Illustration by Senem Ozdogan (NYC)

The interviews are part of the European Best Workplaces Guide 2011

You can download the guide for free here The Work Style Magazine

WE HAVE SPENT THE PAST 60 YEARS FILLING OUT THE PLANET new cities, new factories, new buildings, new facilities. Now we are at a point where the planet should be reclaimed. We can (almost) all agree that companies will have to be more careful with environment preservation.

But what can companies positively do to respect our planet? At Tetrapak they really care for the environment, as Gianmaurizio Cazzarolli, HR Direc­tor explains: “We believe in responsible industry leadership, creating profitable growth in harmony with environmen­tal sustainability and good corporate citizenship. Our strategy is to reduce CO2 emissions. We optimize our en­ergy consumption thanks to our build­ing automation system. We invest in re­newable energies, installing solar and photovoltaic panels that produce green energy.” At Tetrapak they also work with mobility management, as Ca­zzarolli explains: “Today our bus shut­tle is part of the urban transportation of Modena and an average of 50 em­ployees use this service every day. Our ultimate goal is that all wood fibre in our packages shall come from certified forests, managed in accordance with principles of sustainable forest man­agement. In 2010, 80% of our packages had the FSC Certification.

At Eurofirms they believe that compa­nies can do a lot by spreading a value of respect within their staff as manag­er Miguel Jordà says: “Companies can act as spearheads promoting solid val­ues between staff, both in executive and non-executive profiles. One of these val­ues is respect.” He adds: “This consists of very effective and very meticulous work at the same time. If we perform a very careful selection of every employee in the company, and we adopt a good behavior to instill some values, includ­ing respect, all employees will adopt a respectful attitude towards everything that surrounds them.

At CB Richard Ellis environmental re­spect is taken very seriously as HR Director Deirdre Bodley tells us: ”CB Richard Ellis is the only company in our sector to achieve carbon neutrality, thanks to the collective efforts of indi­viduals and teams across the globe. In EMEA, we have contributed to reducing our carbon footprint significantly: over 90% of our offices now have recycling programs in place and innovative local office initiatives are helping us become even more environmentally responsi­ble.“ But according to Bodley there’s still a lot to be done.”

At Admiral Group they have put in place various initiatives to respect the planet. HR Director Ceri Assirattishares: “We have recycling plans – no­body has waste bins – we all have recy­cling points in every office. We are cre­ating a new building and we want to make sure that is the most environmen­tally friendly building possible.” They also work with mobility as Assiratti re­veals: “We have also started a bike plan so that people can avoid using their own transportation, and we are also promoting a carpool plan, which we try to fill a car instead of having people us­ing many different cars when moving for business.

As a strategic goal for 2012, we will have all our factories where insulin is produced powered by wind ener­gy,” says Patrizia Fogheri HR Directorat NovoNordisk. She continues: “We changed our ‘car policy.’ All our cars have CO2 emissions limits, so that not only does the lease payment make a dif­ference but also the reduction of CO2 emissions does. We are also providing a policy to reduce travel costs and the impact of air travel.” She finishes: “We also have a campaign with zero CO2 which certifies all the materials that we produce.

Simon Linares, Group HR Director at Telefonica states: “Telefonica recogniz­es that its business has an impact on the environment – hence, we offer business smart technology and flexible working which deliver significant carbon sav­ings.“ He offers an example: “Our new Telefónica European HQ in the UK was built with sustainability at its heart. For example rainwater is captured and used for watering the plants and trees around the building. Pull printing will reduce the amount of paper and toner we use by at least 25 percent. It will also reduce our annual CO2 emissions by 113.5 tonnes.

For other companies sustainability is at the heart of their mission as Danone’s HR Director Tanja Neuserexplains: “We have three main goals. The first one is reducing our CO2 footprint. We have two areas where CO2 has the big­gest impact: logistics and PET. We want to replace trucks with trains. The other two ambitions are 1) water preserva­tion with access to pure drinking water. We do this in collaboration with UNES­CO and UNICEF; and 2) the protec­tion of our core products; we work very closely with the local environment.

For the nature of the business at Timo­thy James Consulting, the impact is less heavy, as Peter Bennet, owner of the company says: “We recognize that any small thing could make a difference, so we make sure that we do not waste paper printing documents. We make sure that all equipment and lights are turned off when we leave and we en­courage employees to recycle.“ As for the future he reveals: “We try to cut down on travelling to reduce our emis­sions. We also encourage people to use public transportation instead of their own cars.

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