Good news: Green practices make economic sense

WWF’s Green Office programme aims to encourage use of alternative energy.


Hassan Naqvi January 29, 2014
WWF’s Green Office programme aims to encourage use of alternative energy. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


World Wide Fund-Pakistan’s Green Office network aims to bring at least 50 organisations in its fold by December 2015. The team has also planned to conduct “lighting audits” and workshops to increase employees’ engagement with the environment.


The Green Office Initiative began in 2009 with the mission statement: eco efficient offices succeed by saving.

Several companies including Engro Fertilisers and Corporation Limited, Packages Limited, Mobilink Pakistan, Unilever, Berger Paints, Lotte Chemicals Limited, Qarshi Industries, IBA Sukkur, Sialkot Dry Port Trust, Fatima Fertilisers, Younus Textile Mills, Pioneer Cement Limited have joined the Green Office Network since the programme was launched. As many as 18 companies (26 offices) in the country have joined the network.

Procedure

Environmental Assessment Senior Programme Officer Nazifa Butt said that they aimed to reduce the amount of resources consumed in offices and bring down the carbon footprint. She said the programme was trying to promote climate change mitigation by encouraging the use of alternative energy resources. She said they were also trying to educate employees about the environment.

She said, “We want to expand the scope of our programme by giving organisations suggestions on processing sites and environmentally sustainable processes. These will further reduce cost and carbon emissions from these organisations.”

She said they first contacted several FMCGs, MNCs and SMEs and signed contracts with them. “We evaluated their consumption patterns and practices, layout, the number of employees and then created environment friendly management plans for them.”

She said the companies then constituted Green Office teams to implement the programme and achieve the targets set by the WWF-Pakistan.

Companies set up Green Office teams to implement the programme and achieve the targets [reduction of natural resource consumption] set by the WWF-Pakistan.

Initiatives like switching to using LEDs and energy efficient appliances, promoting paperless work environment and optimising paper usage and reducing travel by encouraging video conferencing are encouraged. General office waste sorting, reusing and waste recycling are promoted. Companies are encouraged to purchase ECO friendly products. Water use is minimised and leakages monitored.

Azfar Ali Khan of the Engro Polymers Head Office told The Express Tribune that the Green Office Initiative had helped them bring about a behavioural change in employees regarding energy conservation. “We feel good and much more motivated about environmental protection.”

What has been achieved?

The Unilever Karachi head office has managed to reduce its energy consumption by 41 per cent [a decrease of 1,506,770 kWh in 2012 compared to 2011]. Engro Corporation and Fertilisers, Karachi, managed to reduce its energy consumption by 74,746 kWh in 2012, a 17.8 per cent reduction compared to consumption in 2011.

Qarshi Industries Ltd reduced its consumption of paper by 46 per cent in the last quarter of 2011, saving Rs159,238.

Packages Ltd, Lahore, reduced its electricity consumption by 14 per cent (2, 51,600 KWh) in 2010 compared to 2009.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2014.

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