Sunday, 4 May 2008

Saving the environment they say

Lately, one group of people jumped into the save-the-environment bandwagon and are now actively taking measures to ‘save the environment’. Do you know who are they? No, I am not referring to the bunch of people who gather at Sunway or Pavilion to freeze for a few minutes and believed they have done something good for the earth. I am referring to the corporate players a.k.a. modern slaves masters.

Yes, a lot of big companies are currently actively engaging in environment saving initiative. From the initial look, one would think that they are indeed doing something noble.

Are they?

Well, perhaps we should take a look at the things that big corporations are doing in their so-called ‘save-the-environment’ exercise…

One of the very first things that corporations will do in their environment campaign is to ask their staff to use less paper. Try not to print your mails or your documents, read them from the computer. If you screw up your eyes, it’s perfectly fine; at least you save some trees. And if you really have to print, make sure you print them double-sided.

Next is the famous ‘bring-your-own-mug’ initiative. A lot of corporations are going to stop providing paper or styro-foam cups in their pantries. Styro-foam is of course very hazardous to the environment as it is a non-biodegradable substance while usage of paper cups will of course results in less trees on earth. So, they ask their staff to bring their own mugs to make drinks in office.

Reduction in usage of electricity is also a good remedy in saving the environment and naturally, these corporations have also made the necessary steps in trying to ‘play-their-part’. How if you may ask? Nope… it’s not by turning off the lights after office hour… it’s not by asking staff to shut the computer down after office hour… they are saving electricity by shutting down the……… air-conditioning after office hour.

There are many other things that corporations are doing in their own version of ‘save-the-environment’ campaign. Some are pretty ridiculous and they are always within the ambit of ‘reduce this’, ‘less of that’, ‘stop this’ and ‘stop that’.

I know I am being a cynic but from all the things these corporations have done, I think they are doing it only because it helps in cost reduction. To me, saving the environment is purely secondary. I mean, if they really want to protect the environment, there are a host of other things to do but it will involve huge investment.

One of which is to use recycled paper. This is more effective than asking staff not to print stuff. But then again, recycled paper is expensive so, do you think corporations will do it?

Why only shut down the air-conditioning? Shut down the entire office after say… 7pm, I am sure that will save A LOT of electricity. But that would mean people will not be able to work and business will be affected. Do you think corporations will do it?

The other day at lunch, one of my colleagues made a statement… “If not because it saves them money, I don’t think they give a damn’.
He was absolutely right.

29 comments:

k.h. said...

let's freeze at office for 5 minutes then ;-)

Sunshine said...

lets see in my office what do we do for the environment:-

1. we have separate bins for paper, plastic, metal, and wet waste
2. they changed all the lights to energy saving lights last year, so that it would consume less energy, reduce heat, and CFC
3. all office functions, no styrofoam utensils, only those recycle ones can be used (this is also applied to the office canteen)
4. the bring your own mug, extends to not only our pantry, but even to our meeting rooms, no paper cups provided
5. there is a web portal on tips to be more environmental friendly

actually lots of things la... too many to mention :P

angeles said...

in my office, we recycle all papers, on our own initiative ;-)

Johnson Tee said...

I think u are just being a bit too cynical here zewt. If doing our bit to save the environment does save the company some money, so be it.

In my years working in a big four accounting firm, I always felt guilty for printing too much paper.

My company upgraded the printers to print double sided, remove paper cups and use both sides of the paper. I think it is a very good idea and should be encouraged.

If u watch the inconvenient truth, you would know that world disaster is upon us. But the solution is also easily achievable, its just a little inconvenient.

Should all workers shut off their computers and air cond and go home by 7 pm? Absolutely. We all need to make some changes on the way we do things.

Every piece of paper we save every minute we shut down electricity helps. Get with the program.

Tekkaus said...

Hmm...every minutes count! Every single gesture we do will help our mother earth! So no matter how little that effort is, it does matter! =)

Maxforce said...

Good post though I thought it was already damn obvious that its about cost saving rather than environmental friendly.

whoalse said...

Can't agree more on these "save the environment" measures.....! printing multiple drafts and workpapers have been a norm for accounting (& law) firms. Hopefully, the mentality would change soon for the best!

suituapui said...

Well, those steps may be cost-cutting but can't deny they are good for the environment. What bugs me is how these people harp on such things usually for show only...and they come to work in their huge petrol-guzzling cars, aircon full-blast...and they would drive, say to go for lunch, even though it's within walking distance...and they never use public-transport or give lifts, much less car-pool...they live in mansions with huge chandeliers and lots and lots of lights, fully air-con too etc...etc...etc.... They're all hypocrites!!!

Huei said...

he's damn right alright!

do people actually fall for the "save the environment" crap? if big companies think their employee do..then they're just teasing their intelligence! bleh!!

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

There is half truth there about this post.

