This week at webexpenses, we’ve focused on bringing even more attention to maintaining and growing a sustainable approach to business. By nature (no pun intended…) webexpenses is currently making some key contributions towards the quest of a cleaner earth, and we have every intention of getting even greener.
Some of our current practices include:
- Compatibility with digital receipts: our software allows for users to easily import their digital receipts into the system – removing the need for a physical copy and further aiding the global initiative of reducing paper wastage.
- Carbon tracking: carbon footprint tracking is an ever-important feature that allows our users to track and monitor their travel choices, allowing for exposure to company policies, cleaner alternatives and ways to improve their travel habits.
- Digital reporting: having organised and highly visible digital expense reports means no needless printing of reporting spreadsheets.
The voices of webexpenses ‘juniors’
Whilst we’re proactively maintaining and developing ways to become more environmentally friendly through our software, we noticed in the workplace that there were still plenty of opportunities to improve. However, to get even more of an insight, we also asked the young attendees of our ‘webexpenses juniors’ event hosted back in August what they thought we could be doing to improve our sustainable practice.
See for yourself what their views were, and how they thought we could improve:
We think it’s hugely important to be entirely considerate and involving of the younger generation’s ideas on sustainability. As it stands with our current global approach to resource consumption, we are on the road to shaping an irreversible future that if we don’t change soon will leave our ‘juniors’ at the forefront of it all – a scenario which many people don’t often consider.
Webexpenses ‘Green Week’
To further raise awareness this week, we’ve hosted a series of deceptively challenging ‘green’ themed activities in the office to promote the importance of sustainability within the workplace and beyond.
Our agenda this week was:
- Meat free monday: what is now being recognised as a global campaign – meat free monday actively helps raise the awareness of our over consumption of meat products that is a clear detriment to our environment. Though we didn’t expect those here who aren’t already to become vegan overnight, we wanted to show that one day without a piece of steak or chicken helps to show people that there are healthy (and tasty) alternatives that don’t always have to include meat!
- Tuesday: Energy saving: We placed particular focus on the often unconscious energy wastage that occurs in the office and encouraged people to for example: turn off the lights in rooms after use, and to turn off desktop monitors before leaving for the day. Surprisingly, just instant actions such as these can save vast amounts of energy. For example: leaving your monitor on overnight uses as much energy as it takes to microwave 6 dinners!
- Wednesday: Single use plastic free: For many people this was the toughest of the challenges and therefore was the most important to raise awareness of. At this point, plastic is everywhere. A huge quantity of stationary, appliances and food are packaged with non biodegradable plastic. Sadly, this ends up either wreaking havoc on the ocean and its ecosystem, or is placed into landfill. So, the next time you think to put a plastic straw in your drink, think of the turtles or buy some reusable aluminum straws instead!
- Thursday: Paper free: This is a big one for webexpenses and as already mentioned is something we’re actively advocating with our software. However, there was still room internally for us to reduce the amount we were printing, and as a result we made sure to make sure people weren’t printing unless absolutely necessary. Not only does printing reduce the amount of paper wastage, it also reduces the high amount of energy required by a workplace printer.
Finally, we took Friday as a day to reflect on the week’s activity, and to create a realistic action plan to further develop the week’s activities towards a more sustainable workplace. Alongside these key awareness days, we also ran daily trivia that had members of webexpenses trying to identify logos, symbol meanings, and the names of some iconic green characters which proved to be surprisingly difficult for some!
The element of green has also made its mark on some of our other business activity, with hope that it will encourage others to follow. One of the key transitions we’ve made is completely transforming the platform for our ‘webexpenses connect’ event.
‘Webexpenses connect’ has historically been a physical event – only available to our UK clients. However, this year we’ve taken a new approach and will be hosting connect as a virtual event – offering our global clients the opportunity to get involved regardless of where they are in the world.
As well as being able to provide global involvement, ‘virtual connect’ has also entirely shifted the need for the large and often unaccounted quantity of resources that would’ve been required for a physical counterpart. For example, the energy needed to power the event’s need for lights, heating, catering and technology will no longer be required – saving a large amount of unnecessary energy expenditure.
The decision to host the event entirely online also means for example that clients, suppliers and ourselves will no longer have to travel to the venue – voiding fuel emissions.
To give you an example of the potential saving in emissions – burning just one gallon of fuel contributes to 20 pounds of carbon monoxide. The average petrol/diesel car runs on 20-25 miles/gallon. We’re anticipating 300 attendees for our online event this year – with at least 80% (240) being from the UK of whom would have to travel to the physical venue… we’ll leave it to you to work out the amount of CO2 that won’t be entering the atmosphere.
The decision to host our event entirely online has not only provided our global clients opportunity to be involved, it has also been a leading example for us to recognise ways in which we can massively reduce energy consumption whilst still being able to deliver important focal points of our business.
We’re constantly finding new ways to become more sustainable. and we hope to inspire others to start taking their approach to sustainability more seriously. Even the small changes add up to make a big difference!