AFS Tech Center Awarded with an European Green Office Certificate

The Estonian Association for Environmental Management acknowledged the environmental-friendly activities taken by the Arvato Financial Solutions Tech Center team and awarded the company with an European Green Office Certificate.

„We are extremely proud to be among the 40 offices in Estonia who’s efforts to reduce their environmental footprint have been recognised by experts on a nation-wide level,” Katre Vahtra, the Member of the Management Board said

“We are not a large company. But we understand the fact that each step, however big or small, has an impact if it is done in the right direction – with the aim to guarantee a sustainable planet for the future generations. This is why we have decided to dedicate our time and energy on evaluating the effect of our operations have on the environment, setting clear goals and compiling an action plan to reduce our footprint” she added.

According to her, green transformation is not just about the changes in office management and buying eco-friendly equipment. “I am truly happy that the initiative came from our employees to be more sustainable, and that they share their ideas on how we could minimise our footprint, participating in the projects that prioritise sustainability. The engagement of each and every A-teamer is instrumental in achieving our goals,” said Katre Vahtra.

Going green may seem overwhelming

To manage the process of becoming environment-friendly at the AFS Tech Center systematically, a Green Office team was appointed to lead the initiative. According to the head of the Green Office team Miina Arop, a thorough assessment of the current situation was conducted to get a better understanding of which areas of office life affect the footprint the most and which activities are needed to reduce it.

„Beginning the process of green transformation can be quite overwhelming. Figuring out how to plan and prioritise all aspects that deal with the office energy consumption, building energy efficiency, IT equipment, paper use, water consumption, office furniture, waste management, business travel and commuting, indoor air quality, cleaning supplies etc – it’s a tough challenge,“ Miina Arop said, listing factors that affect AFS Tech Center’s environmental impact.

She said that the Estonian Association for Environmental Management has provided valuable support with its Green Office handbook and other materials that help identify problematic areas and structure all necessary changes into a coherent action plan.

„In a short time, our team has achieved so much. We have reviewed some of our services to make sure our office maintenance is conducted using sustainable products and materials like using cotton towel rolls instead of paper towels in the restrooms, cleaning the office with eco-friendly products. We’ve given up bottled water and single-use plastics. We have compiled an action plan for 2022 which will put a lot of emphasis on waste management – for example, we will reorganise our waste collection and introduce waste sorting stations in our office, but also organise workshops on recycling and minimalism,” Arop listed.

Supportive framework for transition

According to Jana Kelus, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Environmental Management Association, recent years have clearly shown that the implementation of the Green Office system and making the offices more sustainable are making waves in all fields of life.

“Many companies and organizations have found that the Green Office system provides a clear and fairly simple framework for taking the first step towards a green revolution,” she added.

AFS Tech Center team will continue with environmental-friendly initiatives such as planting trees on behalf of the employees, participating in the World Clean Up Day, promoting green mobility, boosting reuse and recycling through the soon-to-be launched A-Marketplace as well as organising lectures and workshops to provide useful tips on how each A-team member can further reduce the company footprint in their everyday work-life.