GreenGlish is the name we've given to a whole series of measures introduced in the company, with the aim of reducing our negative impact on the environment.
We are all now aware of the need to limit the environmental damage caused by economic and industrial development, and by changes in the way we all live our lives. With an eye to the future, we're beginning to introduce a wide range of measures: both in our personal lives and collectively. The team has introduced the GreenGlish project as a way of combining our efforts and taking concrete action as a business. We hope that these steps will help to encourage others to do the same.
We keep an eye on the levels of CO2 generated directly or indirectly by what we do: energy consumption, our computer systems, transports, etc. Now, thanks to specialist help, we have become carbon neutral by contributing to positive projects such as reforestation programmes and alternative energy projects. Our decision to become carbon neutral was inspired by the 'Tour du monde en 80 hommes' project (www.80hommes.com), and we are not alone in taking this step: many groups, businesses, and organisations have already made the same choice not to leave a carboon footprint.
This sum takes the following points into account :
The energy consumed at our Paris offices (heating, lighting, etc.)
All the travel undertaken by the team on a daily or less regular basis: car, train, metro, or plane journeys.
The energy used to build our computer base (including hardware housed by external hosts).
We used a set of online calculation tools to establish just how much carbon we emit, and decided to over-estimate the total slightly, to be sure that anything which had escaped our attention was still included. It should also be noted that this calculation is based on the assumption that none of our suppliers (PC manufacturers, public transport providers, airlines etc.) practises a carbon neutral policy itself.
We decided against pouring all our Carbon Footprint Budget into just one project or organisation. GreenGlish is participating in a range of measures, in order to gain a certain level of experience and understanding of the field. This is particularly useful when we consider that new projects and measures are being created every day. We are currently working with the following organisations:
Renewable energy and energy-saving: Climat Mundi (www.climatmundi.fr) funding help for three projects:
Energy efficient ovens in Eritrea. This project is replacing old-fashioned ovens with energy-efficient ones, specifically in poor communities, thereby increasing living standards and preventing the desertification caused by deforestation.
Biomass energy in India. This project focuses on producing electricity from agricultural waste in a region of the country which suffers from frequent power cuts. Local farmers can supplement their income by exploiting this waste, and jobs are created in the process.
Wind farms in China. With this project, clean, renewable wind electricity will replace the current network of CO2-producing power stations.
Reforestation : Planète Urgence (www.urgenceclimat.org)
Reforestation is taking place in Indonesia, in the Deli Serdang district (Sumatra Utara province) and in Banda Aceh (Aceh province). GymGlish has financed the planting of 540 trees, which with five years' growth will compensate for 15 tonnes of CO2.
At the moment, we are limiting the carbon neutral project to the internal operations and activities of GymGlish. This means that, for example, we do not take into account the energy consumed by our customers' computers while they complete their GymGlish lessons.
In our offices, we practise the simple but effective policies of waste-sorting, recycling, and paper re-use. In addition to the refuse sorting system in place in Paris, we make concerted efforts to reduce the amount of rubbish we create on a daily basis. An example of this is that we re-use all paper which has been printed on only one side, making use of the blank side in a special 'used-paper' printer: very useful for documents which will only be used in the office. Additionally, almost all correspondence we have with clients and suppliers takes place via e-mail (bills, orders, etc.). Not only does this increase productivity, but it also results in much less paper being used.
GreenGlish alone is not going to solve the problems of climate change and pollution. This is just a starting point for a much-needed revolution in industrial and commercial practices, helped by an ever-growing range of technological solutions and alternative methods. We just want to contribute as much as we can to the environmental cause. We want our young company to get into the good habits which, in the future, will allow us to find the right balance between growth and protection of the environment
GymGlish Operations Manager