Friday, July 30, 2010

Welcome to the latest issue of the Green Committee newsletter, Green Shoots and Leaves. Starting from this issue, we have introduced a new column, Personal Notes, in which people write about their experience/suggestions about the Green Committee and we start with Vivek Govil’s jottings. We also bring you the highlights of the Green Day along with the photos of the event. And finally, we describe our partnership with a local school to plant trees.

Green Day
The Green Committee, along with 3C, organized a Green Day on July 9th, 2010. As part of the drive to support environmental Non-government organizations and raise awareness, several stalls were set up in the lobby of our building. Organizations like Empowerment of Youth for Environment Conservation (EYEC), Navdanya, Goonj, Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, and the Kutumb Foundation, among others, participated in the event. EYEC’s products included oxygen-rich plants and jute products. They had also sponsored a group called TooSid that sold personalized T-shirts. Similarly, Navdanya’s organic spices and pickles were a huge hit among the office folks. People in our office were seen carrying new bags and cellphone pouches the very next day, thanks to these products being sold at the stalls of Goonj, Happy Hands, Setu
Foundation…in fact, there seemed to be a competition going on to decide who bought the maximum number of bags! On a serious note, the event was an eye-opener since it showcased the ingenuity and innovation of these groups. For instance, Swechha sold purses and wallets made of recycled Mother Dairy packets, while Annu Grover, the MD of EYEC, talked about gifting plants instead of flowers to colleagues. Similarly, Parichay, Divya Jyoti, and the Kutumb Foundation volunteers talked about working with the underprivileged. It was heartening to see that people from other offices also walked around and bought the recycled products, and we
hope to organize more such events.

Personal Notes

Green Business Is Good Business by Vivek Govil

Pearson is a company that truly believes in its responsibility to the environment, and I have had to learn a lot about what it means to be green since I joined. Fortunately there are a lot of committed people within the company from whom I could learn. Having a relationship with TERI, and being a member of their Green Publishers' Guild has also helped. The formation of the Green Committee has been a big step forward in this process – it really is an honour to work with committed and enthusiastic people. My main role in the committee is that of a banker – if any of the projects need a little bit of financing, I get to say “Yes”.

The greatest learning for me has been that 9 times out of 10, when we look at how to reduce our carbon footprint, it boils down to how we can cut out waste. And cutting out waste - whether in paper, fuel, travel or utilities - eventually results in savings. And that is usually good business. I could probably give you 50 examples of things we’ve done over the last two years, but Jonaki has given me a word limit, so here are a few:

• We looked at how to reduce our paper consumption in our books. And we discovered more efficient book sizes and more efficient paper sizes, both of which saved paper (and cost).

• We looked at using printers who follow good environmental practices, and because that made us consolidate our business, we saved money (while improving quality)

• We looked at reducing freight, and found that it was more economical to set up a second warehouse in Chennai.

• When choosing a new office, we chose Knowledge Boulevard, and our expenses on utilities are down dramatically.

• We looked at how to reduce pulping of books (could there be anything more wasteful?) and we have achieved that through better inventory planning, and digital printing. That means lower inventory and better working capital management.

The list goes on, but I guess you've got the point.

The same logic applies when at home. While it’s good to replace your lights with CFL's, the best thing you can do is to turn off the light when you leave the room and switch off appliances rather than leave them in stand by mode. You don't always have to invest in order to save.

So my personal lesson has been that green business is good business, whether at work or at home. Is that noble and uplifting? Possibly not. But each of those steps probably has a greater environmental impact than some of the token measures I've seen in some other companies.

You can, of course, go beyond by doing things which help save the environment without having a commercial benefit. And each of us do that in our own way. In office and at home. If you were to ask my wife, she would say that the main thing I do to save energy is to lie on the sofa and do nothing!

Planting Season

On 24th July, Pearson sponsored the planting of 100 saplings at Ryan International, Greater Noida. The planting was carried out in collaboration with OISCA, an NGO, and was also a part of Pearson’s long-service award policy. Ryan International and OISCA organized a brief cultural program along with the plantation drive. Ten of our colleagues got to plant saplings and participate in the event.

They are:

1) Nikhil Bhargava – Manager –Promotions
2) Suresh Gupta – Sr. Finance Manager
3) Rajnish Mathur – Regional Manager – Sales School & ELT
4) Naveen Rajlani – Vice President – School Division
5) Dipankar Bose – Sr. Vice President , PISO
6) J Saravanan – General Manager – Marketing HE & PTG
7) Rambir Singh – Office Assistant
8) Vinod Kumar – Operations Assistant.
9) Rajpal Singh – Office Assistant
10) Sukhveer – Operations Assistant

Congratulations to all of you!


Save Energy to Save Money by Rahul Sharma (based on his Internet research)

  • Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
  • Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are switched off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes toward heating the water.
  • Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy, which is otherwise used during machine drying.

Get Involved

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