OP © Mika Huisman

Making a difference with the environmental management system

Green Office has been taken on board at OP just as well among the staff as in the planning of operations. As OP tells us, an environmental management system is all about changing behaviour.

According to OP’s Corporate Responsibility Manager Satu Kuoppamäki, one of Green Office’s virtues is that it encourages campaigns. One example of a successful campaign at OP is from 2016, when OP held a vegan week at its branch in Vallila, Helsinki.

"The restaurants in our branches serve vegetarian food every day anyway. Vegetarian eating, and especially the vegan week, have created a lot of positive feedback and praise. Our aim is to organise similar campaigns in the future," Kuoppamäki says.

Kuoppamäki says that another advantage of Green Office is that it is more about behavioral changes than major investments. These changes, Kuoppamäki says, are reflected in OP’s activities in such things as reducing paper use, switching to the electronic services, recycling, encouraging staff to get more exercise through changing their commuting habits, increased interest in vegetarian meals, and through a growing focus on responsible procurements. Green Office also has a visible effect on OP’s operations.

"When OP decided to get involved in Green Office, an important goal was to make our business practices more environmentally friendly. It’s a pleasure to offer environmentally friendly products to our customers when our own practices are also doing better in that regard," Kuoppamäki says.

She considers Green Office a flexible environmental management scheme that takes account of the widely varying needs of different kinds of offices.

"It’s a pleasure to offer environmentally friendly products to our customers when our own practices are also doing better in that regard."

-Satu Kuoppamäki, OP

"Compared to many of the big certificates, Green Office is not burdensome. It’s easily scalable to lighter office needs as well. Green Office adapts to different sizes of offices, which is good if you consider how some of the global certificates operate; they generally pay little attention to, say, the size of the office or number of employees," Kuoppamäki says.

Eco-efficient work commuting

Staff are active in giving feedback on Green Office, Kuoppamäki says. For example, commuter cycling has been a good solution, and employees would like to see it encouraged even more. According to Kuoppamäki, this has been one of Green Office’s most visible actions.

"Employers in the Helsinki area pay a certain amount to subsidise public transport. Car parks, on the other hand, have to be paid for. This has been a good way to encourage the use of cycling and public transport for commuting to work," Kuoppamäki notes.

The Green Office label has been in use at OP’s Vallila offices, and in some of the bank’s, since 2003.

Check out more Green Office experiences.

If you’re interested in Green Office, please contact Helka Julkunen, Head of Green Office programme: helka.julkunen@wwf.fi or +358 40 531 0555.

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