How globaleyez became more sustainable
With climate change becoming a more pressing and serious issue every day, businesses keep experiencing a mounting pressure to change their practices and become environmentally sustainable.
No wonder: according to the Carbon Majors Report, around 100 companies have been responsible for over 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions recorded since 1988.
However, the need to become more sustainable doesn’t only apply to “big polluters” like factories or commercial shipping, but to businesses that seemingly have little to no impact on the environment.
We digital brand protection experts at globaleyez are definitely in the latter category, but this doesn’t mean we don’t do our share in protecting the environment. Read on and find out how we introduced environmentally sustainable practices in our offices, and what consequences we can draw from them.
Businesses and the environment
Whether they realize it or not, every single business has an impact on the environment. For example, office practices like using new or recycled paper, energy efficient light bulbs, or waste handling all impact the environment to some extent.
Even a small company uses resources and produces waste on a daily basis. While it’s futile to compare their environmental impact with a large producer of plastic packaging, they can’t act like they don’t have an impact at all.
German Sustainable Development Strategy
No wonder that governments around the world encourage businesses to become more sustainable. But encouraging is one thing; we know that businesses need to be profitable to operate, and sustainability doesn’t always allow us to use the cheapest resources.
This is why the German Sustainable Development Strategy calls for measures to “price in” sustainability efforts (or a lack of them) of businesses on the global market. The Sustainability Code, an international sustainability reporting standard, could be a first step towards that goal.
Why globaleyez decided to be sustainable
globaleyez is a well-established leader in the field of brand protection. We help our clients discover and eliminate threats to their brands, such as counterfeiting, copyright infringement, grey markets, and much more.
Interestingly, we can also help the environment through our work as brand protection experts. Besides seriously harming a brand, counterfeiting also has a negative effect on the environment. After all, counterfeits tend to be produced in uncontrolled environments, with unknown resources and methods. These can have a very negative effect on the environment, which is why brand protection can help a lot by detecting and eliminating counterfeits.
Compared to other industries, digital brand protection comes with little direct impact on the environment, as the majority of our work takes place online or over the phone.
But this wasn’t enough for globaleyez. Since we occasionally have to travel for work between our offices in Cologne and Berlin, we try to take the most environmentally friendly option, like trains.
But in the event that we do have to fly, we always erase our carbon footprint by compensating for our business flights. This means that whenever we have to travel by air, we calculate our carbon emissions with the help of Atmosfair, and donate the equivalent funds to them. Atmosfair is a non-profit organization that aims to decarbonize the world economy.
However, this doesn’t mean that we can sit back and relax, thinking that we’ve done everything we can for the environment. In fact, there’s always more anyone can do.
Quality over quantity
Every firm, even digital brand protection experts need marketing material. But there’s marketing material you look at and throw away, and there are things you can actually use, like pens, USB-drives, or even kryptonizers. Well, globaleyez’s marketing material is definitely in the latter category.
Similarly, when we purchase office equipment like laptops or furniture, we tend to go for quality items that won’t become waste in a landfill anytime soon.
Instead of repeated purchases, we invest in quality equipment that can serve us for a long time.
Recycled is better
In order to reduce the harmful effects of paper production, we decided to stop using newly produced paper for our office needs, and switched to recycled paper instead. Think printing paper, napkins, tissues, and the occasional paper cup.
A few weeks into this practice, we discovered that these recycled materials are no worse than new ones, and they’re not even harder to procure.
Less paper, more efficiency
But recycled paper is still paper, so we decided to take the next step and try to eliminate paper as much as possible.
We shopped around a bit and gave various types of teamwork software a try. These tools allowed us to decrease our paper consumption. Which led to amazing facts.
In the two years since our Berlin office has been up and running, we only had to purchase printing paper once.
And guess what else we discovered? While our paper printouts went down, something else started increasing: our efficiency.
These digital processes enabled faster and smoother cooperation for us. Instead of rushing from office to office with a paper printout, we can edit and make comments on any file at any time. Fast, convenient, and very, very efficient.
Digital tools help us enhance our teamwork. Our collaboration became faster, more flexible, and more efficient.
Aside from reducing our paper usage, we also managed to improve our cooperation with our partners who conduct test purchases for us in over 40 countries and various time zones. Digital teamwork tools come in handy that way.
Accounting is generally a very paper-intensive area. On top of tradition, certain binding regulations (e.g. tax law, or the protection of sensitive data) still require companies to keep some of their accounting paper-based. With that in mind, we’re happy to report that accounting at globaleyez became as paper-free as possible.
For starters, our internal accounting system is completely digital and doesn’t require any printouts. Thanks to this, our accounting department now uses 33% less paper than before. And as the paper usage went down, the efficiency increased.
Our work processes have greatly improved because we can transfer data faster and act more flexibly.
And last but not least, thanks to decreasing paper purchases and our investment in quality, durable office equipment, globaleyez’s office supply costs between January and September 2020 were 30% less than during the same period of last year.
Sustainability at globaleyez definitely had a snowball effect. We changed one small thing, our paper consumption, and it led us to increased efficiency, faster and more streamlined work processes, and higher client satisfaction. Not to mention the actual positive effects on the environment.
This is why we see sustainability as a core driver for innovation at our office. Our effort to become more sustainable helped not only the environment, but made our team stronger, more flexible, and more resilient to external circumstances.
Like, for instance, the coronavirus crisis.