21 February 2018

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The Green Committee

Here at Finance in Motion, we do what we do out of conviction. From careful recycling to opting for public transportation, employees at Finance in Motion offices all over the world use a range of opportunities to make their daily workplace just a little bit greener.

In fact, employees are always thinking of more ways to live our company principles. In 2017, a group of motivated Finance in Motion staff decided to set up a formalized system for ensuring that these ideas have as much implementation support and reach as possible. The result was the Green Committee.

What is the Green Committee?

The Green Committee (GC) is an employee-organized, volunteer working group committed to exploring new ways to further reduce the environmental footprint of Finance in Motion’s company operations. It also aims to raise awareness among fellow staff and other company stakeholders of the difference they can make through their own initiative.

How it works

The GC serves as the first go-to point when employees have ideas on how to enhance environmental performance. These can address anything from using resources more efficiently and minimizing waste to finding alternatives to carbon-emitting travel. Once an idea has been submitted, the GC collaborates with the proposing department or individual on fine-tuning the initiative and obtaining resources. They then help launch the project and monitor its progress.

How it came about

It started with the company-wide retreat in 2017. This annual event gives all Finance in Motion staff around the world a chance to come together for two days of exchange and brainstorming surrounding a particular topic. In 2017, this included a competition: Who had the best idea for making Finance in Motion greener?

GC member Kristin Wächtler smiles when she recalls the event. “There were so many great ideas. And we thought, why not think long-term? We could take this momentum and make it a permanent part of the company.”

Establishing the Committee was the easy part. The motivated GC members then put their heads together to create a plan for project implementation. GC member Danyal Altunay explains their approach: “Employees come up with ideas – such as reducing paper use by switching to electronic signature options – and we help them turn these proposals into practices. There’s a cascade effect for positive impact, too. Some of it is tangible, like a measurable reduction in paper use. Some of it is intangible but still measurable, such as staff satisfaction.”

Already making an impact

The Green Committee has already been able to implement a number of employee ideas. The “Reducitarian” initiative, for example, made staff aware of the environmental cost of excessive meat consumption, inspiring the company’s favorite eatery in Frankfurt to make 50% of its lunch menu vegetarian. Although emissions-minded employees already use web conferencing and other technologies to take the place of business travel where possible, an initiative is currently underway to implement carbon offsetting for the travel that is unavoidable.

GC member Liisa Andersson remarks, “So far, being on the committee has been very satisfying, having fruitful discussions with like-minded people. And we have gotten some really creative proposals – it’s great to see that people are taking the ball and running with it.”