Small changes, big difference. At The Language Grid, we’re committed to environmental sustainability – it’s vital for our future not only as a growing business, but also as citizens of this planet.
Our unique methodology is centered around a digital approach to language training, which not only delivers faster results for our students but also makes us a green choice amongst other business English course providers.
What makes The Language Grid a green business English provider?
The biggest way The Language Grid reduces carbon footprint is by removing the need to travel for lessons; since 2010 we have saved 152,698 km of travel which amounts to roughly 28.31 tons of CO2. To put that in context, the distance between Rome and Sydney is 16,311 km! So how do we do this? 50% of a standard TLG course is completed remotely on our digital platform; the other 50% is with a dedicated English mother-tongue trainer in person or video chat. And our video- call-only programs eliminate travel entirely.
The Language Grid is also a 100% paperless company. That means no printing, no photocopying, and no cumbersome learning materials for you to carry (aka no grammar books). All the learning resources and tools you need are located within our innovative digital platform. So, not only are we saving lots of trees, but you have the flexibility to study anywhere at any time; your lesson notes and preparation are always at your fingertips. Being paperless means we don’t use ink and toner either. Did you know that more than 400 million ink and 100 million toner cartridges end up as landfill each year?
So that’s what makes the The Language Grid an eco-friendly choice for your business, but we also have lots more ideas for making small but impactful changes around the office.
Our additional top tips for going green at the office:
2. Drinking water – go back to tap
You may think there is no harm in drinking bottled water because the plastic can be recycled, but a massive 80% of plastic water bottles still end up as landfill. There’s a false perception that distilled bottled water is safer than tap water – in most developed countries this is simply not true. If you really can’t live without a water cooler, then try new eco-friendly alternatives such as atmospheric water generators which convert humidity in the air to drinkable water.
3. Put the green in team
When it comes to organizing team building events, cookery competitions and escape rooms are always a nice option, but why not choose an activity that will also have a positive impact on your local environment? It could be a beach or street clean, tree planting day or better still – challenge your employees to come up with their own ‘Team Green’ idea.
4. Wash your hands of unsustainable Palm Oil
The unsustainable production of palm oil is having a huge, negative impact on our planet’s ecosystems and wildlife. The United Nations estimates that 55% – 60% of forest clearance in Malaysia was done to make way for palm oil plantations. It also identifies problems such as water pollution, loss of biodiversity and conflict within local communities. Few people know that palm oil is used in over 50% of consumer goods, including many soaps and cleaning detergents. Give your office bathroom a green makeover by sourcing eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products that don’t contain palm oil, or those with a certified sustainability label.
5. Smart working
Offering employees the flexibility to work from home has many advantages, not least of which is reducing your company’s carbon footprint. Don’t make unnecessary journeys. Think twice before traveling for a meeting; ask yourself is the journey really necessary or could you have an effective meeting via Skype or conference call?
6. Use Eco Apps
Just like improving your business English, going green requires a long-term commitment. Make yourself accountable for your actions by downloading any of the wide variety of free apps which help to track things like carbon emission and water usage. Check out Ecotracker, Gogreen Carbon Tracker and Dropcountr to mention just a few. The Language Grid digital learning platform works similarly – you can see in real-time how your language course is helping to reduce carbon footprint.
7. Be kitchen conscious
Do you really need a plastic stirrer for your coffee when a classic spoon will do the job just as well? By 2021 single-use plastics will have been banned by the European Union. That’s good news for our ocean’s marine life – no more plastic cups, straws, plates and cutlery. You can start today by giving every employee a reusable cup. You could also stock the office kitchen with Zero KM fruit and snacks by sourcing from local organic producers. And don’t forget to make sure that your coffee is Fair-Trade.
8. Recycle, recycle, recycle
When it comes to recycling, make it easy to guarantee that staff participate in your efforts. Place enough bins around the office in clear view and make sure they are emptied frequently. Remember that it’s not just about paper and plastic, electronics can be recycled too. It’s time to clear out that computer graveyard that’s occupying the stationery closet.
9. Green-up your procurement policy
When considering potential suppliers and collaborators, ask them what steps they are taking to be environmentally friendly. Using this as a criterion for evaluation can be a helpful way to reach a decision. Make a point of rewarding businesses that operate sustainably and respect the environment.
Our planet’s problems can seem immense, but each one of us has the power to make a difference – to be the change we want to see in the world. A green workplace is not just a trend, it’s a necessary goal that is, fortunately, 100% achievable.
Image: © Roberto De Riccardis