We may be a small team of about 20 people, but there's one thing we all share at UbiCast: our love for the environment and the urge to make everything we can to protect our planet. This is something that I personally felt very early within the team. Even though it's clearly a difficult topic to deal with in the early stage of a company (and even more so in a small one) we are trying, years after years, to make small changes that we know will make a greater impact in the end.
Aware that our field of activity is not the least polluting, we have nevertheless decided to limit our impact as much as possible. As you will see, this involves small everyday ecological gestures that are part of our DNA, as well as meaningful actions for our customers.
After some timid measures taken these past years, we have really stepped up the pace in 2021. We have led 3 concrete actions for the planet!
1. A new approach to end-of-year customer gifts
Before, we used to send a little something to our customers every year. Mostly it was a nice box of chocolates, macaroons or gourmet baskets to share in the departments that (brilliantly) manage their Nudgis video platforms :)
But that was before. This year for Christmas, we radically changed our approach: we started offsetting the carbon emissions generated by the hours of video played by users. We analysed the viewing statistics from October 2020 to October 2021, and applied a clever calculation of transposing the hours viewed into Kgs of CO2 emitted. We then offset it by planting trees thanks to Reforest'action in their country of emission since our clients come from the 4 corners of Europe (others are even a little bit further).
Here's a brief summary of the 20 or so pilot clients: within one year there were more than 5 million hours of video viewed by their users, which generated 7750 Kgs of CO2, that we have offset by the planting of 52 trees! This may seem derisory, but as we say "little streams make great rivers". In any case, we very liked this project internally, and the feedbacks we received from our customers clearly encourage us to continue. So we will definitely go further next year! :)
2. The Captain Planet hat
At UbiCast, we have adopted an organisational model called holacracy. Basically, this flattens out the company's organisation chart by decentralising responsibilities and decision-making. Each employee is assigned several hats, called "roles". These roles are positioned in self-managing circles with tactical and governance meetings.
Well, I don't want to give you a lecture on how we apply holacracy at UbiCast, but I do want to tell you about a hat that we have created: "Captain Planet".
Our Captain Planet is Elyse, and this role consists in making recommendations on energy savings. For example: checking in the evening that computer screens and heaters are switched off, fighting with the Ivry town hall (the city we are based in) and our landlord so that we finally have recycling bins at our disposal, discussing with the local restaurant owners so that they stop giving us disposable cutlery and napkins every lunchtime, or selecting our partner for the tree planting operation.
Finally, she reports monthly to the whole team on our electricity consumption curves and provides easy-to-apply recommendations on how to reduce our emissions. Note that these small efforts are never forced, because we don't think that this is the right way to change mentalities. Elyse always fills our freezer with ice cream in summer and we don't work in mittens in winter either! Anyway, we can't write on a keyboard with mittens and you probably wouldn't like to find typos in our emails and blog posts :)
In 2021, we also have given our full support to an organisation of volunteers called The Shifters. These amazing people work to raise awareness on subjects addressed by The Shift Project (a French think tank advocating the shift to a post-carbon economy). Their mission is to inform and influence the debate on energy transition in Europe.
The Shifters train volunteers to become "speakers", i.e. to speak on behalf of the association during awareness-raising activities in companies, communities, events, etc.
As the association was growing, it was becoming more and more difficult to increase the number of speakers available to respond to requests. As a result, a few members came to UbiCast, in our office, to record two "template conferences" on which future speakers can rely on to train more effectively, wherever and whenever they want, and watch them as many times as they want. Easy yet impactful!
4. But not only that...
Finally, we try to think of small actions that may have a huge impact every day. This year, we have decided to :
- no longer print a single flyer, product sheet or case study but arrive at our trade shows with QR codes that link to resources so that our visitors can consult online, rather than collecting them, and throwing them away as soon as they get home (in the waste bin I hope :))
- question each trip we plan and make sure we can not do it remotely
- group our parcels to limit their impact.
And I'm sure Elyse will come up with some other brilliant ideas for 2022! Can't wait!
What about you? Do you have any ideas you would like to suggest? Any good practices to share with us? We'd love to hear them!