World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for public outreach, celebrated by millions of people in well over 100 countries.It is the ‘People’s Day’ for doing something positive for the environment. Its aim is to harness individual actions and transform them into a collective power that has a legacy of real and lasting impact on the environment. This is what we’re doing at Green PM.
The environmental strategy for Green Project Management focuses on small wins. The steps taken have altered staff behaviour, reducing waste and resources used. The small steps can be adopted by any company or individual and simply require a change in behaviour; a move from short term to long term environmental considerations.
The focus on small wins started in 2017 when employees realised how much plastic was being thrown away by a single person who bought bottled water. Initially we bought a water filter which significantly reduced the plastic thrown away on a daily basis. However, the filter itself is made of single use plastic. Every 6 of 8 weeks we were still contributing to the growing plastic problem by discarding the filter. We are currently trailing a Charcoal filtration system; its only element is Bamboo Charcoal. The negative of this product is that it is made in Japan and carries a carbon footprint from its long shipping journey but the positive is that everything can be reused. Once the charcoal has reached its filtering capacity it can be dried out and used as shoe odour eaters or crushed and added to compost. This small win avoided 680 bottles being produced, thrown away or recycled and therefore reduced the energy associated with those processes. It has also avoided 6 water filters being thrown away each year. Staggeringly, the figures provided are for a single person’s consumption!
As a Friday treat, staff often visit a well know franchise to buy a coffee and bacon barm. The bacon barm is wrapped in a paper bag that can be recycled, but the coffee comes in a single-use container. Staff were treated to a reusable coffee cup; used every Friday and for some, during other site visits. This has saved at least 250 single-use coffee cups from being produced and discarded each year. Re-using the cup holder has saved approximately 25 holders from being produced and recycled. Another small win that has made a significant company contribution to reducing our environmental impact.
The commute and business transport
This item is complex and requires a long-term view and understanding of the current options and what impact the various different transport systems have on the environment. When analysing the different types of transport their creation should also be considered; details of electric cars are yet to be truly understood. As complex as this subject is, we have taken a simple approach; reduce individual car journeys where possible. One member of staff commutes to work by bus, another uses a mixture of bike, train and car, whilst others sometimes work from home. Where possible we use trains to travel to different projects, even if multiple members of staff are travelling to the same site. The aim of reducing our individual car journeys has multiple benefits. It reduces the emissions created by travelling on your own and helps reduce traffic jams by taking cars off the road.
In addition, since the founding of the Company we have offset our carbon emissions – a carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere. One carbon offset represents the reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. Offsets are typically achieved through financial support of projects that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the short- or long-term. The most common project type is renewable energy, such as wind farms, biomass energy, or hydroelectric dams. Others include energy efficiency projects, the destruction of industrial pollutants or agricultural by-products, destruction of landfill methane, and forestry projects. Some of the most popular carbon offset projects from a corporate perspective are energy efficiency and wind turbine projects. For more info https://clear-offset.com/