Just before Midsummer, WWF Finland published its annual report on the Green Office network, summarising the environmental accomplishments achieved by the 170 member organisations of the network. With regard to energy consumption in particular, the network had achieved huge savings.
Last week, we received yet another confirmation that small contributions can bring about spectacular consequences. During the last year, the members of the Green Office network of WWF Finland reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by an amount equivalent to a hundred trips to the Moon.
This is now the sixth year that Sponda is participating in the activities of the Green Office network. No missions to the Moon have been conducted during this period, but the company has arranged every year an event dubbed Green Day for its employees. Green Day has been celebrated, among other things, by founding an eco-orchestra, by crafting bio-waste bags, and by having a no-print day.
Last year, the energy savings achieved by Sponda’s head office amounted to 42 tonnes of carbon dioxide. An equivalent amount would be generated if one drove a car from the Earth halfway to the Moon. As a result of Sponda’s energy efficiency programme, reduction in carbon dioxide across Sponda’s entire property portfolio amounted to 11,148 tonnes.
At Sponda, when a meeting is closed, the last one leaving the conference room does switch off the light. Sponda’s ’meeting pony’, a green bicycle of the make ’Poni’ − Finnish for ’Pony’ − is available to the employees, encouraging them to ride short distances by bike when going to attend a meeting, and this bicycle is in frequent use. While the sorting of waste at the office works smoothly, the volume of unnecessary printouts continues to be a challenge.
Last year, every employee at Sponda printed out 3,700 sheets of paper; in other words, the equivalent of 7.4 reams on average. This figure assumes that double-sided printing was the default setting. Decreasing the number of printouts is one of the objectives set for the year 2015.
A hundred trips to the Moon
Compared with the previous year, the carbon dioxide emissions of the Green Office network in the whole of Finland were reduced by 13,130 tonnes. This corresponds to an amount produced by driving a distance equivalent to a hundred trips to the Moon by car. The Green Office network employs approximately 63,000 people in Finland. Broken down by employee, energy savings are equivalent to switching on an electric sauna 23 times (180kWh).
Environmental efficiency cannot be achieved through campaigns or stunts alone; instead, efforts must be directed towards long-term goals. Engaging people in motivating and inspiring their colleagues is part of the package that Green Office offers, in addition to setting its sights on scrutinizing the eco-efficiency of large-scale investments. Even small victories should be viewed as a cause for rejoicing, and it should be borne in mind that small brooks may grow into mighty rivers.