Save the en­vi­ron­ment with green workspaces

Busi­ness op­er­a­tions team­ing up with the ‘Green Of­fice’ pro­gram run by World Wildlife Fund Turkey, both save money and con­trib­ute to the en­vi­ron­ment with lit­tle cost-free mea­sures

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

THERE are many ways to save Planet Earth from its doom: A place un­der the in­flu­ence of global warm­ing where peo­ple are strug­gling to find green space and even wa­ter. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Turkey has kicked off a new pro­gram called “Green Of­fice,” aim­ing to stop the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment by pro­mot­ing bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion, sus­tain­abil­ity of re­new­able re­sources, and the re­duc­tion of pol­lu­tion and ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion.

The thing that ev­ery­body agrees on is that con­sump­tion habits threaten the fu­ture of the planet and if to­day’s cli­mate poli­cies con­tinue, two plan­ets will be needed in 2030 to meet the needs of mankind.

Speak­ing to Anadolu Agency (AA), Arzu Balkuv, WWF-Turkey project ad­min­is­tra­tor, said bold steps must be taken ur­gently world­wide and in all sec­tors, adding that the “Green Of­fice” pro­gram is aimed at achiev­ing this goal, as well.

In­form­ing that the pro­gram is an en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment sys­tem launched by WWF-Fin­land in 1999 and im­ple­mented world­wide to­day, Balkuv said, “The pro­gram is aimed at re­duc­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of our of­fices and there­fore ad­dresses a wide range of is­sues, from energy con­sump­tion to wa­ter con­sump­tion, from waste man­age­ment to pro­cure­ment pro­cesses.” In­di­cat­ing that the pro­gram is be­ing up­graded and up­dated by WWF-Fin­land to con­tin­u­ously fol­low new in­for­ma­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, Balkuv said the ap­pli­ca­tions of the pro­gram in Turkey are also be­ing de­vel­oped by WWF-Turkey in par­al­lel with the con­di­tions of the coun­try.

Cur­rently, there are a to­tal of 75 “green of­fices” through­out Turkey. Busi­nesses that want to be­come a green of­fice sign a con­tract and form a team of vol­un­tary em­ploy­ees who are asked to as­sess the present sit­u­a­tion of the of­fice and de­ter­mine at least three ar­eas to be im­proved and how much im­prove­ment will be made.

Balkuv noted that or­ga­ni­za­tions that achieves their goals and pass the au­dit af­ter a max­i­mum pe­riod of 12 months are el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive the Green Of­fice Diploma, and that the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s con­tin­ued use of the Green Of­fice Diploma is pos­si­ble with a new com­mit­ment to im­prove or fur­ther im­prove­ment each year, adding that Green Of­fice is an in­def­i­nite pro­gram in this sense. “The pro­gram has a par­tic­i­pa­tion fee cal­cu­lated on the ba­sis of the num­ber of em­ploy­ees and a fee for each year dur­ing which the col­lab­o­ra­tion con­tin­ues,” Balkuv said.

Balkuv stressed that the em­ploy­ees of the com­pa­nies sign­ing the “Green Of­fice” con­tract have learned to re­gard every­thing they con­sume, whether pa­per or energy, as nat­u­ral re­sources.

Stat­ing that that they asked em­ploy­ees to adopt ef­fi­cient use in their daily habits, Balkuv said a wide range of ac­tion plans are be­ing pre­pared from cost-free mea­sures that re­quire habit changes such as avoid­ing print­outs as much as pos­si­ble, us­ing dou­ble sides of the pa­per and shrink­ing when print­ing and set­ting the printer’s toner to the sav­ing op­tion, to mea­sures that re­quire in­vest­ments such as tran­si­tion to the LED sys­tem in il­lu­mi­na­tion.

Balkuv high­lighted that they saved 400 kWh of elec­tric­ity per per­son an­nu­ally thanks to the mea­sures taken in one of the of­fices par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram.

“Given the fact that elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by the elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion net­work is about three times as much as the elec­tric­ity con­sumed in the build­ings due to the losses in elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, it means a net sav­ings of 200 kWh per per­son per year,” she con­tin­ued. “Ac­cord­ing to TurkS­tat’s Jan­uary 2015 fig­ures, the num­ber of of­fice em­ploy­ees in our coun­try is more than 5 mil­lion. If ev­ery of­fice did this, 6,000 gi­gawatts of elec­tric­ity would be saved in one year, which means that we would not need four more power plants like the Afşin El­bis­tan B Ther­mal Power Plant. It was only cal­cu­lated for of­fices. Imag­ine also tak­ing into ac­count the sav­ing mea­sures in fac­to­ries, pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties and homes.”

Some of the sav­ings achieved by the mea­sures taken in the Green Of­fices are as fol­lows:

A Green Of­fice of only seven peo­ple saved about 2,800 euros from pa­per, toner and sta­tionery costs within a year thanks to the var­i­ous mea­sures that were taken,

A Green Of­fice saved A4 pa­pers equiv­a­lent to the height of a four-story apart­ment when stacked on top of each other a year later thanks to the var­i­ous mea­sures that were taken,

A Green Of­fice en­sured its em­ploy­ees travel 20 per­cent less and im­proved its em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion thanks to route op­ti­miza­tion of the shuttles used by the em­ploy­ees. This saved a dis­tance equiv­a­lent to cir­cu­la­tion around the world 200 times (83,280 kilo­me­ters) an­nu­ally. Thanks to this sav­ing, car­bon emis­sions, that can be cleaned by an av­er­age of 500 trees, did not hap­pen,

A Green Of­fice saved about 540,000 liters of wa­ter a year, equiv­a­lent to one fifth of an Olympic swim­ming pool, by re­duc­ing the reser­voir tank ca­pac­i­ties used only in of­fice toi­lets,

A Green Of­fice saved elec­tric­ity at a to­tal of 118,366 kWh in six months by chang­ing the type and lo­ca­tion of the lu­mi­naires in front of the el­e­va­tor in the plaza. This fig­ure is equiv­a­lent to the 43year elec­tric­ity costs for a fam­ily of four,

A Green Of­fice re­duced plas­tic waste by about 260 kilo­grams by sav­ing 8,800 units of 1.5-liter plas­tic bot­tles a year.

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