CFA Adopts Green Office Campaign

AUG 6TH 2007

Communication Foundation for Asia adopts the green office campaign mainly to make the most efficient use of its limited resources and to promote environmentally friendly practices in order to minimize environmental impact and costs.

OBJECTIVES OF A GREEN OFFICE:

  • • to make the most efficient use of resources — materials, energy and water;
  • • and to minimize contamination, chemical and otherwise, of the environment.

EFFICIENT USE OF RESOURCES:

The keys to efficient resource use are the “4Rs” of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. The 4Rs are a hierarchy, with reduction being the most desirable goal.

1. REDUCE

Wherever possible, it is best to reduce materials, energy and water consumption, in order to produce as little waste as possible and save energy.

2. REUSE

After a product or material (solid, liquid, energy, etc.) has been used once, if possible, every effort should be made to reuse it.

3. RECYCLE

Recycling should be considered only for materials and products that cannot be reused. Although recycling does help to conserve resources and reduce wastes, there are economic and environmental costs associated with waste collection and recycling processes.

4. RECOVER

The fourth R: It may be possible to recover materials or energy from solid waste that cannot be reduced, reused or recycled at source. Recovery, however, is a specialized option that may not be available in all jurisdictions.

MINIMIZE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION:

Minimizing chemical contamination or pollution of the environment is the other major goal of the green office. Many of the products we use in our daily work contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment. The goal of an environmentally responsible office is to keep these substances out of the air, water and solid waste stream. Once again, the hierarchy of the 3Rs applies. The best way to minimize pollution from environmentally harmful materials is to reduce the use of products containing such materials to a minimum, by changing processes or by substituting more environmentally benign products. Where reduction is not possible, chemicals should be reused (as long as this is permitted under applicable environmental, health and safety regulations). Similarly, chemicals that cannot be reduced or reused should be recycled wherever possible.

SOME SUGGESTED “GREENING” STEPS THAT CAN BE IMMEDIATELY TAKEN WITHIN CFA

REDUCE

• Add more plants in hallways and in rooms to increase oxygen presence and decrease carbon dioxide presence in surrounding air, especially in smoking area.

• Notify all departments of scheduled vehicle trips; encourage “paki-sakay” to eliminate multiple trips to the same vicinity.

• Reduce paper consumption by:

  • - Using newsprint, rag paper, or “flipside” paper for drafts,
  • - Encouraging double-sided printing.
  • - Posting notice in copy machine area: “Is this copy necessary? Think before you copy.
  • - When copying, if possible, try to fit two or more pages onto one page by using the copy machine’s reduction feature.
  • - Reducing the number of distribution copies to those who “need to know.” Avoid “memo mania.”
  • - If document is non-sensitive, circulate only one copy to the distribution list. Or make use of E-mail.
  • - Designing space-efficient format for documents. (E.g., reduce margins, line spacing, etc., to reduce number of pages without sacrificing readability.

• Stop or minimize use of non-degradable plastic or styropor materials – e.g., cups, spoons, forks, etc. – especially during Coffeehouse fora. Use paper or other degradable cups instead.

• Water plants during cool times of the day (i.e., early morning or late afternoon) to minimize evaporation loss.

• Report water leaks in bathrooms.

• When replacing bulbs, use energy-efficient bulbs; avoid incandescent bulbs.

• Reduce power consumption by setting all PC monitors to screen-saver mode when idle.

REUSE

• Promote waste segregation at user level by providing separate receptacles for degradable, non-degradable and recyclable trash.

• Convert degradable trash to compost in-house, or pass to outside party that can make use of it.

• Where possible, use rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries.

RECYCLE

• Recycle envelopes, including pay envelopes.

• Recyle used paper to scratch pads.


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