Small effort, bigger picture

    Don’t worry, this article won’t tell you to stop drinking coffee! But, have you ever thought about how your morning cup of coffee affects your carbon output?

    In some LM Wind Power offices, single-cup coffee pods are more popular than ever, and each cup of coffee you enjoy means one more plastic pod that might end up in a landfill.

    As the Front Office Management Assistant at Schiphol Office, a few years ago Chantal Nieman started to notice these coffee capsules piling up.

    “Nearly 50 people work at the Schiphol Office, and each day I could see how much waste we left behind,” Chantal said. “That waste has an impact on the environment, so I wanted to do something to make a difference.”

    Data makes the difference
    The first step was to begin sorting the coffee capsules, so they could be recycled instead of thrown out with the other trash. But Chantal went one step further: she began tracking the number of coffee capsules used each year, along with all other office waste.

    Here’s what the data revealed: 5200 capsules used in 2015, 11400 in 2016 and 13200 in 2017. Thanks to Chantal’s efforts, today all those capsules are recycled instead of sent to a landfill, and employees are considering ways to reduce their coffee consumption.

    In addition to coffee capsules, the Schiphol office now sorts and recycles all paper, plastics, used batteries and toner cartridges, and Chantal tracks the amounts used in the LM Wind Power Data Management System (the platform all of our locations use to record data related to waste, electricity consumption and other areas where our operations leave a footprint).

    Chris Berkhout, Sustainability Data Analyst, sees efforts to track waste, electricity consumption and other indicators as the foundation of LM Wind Power’s sustainability commitment. “Without data, we wouldn’t be able to tell how much CO2 we emit and from which activities these emissions come from,” Chris said. “We also wouldn’t be able to identify the area that would deliver the largest efficiency gains and therefore cost savings. And we would certainly not be able to say whether we did better or worse over time, let alone determine if we have met our goals. As the saying goes: without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

    Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, Communications & Sustainability Senior Manager, added: “Though it was our CEO and entire top management team who signed off on our industry-leading commitment to become carbon neutral in 2018, a truly global sustainability drive can only be implemented and achieved with the support of individuals. As the Schiphol Office has demonstrated, anyone and everyone can play a part in reducing our carbon footprint. Chantal is a great role model and I’m confident that others will feel inspired to follow her example and contribute directly to making a difference.”

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