The ISR green certificate is a French equivalent of the Breeam/Leed certification. The owner of the building where our office is located obtained the ISR certificate in January 2023.
This certificate is the French symbol of Socially Responsible Investment for financial products. The ISR certification allows investors to easily identify investment products that seek to reconcile financial and non-financial performance by incorporating ESG criteria into their investments and management processes.
The building owner strives for better environmental footprint management based on enhanced governance, as well as using customised buildings for increased comfort. They want to achieve this through environmental activity, providing comfort and well-being for building users and building strong relations with the company's stakeholders.
Whenever possible, we try to give our IT equipment (and not only) a second chance. Most of our devices are still useful, so we sell them instead of throwing them out. This way, we limit the amount of waste, and our employees and partners can buy good equipment at very attractive prices.
Here’s how it works: Unusable equipment: Our IT provider collects it once every 2 years. It’s actually significant that a 130-person company does it only biannually, and all we need is a small 30x50x50 box!
Usable equipment: We regularly put it up for auction. We stage them online using our Sharepoint drive. We’ve been having these auctions pretty much always. The employee who was using a given device or tool has the right to buy it first. If they don’t, we put it up for auction (we stage those once/two times a year).
We sell phones, computers, and screens. Small devices such as keyboards are often given away for free or for a symbolic amount of money. Additionally, we have a separate Slack channel for Anyone who wants to sell something (not just company equipment) can use our #ignite-pl-buy-sell-swap channel. We do the same thing whenever we do renovations or equipment replacement in our office. Frequently, we give away many things for free.
This approach is more environmentally friendly and, in fact, cheaper compared to the costs of recycling.
At NoA Ignite, we have an app called Burn for Money. It’s integrated with a different app called STRAVA. It tracks each employee’s physical activity and gives them points for it. Once a month, the points are counted, and we select one person from the employees who scored points in a given month. The chosen person can choose the foundation to which the company will make a donation, the amount of which corresponds with the number of points collected in the app in a given month.
This is also a good reason for all of us to be more active, e.g., when biking to work. After all, cycling to work instead of taking a car or a bus is more eco-friendly and better for your health (and we have a parking lot for our employees’ bikes!).
For starters, we use water dispensers. We have already eliminated bottled water (less plastic). The drinking water comes from two dispensers that are available for all employees to use. They are connected to the water supply system in our office and don’t require plastic refills.
Additionally, all the company gadgets are made in compliance with the zero-waste approach. Most of them come from recycled materials, too. For example, our pens are made of wheat straw plastic and our notepads – of recycled paper.
We also try to limit the number of gadgets we use, and we always order only as much as we need. If we are about to order something new, we first order a small sample to check the product’s quality and durability before we order more. All gadgets are consulted with our employees, too. As a result, we have some employees who have been using NoA hoodies for years! If possible, our products are not just ecological but also biodegradable.
We also have a contract with a recycling company They regularly collect all the used batteries from our office. And speaking of office, we are proud of our little company’s library. We encourage borrowing books instead of buying them. Anyone who wants to donate their books to our library is free to do so. If we decide to buy new books for our library, we consult every purchase with our employees.
We use many devices sparingly (for instance, we don’t print if we don’t have to) and keep them in energy-saving mode, especially if they cannot be turned off. There is a movement detector in our staircase that turns the light on only when needed. And we are currently switching all the lightbulbs to LED ones.
Secondly, we have many plants in our office, but peace lilies are prevalent. That’s actually a funny story; eight years ago, our janitor brought one flower, and now we have over 200 of them! We like peace lilies because they clean up the air and absorb the radiation from electrical devices. And, naturally, many plants contribute to the lowered amount of CO2 in our office. Lastly, we have another Slack channel for employees interested in taking care of house plants.
As you know, our company has roots in Norway. When we were planning our new office, we got many useful guidelines on how to design it to be eco-friendly. As a result, we’ve had recycling procedures in place from day one but also energy-saving lights, water dispensers, and even eco-friendly coffee machines and teabags!
Lastly, we actively report everything that’s going on energy and waste-wise to appropriate institutions, such as the CRO (central register of operators), BDO (Polish database on products, packaging and waste management), CEEB (Central Register of Buildings’ Emissions) and KOBiZE (Polish national centre for emissions management).
The majority of initiatives we pursue don’t require extensive funds or time, or work. All you need is the right approach and some good will, and you can make your professional space safer and more eco-friendly. And what about your office? It’s never too late to start caring for the environment!
Dorota manages the office and helps by administering the building. She handles daily issues in our office in a cool and calm manner. She pays attention to details and makes everything run smoothly, from having aromatic coffee in the kitchen to negotiating contracts with suppliers. After hours, she is passionate about clothes, especially dress codes, in business and social etiquette.
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