AN equestrian business is putting the environment first with a range of green measures designed to care for the planet.
Ride-away equestrian suppliers, in Sutton-on-the Forest near York, says the move – which includes a new energy ‘A’ rated warehouse and a pledge to cut back on plastic bags – reflects its eco-friendly ethos and its customers’ love for nature and the outdoors.
And the firm says it hopes its firm commitment to caring for the environment will inspire others to do the same.
“The company's sustainability and conservation goals are very important to us,” said Ride-away spokesperson Nikita Norman.
“We're looking to continuously improve our performance as the impacts of global warming become more apparent.”
The Sutton-on-the-Forest store is supplied from a new eco-friendly warehouse which is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, with a biogas supply and solar panels to generate electricity.
Solar power also produces the building’s hot water supply, while a grey water system is in place to make full use of rainwater.
The warehouse is also designed in a way that encourages the well-being of staff.
Even more remarkable, carbon emissions which couldn’t be avoided during construction, have been offset thanks to a move to protect 124 acres of Peruvian rainforest.
The North Yorkshire business has also pledged to eliminate as many of its plastic mail bags as it can, and replace them with more environmentally friendly biodegradable paper bags.
It is now planning to work with suppliers and customers to raise awareness of the need for action to help offset environmental damage to the planet.
According to Nikita, the green measures reflect the business’s overall eco-friendly ethos and its passion for nature.
“We’re a passionate team of horse and nature lovers and are committed to our company's ethos,” she said.
“We live and breathe horses and love nothing more than sharing advice with our customers who we know share our passion.”
As well as being committed to its own “green revolution”, Ride-away has embraced social responsibility, and forged strong links with the local community and charities.
This year it has chosen to support Yorkshire Air Ambulance and is staging fundraising events throughout the year, while in the past the business has raised money to buy a horse for The Riding for the Disabled Association.
Ride-away was established in 1980 by Stephen and Angela Clark, a couple with deep family roots in the horse racing industry. Ride-away grew from a modest start into a multi-million pound business. Today it is part of the ever growing group Internet Fusion Ltd based in Lincolnshire.
The Ride-away store based just north of York now covers 15,000sq ft – a far cry from the original 400sq ft shop – although the shop still acts as the 'front door' into the store. Inside are around 7000 products from more than 135 brands, with everything from tack room essentials to country clothing, riding outfits and safety equipment.
There are even horse toys for the pony who has everything, to the all-important manure scoop.
According to Nikita, Ride-away is attracting customers from a wide radius. “Its sheer size is the main factor,” says Nikita. “We have customers visiting us for a day out – we even get parties from livery yards arriving by minibus!
“Although the vast majority of our customers are female, we also have an ever growing men's range and have introduced more in the way of country lifestyle and fashion brands this year.
“However, equestrian is our main focus: horses are our passion and that's what drives our online business and our place within the local community, that won't change.”
Find out more about Ride-away and browse their online shop at www.rideawaystore.com