Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome to the second issue of the quarterly Green Committee newsletter, Green Shoots and Leaves. It’s been a while since the first issue, but we have lots to report! In this edition, we describe the latest initiatives as well as the results we have achieved over the past few months.

Fighting Paper
We tried to control the usage of paper on several fronts. While two-sided printing and the use of scanners has gone up, the use of banner sheets has decreased. There is still a large amount of paper that can be reused. A couple of storage containers have been, therefore, set up next to the editorial printers. One is for one-sided paper and the other for used paper, and the collected paper is spiral-bound and reused as scrap paper.
A pilot project has been initiated to pulp returns at source. Finally, all school publishing has been moved to environment friendly paper and plans are afoot to do the same for higher education books next year.
Result: Paper consumption is down by 15 percent.

“Power”full Group
As you all know, we moved to the new office in May 2009. The awareness drive about the use of monitors and the lights in the office coupled with the building being LEED-certified* has led to a sharp decrease in power usage.
Result: The May–August power consumption was calculated to be down by 55 per cent!
*The leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) rating system is an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Planting Season
After several rounds of discussion and design, our office is going to have indoor plants very soon.
Wheeling and dealing
The shuttle service has been expanded. The bus now starts from Mayur Vihar Phase I at 8:15 am. The other pick-up points are Hasanpur Depo as well as Anand Vihar ISBT, Dabur Chowk and Vaishali Sector 5.

Future Notes
We are exploring possible options for recycling e-waste. Additionally, there are plans to collaborate with an NGO to plant trees in schools in the NCR area.

Get involved
At the end of the day, what we are trying to achieve is contribute toward a greener and better environment and your feedback is valuable to us to achieve this purpose.
Here are some suggestions sent by Rajit Anand:
1) Make sure that we always buy printers that have duplex (both sides) printing options and set the default for all print jobs to duplex printing. This can reduce the paper used by 30-40% very quickly if it is not already being done.
2) Have enough scanners around the office and encourage people who send paper-based documents by mail to send digital documents instead where possible. This not only reduces the paper footprint but reduces the time to receive, which is an operational efficiency, as well as reduces courier charges and the carbon emissions related to all the vehicles that would be involved in getting the package to its destination. We can achieve this by having a few heavy duty scanners in the office or by buying multifunction printers that have scanners scattered around the office that can make scanning and sending a very convenient option for all.
3) Ensure that we buy recycled paper as much as possible. This is paper that has been created from used paper and rags rather than by cutting down new trees. We can achieve this by sticking to buying from certain brands of paper manufacturers.
4) Have motion sensor based lighting in all conference and meeting rooms and cabins.
5) Stop the practice of providing plastic or Styrofoam cups for tea, coffee. Have people use porcelain cups or mugs that they wash afterwards and reuse.
6) Encourage people to have a pet potted plant per desk.

We hope that you have similar stories or suggestions and we would like to hear them. Do send your comments, ideas, experiences, and suggestions to pearsongc.india.greencomm@blogger.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome to the first issue of Green Shoots and Leaves, an initiative of the Green Committee at Pearson Education. Through this newsletter, we hope to raise awareness of the efforts taken by us as a company, a group, and individuals to create a better and greener environment. We hope that you will also have similar stories to tell and, if you do, we want to hear them.

Paper, paper, everywhere

One of the first things that came to our minds was to try and control the usage of paper. So we came up with the idea that this could be done as a simple step like turning the banner sheet off while printing a document or trying to reuse previously printed paper. Or it could be something a little more complex like getting all the printers used in an equal proportion or trying to reduce the amount we get printed in the first place. Printing on green paper, printing books on demand, getting our reviewers and authors to work on online chapters instead of hard copies are some of the other ideas in progress.

Lights, camera, and action

Notice how the lights in the office are still on even when no one is around? Or that people are in long meetings while the monitors of their computers stay on? Well, we hope that this happens less and less. Efforts are being made to make sure that lights and monitors are turned off when people have left for their homes. Similarly, window-facing desks and cabins now do not have all the overhead lights on until it gets dark.

Wheeling and dealing

As you all know, we have a shuttle from the Hasanpur depot to our office. But is that enough? A lot of us are still using our private conveyances or trying to get a cab or public transport to take us to work. We are trying to get more shuttles, start car pools, and get the existing shuttle to reroute so that more people can use the shuttle.

Wasting nothing

Whether it is e-waste or paper, everything can be recycled. So, of course, that is next on the agenda. On a similar note, water used in washrooms gets wasted so, while it raised a few chuckles, we did discuss the need to raise awareness about this as well.

Future notes

While we have moved to a green building, we also plan to introduce more green spaces around us. Getting plants around the desks, collaborating with NGOs to get more trees planted in civic spaces, and last but not the least, spreading the word around are some of the things planned for the future.

Get involved
We would like to hear your comments, ideas, experiences, and suggestions. Contact us at pearsongc.india.greencomm@blogger.com.