As Vulog’s Office Manager, Alisa Novoselova is responsible for improving the daily life of employees in the Vulog Paris office. In line with her personal beliefs, an integral focus of one of her ongoing projects aims to find ways to make the office more eco-friendly.
1. Vulog’s vision of a green and shared future is no secret. How does this impact the day-to-day life at the company?
If you think about it, so much of a persons’ time is spent working at his or her nine-to-five. This leads to the potential for generating a lot of waste. It’s said that in an office setting, each year one office worker could potentially use 10,000 sheets of paper, 500 disposable coffee cups and capsules – this is a substantial amount of waste every year.
At Vulog, we’re taking steps to reduce this in a number of ways – and it surprisingly makes office life easier. For example, as part of an initiative to reduce our usage of paper, we’ve integrated electronic signatures. This not only has significantly decreased our paper usage, it also saves us the time that was previously spent on printing and then scanning documents.
It’s essential that our office uses eco-friendly office supplies – standard office supplies contain so much plastic! A few eco-products we have in our supplies closet include recycled paper envelopes, compostable pens made from corn starch, and pencils that you can plant after usage.
Though we’re not completely paperless… yet, we do make sure to reuse and then recycle all of the paper that we do use. I keep our teams aware of the bins dedicated to recyclable items by periodically creating games, challenges, and reminders to refresh everyone on how to make our office more eco-friendly. Our latest challenge is; ‘Vegetarian Week,’ in which all Vuloggers are encouraged to reduce their meat consumption – as avoiding meat and dairy is considered one of the biggest ways to reduce your impact on Earth.
One often overlooked but very important topic when it comes to an eco-friendly office involves reducing our carbon footprint. An easy way to do this is by cleaning your inbox. 1 email can actually generate about 10g of CO2 per year.
Vuloggers also have access to an internal corporate carsharing service. Cars and scooters can be booked via an app and be used for an hour, for a day, for a weekend, etc. Both the cars and the scooters are electric. To charge the EV cars, we use a green energy supplier called Ekwateur. It provides us with 100% renewable energy source.
2. What are you doing in the Vulog Paris office to reduce the company’s ecological footprint?
In addition to the previously mentioned tactics, at Vulog Paris we’ve included aspects of our kitchen into our scope for a greener office life.
When I started Vulog, I made it my personal mission to get rid of the individual espresso coffee capsules. Sure, these capsules are fun and easy to use, but they are also very unsustainable and create a lot of waste – even the recyclable and compostable ones! We now use a more sustainable machine.
We’ve also started a tiny herb garden on our balcony. For now, we only have a few plants, but it will grow in the coming months!
To encourage reusable containers, we have an assortment of cute and reusable lunch boxes and collapsible coffee cups, that we make sure not to forget when getting takeaway lunches or our 4 pm Starbucks. Fun Fact: You can save 30 cents every time you bring your own reusable cup to Starbucks.
We also never take the plastic cutlery when we get to-go lunches – it is so much nicer to eat with real forks and knives. This significantly decreases the amount of single-use plastics that we use, thus decreasing the demand as well.
Refuse - Reuse - Recycle is definitely what we are striving for!
3. What is your biggest piece of advice for maintaining an eco-friendly office?
Do little things, to make a big impact – and be consistent. Remind team members to bring reusable cups when they leave for a quick coffee run. Make sure everyone knows the companies vision and make sure all alternatives are easily accessible.
Maybe most importantly make sure to support every initiative towards a more sustainable lifestyle, as small as it might seem, because every step matters.