Live my life of… Alice, Green Team member
Live my life of… Alice, Green Team member
What is the Green team? Is it a sports team?
No, nothing to do either with a Koh Lanta team or with a brigade from Top Chef! The Green team is a team of employees who have found a common interest in environmental and ecological issues, and who would like to put these concerns into practice at the level of our company.
Why put it in place?
Because many small streams make one big river. At Interface Tourism, we realized that we shared the feeling that it is up to everyone to do their bit and that in terms of ecology, there are no small contributions.
We are in daily contact with environmental issues, whether through the many initiatives taken by destinations and tourism stakeholders with whom we work to foster eco-friendly tourism or sustainable development. It’s hard to keep yourself insensitive when you see the efforts already made in some of our destinations: new eco-hotels in Mauritius, ban on disposable plastic in more and more resorts in Abu Dhabi, development of new green transports in New Caledonia … there are many examples out there.
Maybe we are also trying to offset the carbon footprint of all our trips!
And what does it consist in concretely in your everyday life?
Everything started with our terrace: we are fortunate to have a 200m ² rooftop in the heart of Paris and, even better, facing south! What began with a desire for comfort (having a garden corner to enjoy our breaks) quickly took a much more important turn: and why not decorate and fill our terrace with plants? Why not create natural shade with larger plants or trees? And why not plant aromatic herbs to add fresh basil or mint in our summer salads?
Once the plants were there, we had to take care of them, water them, weed them, etc. This is another aspect we are still working on and it is not easy: to set up a watering tour schedule and stick to it, this is a challenge that we still have to fulfill successfully!
A little later, we also redid all our interior in a greener theme, more nature, and so we also added a lot of plants in our office. All this requires maintenance, but it’s so nice to have a little more greenery in our work environment.
So the Green Team is a gardening team? Or does it go beyond?
No, it was only the first spark. Since then, the Green Team has greatly expanded its activities and scope. We quickly realized that there were many small things in our lives that we could change for the better: we opted for LED bulbs to improve their longevity, we recycle paper printed only on one side (the children of the different parents of the company are now delighted to have enough rough paper to draw at will), we have set up an active lobbying campaign in our building to obtain recycling bins, we share the foodstuffs remaining after events or cocktails to avoid waste, we donated all our old furnishings to a charity, we asked for motion-sensing lights for the toilets and lesser used common areas. And the list does not stop there.
Do the employees follow you? Do you have difficulties on certain points?
Yes, the employees responded positively to the various initiatives put in place and the management team really supported the project by agreeing to invest in the Green Team and its choices.
Then everyone started to participate in their own way: one of the employees brought back seeds to be able to plant them in our planters outside, another volunteered to bring our Nespresso capsules in store for recycling, another still suggested a new range of fully recyclable capsules which are also responsible in their manufacturing, a whole group has now begun to take theirs tupperwares to the different snacks around the office to avoid disposable packaging.
The only difficulties that we must overcome are more of a logistic kind: how to organize ourselves so that these initiatives do not require too much effort on the part of each one for example, but fortunately our actions have been met with good will so far.
What are your next projects?
One of our employees has a compost at home, so we will try to organize ourselves to give a second life to some of our waste. We talked about banishing disposable tableware. We are thinking about solutions for the delivery of organic fruits and vegetables baskets at work.
We are also planning in-house training on small ecological everyday actions: erasing deleted items from your mailbox more frequently, turning off your screen during breaks, etc. … And why not bring in external speakers? Surely, we have a thousand things to do, but awareness is the first step and probably the most important.