atomix Goes Green: Our mission to go carbon neutral

Thursday, June 8, 2017 | By Charlotte Du Rieu
Read time: 5-6 mins
atomix set aim to be carbon free

*After World Environment Day earlier this week, we thought it was high time we started sharing our efforts to become an environmentally-conscious studio.

Our goal? Become carbon neutral and reduce paper usage by 85% by June 2018!

Let Charlotte, one of our digital marketers and environmental manager, tell you all about it and how you can join us on this important mission*

 

For a digital agency, our team has a firm grasp on the current state of the outside world and how our actions can have an impact. So when it came to kickstarting atomix’s campaign to be cleaner and more conscious, things started happening quickly.

I’m proud to be part of a company that bridges the gap between the work we do for our clients and support for the community. Our relationship with Orangutan Trekking Tours and more recently with Shitbox Rally is a fantastic example of how we’ve used our expertise to do things that have an impact on the world. We’ve also been inspired by the great results of our client ZEN Energy, who are spreading the miracle of solar battery storage around Australia.

I started the ‘atomix goes green’ project to give our company an environmental policy we can always refer to and build on, worthy of our other fantastic initiatives. We’ve got a long way to go until we’re certified green but our progress so far is pretty exciting – if anything, it’s worth a blog!???

 

Charlotte and an orangutan. Really.

 

Offices produce a lot of waste. Homes do too, as is so eloquently portrayed on ABC’s War on Waste. I won’t claim that I’m completely waste-free (it’s the dream), but at home I try to reduce, reuse and recycle where I can – and I noticed that didn’t always carry through when I came to work.

We aren’t a hugely wasteful office but it was time to get some systems in place in a company that’s growing larger by the week.

office waste factIn true marketing fashion, I put together a plan that included research, goals, strategy and action items and presented it to the management team. They all supported the project (yay!) and appointed me atomix’s eco guru – a name that hasn’t really caught on around the office yet.

The project is made up of four stages:

Stage one: the atomix team buy-in

I put together a survey which asked everyone working at atomix whether they think about ecological issues at home, work or in the world, and for suggestions on what could work in the studio.

The responses were incredibly helpful and encouraging. From my own conversations with various atomix team members, I knew people were generally keen on being green. It was fantastic to learn about what they did in their own lives to be more sustainable and how it could be worked into office life. So with the original strategy and some new ideas, we were able to put together a plan for now and for further ahead in the future.

Stage two: goal setting

We researched how we could make the most impact as a corporation and two options stood out; becoming B-corp certified or going carbon neutral. While getting our certification as a B-corp is a fantastic option and something we’d like to aim for in the future, we aren’t able to give the process as much time as it requires right now.

Offsetting 100% of our carbon emissions by planting trees was a more viable solution thanks to our existing relationship with Orangutan Trekking Tours in Borneo.

atomix’s goal: we will be 85% paper free and completely carbon neutral by June 2018.

(Unfortunately, some things just need to be printed at this stage… double-sided, of course!)

Stage three: how we’ll get there 

After collating my original ideas and some from the team, we had a list of short term goals for us to work toward while we chipped away at the long term.

atomix’s short term goals include:

  • Ink cartridge recycling
  • Battery charging stations
  • Eco-friendly dishwasher
  • Team duties roster
  • New recycling and waste streams
  • Use of sustainable materials with WhoGivesACrap.org deliveries
  • Online proposals
  • A loose leaf tea station
  • A compost system
  • Reduced power consumption per person
  • Waste-free days

Stage four: reporting and feedback

Each month I update our environmental Slack channel with what we’ve accomplished and what’s coming up next. We also use it as a space to talk about interesting things we’ve seen and heard in the environmental world!

 

Recycling Streams Bins

Our new recycling streams ft. Bob Marley

A healthier office and humans

An important part of ‘atomix goes green’ is educating the team on why we’re making these changes, and how everyone’s behaviour is a major factor in its success. The staff roster encourages use of the new recycling streams and it’s provoked many lively debates about which container goes where.

Working long hours in an office can be draining and it’s important that we stay active and healthy. We’ve introduced social soccer nights and have the entire team running in 2017’s City to Bay for a charity we’ve yet to decide on – your ideas are welcome!

The verdict? So far, so good.

With the introduction of the kitchen roster, waste is going where it should and is being recycled effectively as a result. We’re using less power and water and we’re buying and recycling office materials and e-waste properly.

We’ve also started our campaign to go paper free with online proposals and set up a tea station where we buy and compost bulk tea instead of using tea bags. Even our loos are more sustainable since we started ordering Who Gives a Crap paper in bulk!

 

Laura Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper

Laura and our new sustainable loo paper.

 

Another great side effect of ‘atomix goes green’ is the office-wide interest around what’s happening next in the office and what’s going on in the world. Ideas, feedback and interesting articles or anecdotes are often brought up on the environmental channel in Slack, alongside regular updates and voting polls from me.

Our biggest challenges are yet to come as we try to reduce our paper use by 85% and our power by 10% for this quarter, which is no easy feat in an Adelaide winter. With the entire atomix team keen to be green-er, the changes are being embraced and encouraging people to think about how they can be more conscious at work as well as home.

 

coffee waste fact

If you like the way atomix is going green, we’ve made our team questionnaire available for you to duplicate here using Typeform.

Adapt it to your workplace to kick off your own eco-initiative!

access the survey