eir’s environmental sustainability programme

Members News - Jan 29, 2018

eir, Ireland’s principal provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications, was certified to the Business Working Responsibly Mark in 2016. The company has a long commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices and environmental sustainability is a core focus of their CSR strategy. eir has been making significant advances in this area in recent years and through the energy and creativity of their graduate team, have introduced an innovative green workplace programme.

The fresh eir programme was designed by the graduate team to improve the company’s impact on the environment by motivating their people, teams and departments to support environmentally friendly behaviours, attitudes and initiatives.

Understanding personal responsibility for environmental impacts is the principle of this programme.

Programme Manager Ronan Murray: “We are working to put the power and responsibility in the hands of individuals within eir to make our workplace more sustainable. To build a truly impactful programme we spent time researching employee’s views, where we were strong, where we were weak and where opportunity lay. Almost 600 of our colleagues participated in the research phase which in itself demonstrated the appetite for enhancement of our work.”

The company buys 100% of their energy from green sources and have started to implement programmes to offset their carbon emissions. In February 2018, eir employees will plant 10,000 trees in one day across Ireland. While making the country more beautiful, the planting day will effectively offset the carbon emissions of 60 eir vans annually.

To raise awareness of paper wastage through printing, the fresh eir team built a pyramid installation in eir’s head office last year. Representing the amount of pages printed throughout the business in one month. Ronan: “We have found that visual techniques, such as the paper waste pyramid grabs attention and following that simple initiative we saw paper printing reduce by 16% in the subsequent months, so we have the proof that it works.

We promote paperless meetings because we know that simple changes make a big impact.”

Aoife Casey is an eir Graduate and part of the fresh eir team: “We want people to improve their habits by making small changes that make a big difference to the environment. We have rebranded all the bins, ensuring that people fully understand what can and cannot be recycled. We’ve found that most people assumed disposable coffee cups are recyclable, they aren’t, and so we have introduced fresh eir cups for our colleagues to reduce waste going to landfill. When you use our cups you get discounts on your hot drinks, so you’re helping the environment and saving money” added Aoife.

Commuting for work in an environmentally friendly way; switching off and unplugging electronic devices remain consistent themes on the fresh eir communication calendar. They run energy awareness events and use engaging programmes such as the national Step Challenge to get employees out of their cars and walking to work. Bike to work schemes and teleconferencing alternatives are used to reduce unnecessary travel by car. Employees can log on and explore current and future environmentally-sound initiatives and join efforts to help promote sustainability in eir.

eir was recertified to the environmental management standard ISO14001 in 2017 for its leadership and commitment to environmental sustainability. For eir’s fourteen graduate team members, the fresh eir programme has offered them the chance to learn new skills while making tangible positive change.

eir Graduate and fresh eir team member, Gavin Ryan: “The fresh eir programme has been one of the best opportunities of my life; it has given me the chance to make a positive impact in the business as well as the environment in an ever changing world.”

To learn more about eir’s environmental sustainability programme, contact the team on fresheir@eir.ie

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