My company is using a different method in saving the environment. Instead of asking us not to print, bring our own mug etc, they included some go-greener tips at our weekly newsletter which:

1. Give us driving tips to save the petrol and environment.
2. Gave suggestion & tips on how to protect the environment at home.
3. Give us tips on what type of contains to look for in detergents & soaps that would help protect the environment.
4. Many others...

See, it has totally nothing to do with office supplies. Some companies really try to work this out. I am happy that we do not have those policies that you mentioned.

j or ji said...

i wish people who freeze emself at pavilion or sunway to freeze forever.
we shud recycle em.

welcome back! :)

pavlova said...

while the corporate players might have done it on a different agenda, nonetheless it probably does get the ball rolling, whether be it sincerely "save the environment" or not.

in Msia, our government ain't gonna shout that message anytime soon, so the biggest movers will probably be the corporate companies. whole idea is just to instil some values among the employees...

and hopefully these employees will bring home that attitude.

but of course, the best efforts are still individual's efforts. if everybody can do their bit, it'll be much better.
we can save ourselves some money too!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

totally agree with you lar..they shud impose a rule like wkends shut down..dont come back office!

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Agree with u totally! If can save $$$$$ all can do wan! Have a nice day!

Terra Shield said...

I'm all for the bring your own mugs, print double sided, etc... but turning off the air cond after 7 pm is too much.

zewt said...

k.h. - sigh...

sunshine - not bad... the part where your office changed all the bulbs was really impressive.

angeles - means use paper from your 'mistakes' la...

Johnson Tee - i am not saying they are not good initiatives. I am just saying that they dont really care if the initiative costs them money. but i admit... i am being a cynic?

Tekkaus - hello there. well, it does. i agree. but i am referring to corporates.

maxforce - max, you got my point!

whoalse - they should do more. they should spend some money.

zewt said...

suituapui - my sentiments exactly...!!!! another reason for all these is... publicity.

huei - yeah, the big companies and our govt sometimes have the same mentality hehehe...

purple mushroom - well, some are real and... as long as they dont need to incur additional cost... it's ok. i respect the company of sunshine as mentioned above.

j or ji - hahahahaha... recycle them for what?

pavlova - like i said, if they are in it for real... announced that everyone must shut down computers by 6pm... will they do it?

constant craver joe - exactly!!

hor ny - yeah la... if have to spend money.... then...

terra shield - yeah, turning off computer is much better eh?

CK Tan said...

i think wat zewt means are the measures taken just to save cost for the big corporation but they will refrain from engaging in any changes that need investment. just save but no money invested is so WRONG.

my 2cents

missironic said...

i tink tis is where saying "save the environment konon" really fits the bill..lolz..in the end it is still for their own benefits eh..hmm, selfishness of some people still can't be shaken off no matter how "noble" their actions are..sighs...

Helen said...

The perfect excuse for big corporation to skimp under the noble guise. lol

jam said...

Your friend is absolutely right. But at least they are doing something, right? That someone who talks about saving the environment also includes me. I believe everyone of us should have some degree of awareness towards protecting the planet we are living on.

zewt said...

ck tan - precisely. it is a cost cutting measure nicely hidden under the environment agenda.

missironic - in the end, it's all about their own pocket. sigh...

helen - yup... very smart they are. and who are the one who help them scheme? the modern slaves themselves.

jam - i am all for environment too. but i am just too cynical when big corporations launch such initiative.

myop101 said...

no la... every savings count even if we know who pockets the most out of it.

people here in the peninsular take things for granted when it comes to electricity. do you know in sabah, a lot of people don't have full 24 hours uninterrupted supply of electricity (especially east sabah)? they have to get their own diesel generators.

so despite being cynical, try to look at it from the environment point of view. we should learn to be more conscious of what we use. once it is gone, it will not be coming back.

much as i despise these hypocrites, i think so long as our goals are the same, i will just sit in and hang tight.

KittyCat said...

I agree with Johnson Tee and Pavlova - the big guns (esp MNCs) are doing the right thing and it IS in their best interest to cut costs. They are businesses, you know?

Their bottom lines are their raison d'etre - that's where the staff's salaries come from too!

$$$ is sadly the best way to get anyone interested to save the environment even if it's a secondary item on the agenda. At least, the effort is still made. What's key now is to get everyone moving FAST

zewt said...

myop101 - fair enough, i guess we just have to look at the good things that they are achieving. :)

kittykat - yeah, salaries come from there... but think they are also trying to cut that. sigh... bad bad bad.

sharlydia said...

welcome back dude!

I was about to finish a short post on this too, haha! Hot topic it seems...

well i guess we can be more positive on this thing about corperation trying to save the environment lar...Ofcoz no doubt these things will save them big money too, but at least they contribute to the environment right? This is far better than not doing anything or doing something which destroys the environment more!

zewt said...

sharlydia - saving the environment is good... but shadowing it under a 'cut cost' plan is bad... terrible.

alan zed said...

seriously, i dont get the idea of freezing... explain... huhu.

zewt said...

alan zed - that's just another glamour event.