Sitra joined the Green Office network a year ago, when environmental work within the Sitra organisation was launched. Sitra’s target is to continuously reduce its emissions with the aim of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2017, which is also when Sitra will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
At the office audit, Sitra was commended for its comprehensive action plan for ecological sustainability, known as the EKKO plan, which has been adopted throughout the organisation. Sitra already had many aspects in order before joining the Green Office network, such as waste recycling and energy-efficient building technology and ICT equipment. In the past year, Sitra has created an internal channel for environmental issues and issued guidelines on how to reduce the carbon footprint. Introducing the employer-subsidised commuter ticket and courses for economical driving were also among the initiatives targeted to reduce emissions. The highly popular errand bicycles, (bright-green Jopos), have not only brought some colour to the bike stand outside Sitra’s entrance, but also encouraged Sitra employees to take the bikes out for a ride more than 70 times this past summer.
Most of Sitra’s environmental impact is the result of business travel, which is why the use of virtual conference facilities has been promoted by developing virtual meeting rooms and practices, as well as by training virtual conference tutors. Sitra staff have also had the excellent opportunity to buy locally and organically produced food from the online store Makumaku, which has a collection point at the Katri Antell lunch restaurant on the ground floor of Sitra’s office building.
“It is Sitra’s vision that Finland can be successful as a pioneer of sustainable wellbeing. Being awarded the Green Office certificate and the good examples of Sitra’s internal environmental work will hopefully motivate other organisations to take action to reduce their environmental impact,” says Johanna Kirkinen, Energy and Climate Change Lead from Sitra’s Energy Programme and the coordinator of the Green Office project.
Sitra employs currently approximately 120 staff. Sitra’s offices are located in the district of Ruoholahti in Helsinki. Finland’s Green Office network currently includes 190 organisations, 170 of which have been awarded the Green Office certificate. During 2010, Finland’s Green Offices saved 2810 tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to the previous year. This is equivalent to more than 426 passenger vehicles trips around the world.