Apples and lemons have become a regular feature in the Athene Communications office this year.
No, we haven’t misinterpreted cockney rhyming slang, or misheard a traditional nursery rhyme, these are the two trophies we present each week to recognise our efforts to be environmentally aware.
The role of individuals and businesses in being environmentally friendly and sustainable is high on today’s agenda, you only have to observe the online reaction to the scourge of plastic pollution as recently shown in the BBC’s Blue Planet.
Running an environmentally friendly business helps you reduce your impact on the environment and preserves natural resources. With this in mind, Athene Communications has committed to a number of the initiatives.
This includes a ‘Green Leap Day’ each February where the team spends an afternoon volunteering in the community to make a difference to the environment, the effective outlawing of non-reusable coffee cups (which used to be a common sight in the office) and developing our car park into an urban garden design.
It is important to be challenged and evaluated, and Athene Communications has been a member of Investors in the Environment since 2011, receiving the green accreditation since 2013. We also won a national Green Apple Environment Award from The Green Organisation to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.
Apple of attitude
The most recent addition to recognise efforts has been the ‘Apple of Attitude’ and ‘Bitter Lemon of Disappointment’, where each week a member of Athene’s ‘green team’ credits a colleague for their deeds in being environmentally aware by presenting them with the apple trophy.
On the other hand, if someone’s efforts had slipped slightly then they would be the owner of the lemon. This has proven to be a fun, simple way to ensure our team is conscious of their individual role in looking after the environment whilst at work and at home.
This ranges from car-sharing, making sure computer screens aren’t left on standby, ensuring lights are switched off in empty rooms, or taking a reusable coffee cup when going for a morning caffeine boost. It all counts.
The impact since the introduction of the apple and lemon has been noticeable with less bags of waste being put out for collection each week as well as a collective attitudinal change.
The company is growing in size – we now have 20 full time employees and a small team of associates – and we have just expanded our Peterborough office building in Priestgate by moving into the former flat behind our previous premises.
However, despite this growth, our environmental focus remains in tune and everyone is playing their part. So, what’s in store for 2018? The building expansion has created more open space and this is being turned into a small seated area and an urban garden, designed to bring nature and colour into our currently barren car park.
What initiatives does your company do to encourage being environmentally aware? We’d love to hear any success stories you have – do get in touch with us. If you are interested in the Investors in the Environment Awards visit www.iie.uk.com.