At Informa, our CR programme covers five key areas. These are:
Volunteering – Each informa employee is encouraged to take one day off a year, as an additional day of leave, to volunteer for the organisation of their choice. Volunteer activities that some employees have taken part in include: Giving blood, surf life saving, teaching English, event management for a McGrath Foundation event, and walking in the Oxfam Sydney Trailwalker event.
Charity Involvement – Informa Australia and Informa employees have supported a number of charities in recent years through fundraising including: the Cancer Council of Australia (Biggest Morning Tea), NSW Cancer Council (Informa Banana Day), Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (Movember), Australian Red Cross (VIC bushfires), Oxfam (Trailwalk), Australian Conservation Foundation (Informa Green Week), Haiti Disaster Recovery Fund, East Africa Fund (Tanzania school), Vision Australia and Deaf & Hearing Impaired Kids (Loud Shirt Day). For more on the charities we support click here.
Green Week – Each year in September all the Informa businesses across the world take part in a challenge to be as green as possible for one week. Each year there are five separate challenges, covering the areas of: Travel, Energy, Mind, Waste and Water, with the aim of making everyone more aware of green issues and getting people involved in making a difference for the long term. In 2010 the MD of Informa Australia, Spiro Anemogiannis, won the prize for the ‘Greenest MD’ in our Green Challenge. To read more about Green Week and our environmental efforts click here.
Along with the charities we support through fundraising, we also sponsor Salma Tulo, a student at St Jude’s School in Tanzania. (see picture of Salma receiving an award for ‘Trying hard in English’).
The Indian Rickshaw Challenge is an amateur race for the insane where participants, in this case IIR Australia employees James Stackhouse, Lauren Kirby and Francesca Brewer, raced 2000kms through the chaos of the world's largest democracy from the Bengal Coastal City of Chennai to the Bollywood Capital of Mumbai...in a shed on wheels!
Traversing India in a small 3 wheeled vehicle resembling a Robin Reliant (with less power) designed over 50 years ago, seemed like a great idea!
Taking place between July 30 and August 12, 2010,this wild, unrelenting ride across the Indian subcontinent tested their fortitude, their strength of character, their sanity and their bowels, but it also raised money with the generous support of Informa who matching all money raised.
Driving the rickshaw is not the only challenge (as it almost always breaks down, runs out of petrol and is prone to accidents), it is also about navigating your way from one point to another each day. Part of the challenge was that the teams were not given any maps or directions. All they were given was a briefing on what to expect from the weather and the roads and a sheet of paper listing some of the towns [along the way]. From there they had to rely on road signs (few and far between – especially the ones in English!) and the directions of the locals (also interesting given that they will point one way and say another!).
Part of their adventure will took them through the southern state of Tamil Nadu which is the home of their chosen charity for the event, Reaching the Unreached.RTU is a charity which supports the poorest families and communities in this remote part of Southern India. As well as their healthcare and community development work, RTU cares for over 1000 abandoned or orphaned children who are educated and supported to adulthood. www.rtuindia.org/children.htm
In total James, Lauren and Francesca (along with their respective team mates) raised 1655 pounds for their charity (Reaching the Unreached) which is about $2700 AUD. Plus an extra donation was made to Round Table India - the official charity of the race from their registration.
Throughout their adventure they visited a number of schools which had benefited from the efforts of Round Table India and it was fantastic they were able to be involved in such a worthy cause which would help each child to break their own cycle of poverty. Money was raised for the charity through sponsorship and through their own donations to the cause. Everywhere they went they also gave out pens, toys, sporting equipment etc to delighted kids in the schools.
An interview with Spiro Anemogiannis, MD of Informa Australia, on Green Week 2010.
Green Week was a very enjoyable experience for the staff at 120 Sussex St Sydney. Our narrow loss last year in the MD competition gave the staff and I the motivation to put 110% into everything we did this year in order to come out on top. Our dedicated team on the Green Week committee ran internal competitions which brought out the competitive nature of staff. A running tally spreadsheet was updated onto our internal Green Week blog along with tips people could use to stay as green as possible.
Incentives were introduced for the teams and individuals who put in the most effort with some staff walking over 16kms to the office. The accounts team even committed to not using their computers to surf the net during their lunch breaks. Staff were encouraged to use the stairs instead of the lifts which was widely adopted and our office was pretty much a meat free zone for the whole week with people deciding to not eat meat. The microwave was also used sparingly and paper towels were removed from the kitchen and bathroom and replaced with cotton tea-towels.
We are now using 100% recycled paper in the office and after recent negotiations our training division have moved onto the only carbon neutral printer in Australia which uses 100% recycled paper, environmentally friendly inks and offsets 100% of their emissions in their complete manufacture and supply chain process.
I’d also like to add that even though I was named Green Week Champion, this was very much a team effort for and is a reflection on our staff for pushing me along to achieve such great results.
What are your office/regional challenges when it comes to the environment?
Australia being such a vast and widespread country involves a lot of interstate travel. The major issue we face is the amount of carbon generated by our flights, we are currently working with a company called ‘Climate Friendly’ to offset our carbon footprint via a carbon credit system which invests the credits in 100% green energy projects around Asia and developing countries.
When it comes to engaging/working with your office landlord -
How did you go about negotiating a renewable energy contract with the supplier/landlord?
We were lucky in the fact that our landlord has a target of being a ‘Green Building’, the negotiation of us signing a renewable energy contract included them installing energy efficient lighting on both floors as well as new blinds on all windows which keep the head or cold in/out depending on the season.
Did you also engage with your landlord on other initiatives? What are these, and how did you decide on them?
During the lease negotiation we were able to have our bathrooms renovated which led to water efficient cisterns and taps installed.
What challenges did you face?
Weighing up the increase in energy cost vs. the energy usage saved and also the time and disruption during the installation period.
Advice you’d give to others?
Make sure the cost benefit analysis is done as an increase in energy cost vs. the amount of energy saved could leave you with a much higher energy bill as renewable energy is charge at a much higher rate. Also, try and get the building works done outside of business hours to minimise disruption to staff.
What results have you achieved to date?
We are using approximately 33% less energy that we were this time last year and even with the increased cost (around 20%) of green energy we are actually saving money on our bills.