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On December 20, 2017, the sustainability team at PATA held a waste management workshop for PATA staff at PATA headquarters. We invited Gili Back, Sustainability Manager at Khiri Travel, as guest speaker to share best practice examples for waste management in a business environment here in Bangkok.

We kicked off the lunch with a delicious lunch from The Lunch Box, initiated and run by Gili Back. To reduce packaging waste from individual servings, we had a buffet-style lunch, served in reusable serving bowls with reusable plates and cutlery. Making a conscious choice about the food we served, we tried three different vegan lunch options, and encouraged PATA staff to try a dietary shift while thinking about the ingredients in our food and the impact eating meat makes on our environment.

   
Gili shared recycling practices and alternatives to single use disposable plastic that are available here in Thailand. She shared helpful tips for how to be more sustainable not only in the office but also at home. Gili then provided insights about how to correctly separate and recycle at the source, such as encouraging everyone to reduce and ultimately avoid plastic use by saying no to single use plastic straws and plastic bags. Gili explained the differences between recycling, composting, and disposal for a better understanding of waste separating practices. She also addressed common misconceptions about bioplastics, such as that bio based plastics are always biodegradable, and fossil-based plastics are never biodegradable or compostable.

Veronika, PATA’s Sustainability & Social Responsibility Associate then shared some astounding facts about waste in Bangkok. Did you know that Bangkokians use 8.1 million plastic bags per day? Learning this, we aim to do our part to improve our sustainability efforts at PATA by introducing new waste separation guidelines.

To put our new knowledge into practice, everyone participated in a fun team activity. Teams raced to correctly separate a bag filled with different types of waste from the office.

   
The winning team explained how they separated their waste to the other teams. We also discussed items that some teams weren’t sure how to categorise. Everyone received a reusable tumbler/water bottle carry bag as prize and was invited to personalise it. We then took our newly separated and repurposed it to create beautiful decorations for this holiday season.

   
   
Following this workshop, we introduced new colour-coded bins that are now in in office pantry to help everyone separate and recycling waste correctly in the future.

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‘Recycle for Plants’ workshop with SIG Combibloc

Categories: PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility
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WithPATA HQ achieving Silver-level Sustainability Certification for our sustainability practices for the second year in a row in 2017 , it is now more important than ever to find creative ways to decrease our footprint. That is why, on July 12, 2017, we invited Mr. Sinchai Thiensir, Director of the Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment to talk about the green office concept. He joined Ms. Prangtip Chaisawat from SIG Combiloc, who conduced a workshop showing us how to recycle our UHT package waste, popularly used for food packaging. Together, we crafted pots and and planted flowers in them to give our office a boost of fresh air.

Ms. Chaisawat’s wonderful workshop has helped us to keep thinking differently about the items we use on a daily basis and make our practices more sustainable.

For more pictures, see our Facebook post from the event!

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Having formed and implemented a green team at your company is a crucial first step in ensuring sustainability practices are put into practice. However, keeping it active and effective can pose a new challenge – one that may be more difficult than expected. This Green Tip shares some ideas to keep in mind to ensure your staff stays happily committed to a greener future.

Firstly, it is important to hold regular meetings. Agreeing to meet on a regular basis will help to give everyone a better sense of the meaningfulness of their commitment. Keeping everyone in the loop on arising issues and finding common ground on the development of projects will also help the team members to brainstorm new ideas and encourage them to share feedback on what’s working and amendments may be required. Setting priorities by discussing most doable projects and setting realistic goals will be beneficial to ensure fruitful achievements.

Allow the meeting to be a fun get-together as you will get more active participation if you lighten the mood. You may consider turning the next meeting into a healthy lunch meeting – boosting your team members with some nourishment may be a great way to recharge.

Be sure to always recognize and show appreciation for your green team members and volunteers. While some may be drowning in work at times, it is important to break down barriers to engagement by spreading out the work load. Encourage collaboration and learning.

Lastly, get the word out on the involvement of your green team members by creating a newsletter or blog to show everyone else how easy it is to get involved and be the change they want to see.

You can also find more tips for a successful green team here.

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Climate change is considered by many to be the biggest global health threat a concern that is driving people to greener behaviour and consumption. Those concerns drive people to go for greener and environmental friendly products but health starts with everyone within.

 

Companies should tackle this issue and ensure the support of happy and healthy employees, not only to meet the development goals of the International Day for Safety and Health at Work 2017, celebrated this week on the 28 April 2017, but also to promote sustainability as it often begins with passionate employees.

