 40% more efficient than regular heating. We also have 5 volt usb desk fans for the warmer months. We have selected these products because they require less power to run and are more efficient overall.
The projected lifespans of our rooms reflect our values on sustainability. When planning to install new rooms in the building we prefer to upcycle over buying new and creating from scratch. The rooms will see a lot of mileage from our customers before undergoing a transformation, as we recognise these times to be the most disruptive regarding waste. However, we intend to limit how often this happens by utilising the lifespan of a room to the fullest, and always looking out for opportunities to upcycle and reuse/ modify.
We are excited to have recently signed up to the “Refill Scheme” where anyone can pop into our business and refill their water bottle for free. This also encourages customers to refill their reusable bottles instead of having to purchase plastics. As an alternative, the bottles of water that we sell on site currently are made of 30% recycled plastic and are fully recyclable.
Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used wherever possible whilst meeting COVID secure cleaning standards.
All game hosts employed by Escapism Plymouth Ltd live within a walkable/ cyclable distance. We also encourage staff members to sign up to Green education courses that the city currently offers.
Everyone is trained on how to recycle properly, alongside how to reduce day to day waste on site and encouraged to get creative with ideas on how to help the business become more sustainable.
As a niche business, we are constantly on the lookout for new suppliers of new and exciting puzzles. Luckily for us, we are operating in a time where we have increasing suppliers to choose from, and so get to choose products that are going to last well instead of being replaced regularly.
When we have to order from Amazon, we do it via their AmazonSmile site. This gives 0.5% of the net value of qualifying purposes to a chosen charity, which for us, is Devon and Cornwall Furniture re-use project. We also like that everything comes in reusable/ recyclable packaging!
Modern slavery approach:
We strictly prohibit the use of modern slavery and human trafficking in our operations and supply chain. As a small business we commit to ensuring that modern slavery is not taking place anywhere within our company, and that employment regulations are being upheld, including a minimum of 12 hour rest between shifts and actively encouraging a healthy work-life balance across our entire team.
We expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards, and will continually seek greener and more ethical alternatives when researching new suppliers.
Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility:
We’re proud to offer an experience based on respect and inclusion. We welcome all escapees and staff members, irrespective of their unique characteristics. We want everyone that walks through our doors to feel relaxed, comfortable, safe, and supported, creating an environment they want to come back to again and again.
We aspire to make our rooms suitable to everyone, making changes to our designs to make them accessible to all if we can, including access, sight, hearing, and language barriers. These include having all doorways wide enough for wheelchairs to access, and chairs on site to put in the rooms if required. We have light and sound alarms for our fire alarm system, and a brief before every room to ensure the highest possible levels of safety for everyone without impeding on the experience of the games.
A note from the team:
We haven’t even been open a year yet, and what a year it’s been! We know we are really early on in our sustainability journey, but with the support that the city provides, we can take the best of our intentions and action them accordingly.
Thank you to everyone for supporting us on this journey, we look forward to sharing updates with you as we go!
We know that sustainability isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we are lucky to have a team and a location that is passionate about making things better for all. We look forward to hearing your views, and making changes to benefit our business, our customers, our community, and our future.