How it all began
WWF Finland's Conservation Director Jari Luukkonen recalls:
“The Green Office idea took root in 1997. The summer holidays were over, and we sat in the pub with a few colleagues. We started to think about what would happen if the city’s offices would begin doing things so that WWF would be seen everywhere. We roughed out the visual look on a beermat – what the green wave would look like when one company after another joined in, all along the Helsinki peninsula. Even then we were thinking specifically about office environments.
The idea stayed with us, but there just weren’t the resources then. However, a few programmes with the Green Office name were already agreed upon with companies.
At the turn of the millennium, we tried out Green Office consulting with an external partner, but it didn’t take off. So we hired our own coordinator, and little by little the programme began to grow. Among the first offices were VVO and Helen (Helsinki energy), who are still part of the network. The real date of birth of the Green Office programme is 20 February 2002.
The overall goal has remained the same: to offer companies a practical environmental programme to reduce environmental harm. We didn’t want a boring mantra, but concrete measures."
Green Office’s 15 years
|1997||The idea for the Green Office programme took root, waiting for its moment.|
|1999||The first Green Office agreements were made with the pilot companies.|
|2002||The official date of birth of the Green Office programme is 20 February 2002. VVO and Helen (Helsinki energy), the first organisations to join the programme, are still with us.|
|2003||The first network meeting. The discussions concerned how to get co-workers involved in the Green Office programme. A staff of six.|
|2004||The Orimattila branch of the Osuuspankki bank is the first organisation outside of Helsinki to join the Green Office network.|
|2004||The Green Office network includes 20 Finnish organisations.|
|2005||The Climate Calculator project is launched. It is used to calculate the emissions from business premises and estimate the climate impact of personal consumption.|
|2006||The Consumer Habit Questionnaire is published. It can be used to evaluate the eco-friendliness of a company’s own methods of operation.|
|2007||Green Office offices produce 2,000 tonnes less greenhouse emissions than in the previous year.|
|2009||The first ministry (the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy) joined the Green Office network.|
|2009||The Green Office network includes 100 Finnish organisations.|
|2009||Green Offices save paper equivalent to a 2-kilometre high stack compared to the previous year.|
|2011||The Green Office network includes 200 Finnish organisations.|
|2011||The Green Office programme expands to Turkey.|
|2011||Green Offices reduced electricity consumption by 32 percent per person on the previous year.|
|2012||The Green Office programme expands to China.|
|2012||The Finnish Facility Management Association FIFMA judged WWF’s Green Office programme to be the facility management action of the year.|
|2013||The Green Office environmental programme wins Finland's national Energy Globe Award. The competition is intended for projects that have succeeded in significantly conserving the Earth’s resources or promoting the use of renewable energy sources.|
|2015||Green Offices produce 13,130 tonnes less greenhouse gas emissions than in the previous year. The same amount of emissions would be released by driving a car one hundred times to the Moon and back.|
|2016||The organisations in Finland’s Green Office network employ a total of almost 62,000 employees.|
|2017||The Green Office programme has been running for 15 years.|
Records in reducing emissions
The greenhouse gas emissions of Finland’s Green Offices have been monitored since 2007. The results have been terrific! The graph compares the emissions for each year to those of the previous year.