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Blog : Purple, only green


Purple, only green

Jane Sunley, Managing Director

On July 10th EDF, the first sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, are launching the UK's first 'Green Britain Day' as part of the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, in association with the Eden project. We're all encouraged to 'do something green for the team' on Green Britain Day, creating a wave of tangible action across Britain. People are organising clothes swapping parties, biking and walking to work, Paul Weller is headlining a special Eden Session to celebrate, in support of the Prince's Rainforests Project. Everyone wants to be more green and now with the advent of an initiative bearing the strap-line 'Team Green Britain. Do one simple green thing and help reduce Britain's carbon footprint', we have no excuse.

Although we have a robust CSR policy here which includes a hearty section on being green, here in the Purple Palace wanted to do something extra. Something that would make a real difference. So we thought about our impact on the environment. We already walk when possible, take the train rather than fly and also carbon neutralise any flights. We recycle everything we can and use only recycled paper ourselves. Our pens are biodegradable cornstarch, our pencils recycled CD cases...

Then we came across the one thing that we do that still very seriously impacts the environment - training notes. We train in excess of 5000 people a year. Each one receives a learning and development booklet with notes and exercises. That's an awful lot of paper, cardboard covers (even if they are made from recycled paper) printing, ink cartridges... not to mention manpower time, which could be put to better use elsewhere.

And for our talent toolbox clients, even though this talent management system is on-line with comprehensive reporting available at the touch of a button, we often end up 'adding value' by printing off hefty paper reports. Well maybe it's time for a change?

As is often the case, the blindingly obvious often strikes only when a subject is debated and this was certainly the case when Jessica, MD of our Bristol office said 'Why don't we make the notes better with more support information such as relevant articles, yet greener by emailing them or making them available on-line?' Of course. And following on from that, why don't we make talent toolbox summary reports into beautifully crafted PowerPoint presentations and send back up notes by email if required? We'll be enhancing our service and being more green.

So this is our 2009 effort for Green Britain Day. From 10th July all of our training notes (unless people have a long running programme with modular work-books - for now), supporting material and reports will be soft copy only. If people need paper for exercises, there will be some limited materials available though we will be doing our best to eradicate hard copies all together. And we will be mindful of the kinesthetic types, who like to have something to touch and hold, and will be working with them to wean them off or offer a greener substitute. We believe that with a bit of effort it can be done. We'd be really interested in your feedback - whether we work with you or not.

Visit teamgreenbritain.org to get involved and get all the practical support, information and advice you need to make a difference.

What are your plans for 10th July?

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