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“Companies that don’t value sustainability will disappear”

From having the right kind of fruit in the fruit basket to sensors that optimize energy consumption. How do you create a greener workplace? Maria Ekman, Head of Sustainability at Coor, shares her top tips.

Modern building with a lot of green leafs and trees | Coor

The climate threat is the biggest challenge of our time and an ever-urgent issue. For Coor, sustainability is a key question—and actively seek to reduce our own and our customers’ environmental impact. We help our customers to become more environmentally friendly mainly by optimizing resource utilization, which means that Coor develops customized solutions and services that are continuously evaluated.

“There is huge potential for helping our customers identify large and small improvements that can be made. This might relate to more simple solutions like choosing environmentally friendly copying paper or selecting the right kind of fruit for the fruit basket, or to more complex issues such as generating water savings in the area of sanitation. There is a great deal to be done on the climate side, and here we can really make a difference,” Maria Ekman, Head of Sustainability at Coor Group explains.

Today, companies are more knowledgeable and conscious of their climate impact—and most companies actively seek to reduce it. Those who do not could soon be little more than a distant memory, according to Maria.

“Companies that don’t value sustainability or make investments to become greener will eventually disappear—and I believe this applies equally to b2b and b2c companies. Today, we focus more on environmental responsibility, rather than environmental sustainability. We live in a global world, so it is not enough to just look after your own backyard, you need to be conscious of the entire supply chain,” she explains.

Solid sustainability work is key to reducing the impact on the environment and respecting the planet’s resources. But as more employees and coming generations start to value environmental issues more highly than just a few years ago, it is also important to have a clear sustainability focus for attracting the right staff and for employer branding.

“Sustainability is now important at all levels, including communications, and we help our customers to create the stories relating to their work, so that they can tell their customers or job applicants about the environmental work they carry out,” Maria continues.

Maria’s top tips for more sustainable companies

  1. Review energy consumption
    Properties in Sweden generate 400% of the energy requirement, so working with energy savings, both small and large, is a key thing you can do as a business—and an area where there is often considerable room for improvement. Excess energy consumption is a major climate challenge and Coor has a number of innovative solutions that help companies to review this, ranging from SmartDrone, drones for pinpointing energy leaks, to sensors that collect data on smart use of office resources.
  2. Choose green services
    Coor offers Green Services where we help evaluate the environmental performance of the services we deliver. This could range from sourcing climate-positive copying paper to introducing new, environmentally friendly filters in the ventilation system.
  3. Lose the chemicals
    Using chemicals for cleaning is not good for the environment. Coor largely offers chemicals-free cleaning, which contributes to increased safety at work as a result of reduced solvents use. This generates positive effects for allergies and the environment through perfume-free cleaning products, and improves the working environment for cleaning staff. Win-win, in other words.
  4. Focus on environmentally friendly restaurants
    When it comes to food and restaurant services there is considerable potential for improvements in terms of health benefits and climate impact. What kind of food is being served and how does it make us feel? At Coor, we strive to optimize the sustainability of our restaurants, while also increasing health and wellbeing. Our goal is to serve food with a smaller CO2 footprint by focusing on more sustainable proteins, with added long-term health-beneficial effects that reduce the pressure on healthcare services and other areas that also generate emissions.
  5. Waste
    Waste management is an important part of the companies’ work for the benefit of the environment and sustainable development. At Coor, we ensure smart waste management by offering services such as a machine that turns food waste into soil in 24 hours.