 

A healthy workforce can not only demonstrate corporate responsibility, it also positively impacts a company’s bottom line through increased employee productivity and decreased turnover. Moreover, customers are increasingly scrutinising companies’ responsible business practices and expect them to be socially responsible towards your employees with high standards of health, safety and wellbeing. Practicing health and safety will boost a more positive public image for your business. Read more on benefits of healthy workplaces here.

 

Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy workplace:

 

  1. No pain, no gain

Make arrangements with a local gym to give employees a discount on membership. You can have a trainer from the gym come in first and talk about the role exercise plays in weight control and overall health.

 

  1. Be in control

It is important to stay abreast of one’s health on a frequent basis to identify health problems early. That is why you can offer health checks for your employees to monitor their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Read more here.

 

  1. Serve the right food

According to the Forbes Magazine, we consume too much fatty snacks during worktime. That is why you could offer healthy meals in vending machines or in the canteen instead. When catering food for meetings or events, also opt for healthy options such as fruits and vegetables.

 

  1. Arrange a charity sporting event

You can sponsor a charity sporting event such as a 10K run and motivate your employees to take part by ensuring a donation for every accomplished route. This tactic of event sponsorship not only brings about brand awareness and positive PR, it also encourages employees to stay healthy and fit, the best prevention. Be sure to reward your team with a delicious picnic afterwards!

 

Having a team of healthy employees requires planning and motivation, but ultimately it can save money while protecting a company’s most valuable asset – its people.

 

Read more on how to ensure happiness and sustainability at work by forming a Green Team.

 

 

 

 

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Since this year’s Earth Day falls on a weekend, PATA decided to celebrate a little early. For this year’s Earth Day, our Green Team invited Mr Poonyos Kumpolkunjana, founder of Paper Ranger a local Bangkok non-profit, to give our team a workshop, titled, “Everyone can be a hero.”

 

On Tuesday, 18 April, Mr. Kumpolkunjana came to the PATA Engagement Hub and spoke to our team about how easy it is to make something useful out of paper waste, then showed us how to make notebooks using our office’s used paper! Our team had a lot of fun crafting notebooks out of paper waste.

 

Mr. Kumpolkunjana from Paper Ranger showing how its done

 

Everyone joined in, including Dr. Mario Hardy, the CEO of PATA

 

Proud participants presenting their work

 

His foundation arranges workshops with various groups, and donates the handcrafted notebooks that result from these workshops to schools throughout Thailand. Learn more about Paper Ranger here, and to book your own workshop, contact paperranger@live.com.

 

Recycling is a crucial concept in sustainable management, especially in an office environment. For more information check our green tips of this week here.

 

 

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How to Form a Green Team

Categories: Green Tips
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Green Team green-team

Having a Green Team in your organisation is an important step along the path towards the objective of becoming more environmentally sustainable – and it also increases employee engagement. A Green Team is a small group of employees whose combined goal is to educate, empower and inspire colleagues to establish and promote environmentally sustainable practices within their organisation and at home.

The first step in forming the Team is to recruit the members. The most popular approach is to ask for volunteers but there are organisations that prefer to assign employees. Any Green Team should be diverse, comprising representatives from different divisions within the organisation and from different levels of management. It is vitally important that all green Team members are passionate about, and committed to, the principles of sustainability.

Your first meeting. Make sure that the initial meeting is both productive and meaningful. This will set a positive tone for subsequent meetings.

Tips:

  • Create a welcoming environment, best achieved by providing snacks
  • Prepare an agenda that includes the reasons for creating the Green Team and why environmental sustainability is a priority of the organisation
  • Set expectations by letting each member share their thoughts on what the Team’s focus should be
  • Find out how familiar the members are on the principles of sustainability. Watching sustainability videos together can help start this conversation (click here for 9 Useful Sustainability Videos to Share with Your Team)

Green Team

Photo: http://www.thirdpartners.com/greenteams)

Encourage brainstorming on potential projects such as:

  • Conducting sustainability training for the entire organisation
  • Drafting green policies by gathering suggestions from all employees
  • Organising company activities, such as participating in environmental events (e.g. Earth Day and International Coastal Clean-up Day)
  • Proposing organisation initiatives such as reducing plastic waste at work and employee car-pooling

Creating a Green Team takes a considerable amount of time and effort. But it is rewarding and extremely worthwhile. With support from senior management and commitment from each Team member, the organisation will undoubtedly benefit from this endeavour.

Here are a few resources to help you create your dream Green Team:

Read more on the importance of Employee Engagement for sustainable businesses here.

 

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