Alstom celebrates the first year of "Plastic Free" campaign
Reduction of plastic consumption by almost 20 tons in one year in Poland
1 June 2021 – Thanks to the "Plastic Free" campaign, launched in June 2020, Alstom has reduced plastic consumption by almost 20 tons. In the first 12 months of the project, significant changes have been made in the consumption of various types of packaging and objects made of plastics in all the company's branches and sites in Poland. All employees as well as suppliers and business partners were involved in the project.
The aim of the "Plastic Free" project is to reduce the use of plastic by Alstom employees and suppliers when handling orders. This is another initiative carried out as part of our corporate social responsibility strategy, which supports innovation and leadership in sustainable mobility. The action is accompanied by an internal educational campaign on waste reduction and segregation.
Paper instead of plastic
In the first phase of the campaign, Alstom eliminated the purchase and use of PET (abbreviation for polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic used especially to make bottles) plastic bottles, replacing them with water dispensers or canned drinks. Plastic cups, cutlery and most crockery were replaced with paper ones, not only in the company canteen, but also in vending machines and coffee machines. At the start of the project, employees were given reusable water bottles. As a result, more than 5.5 tons of plastic will not end up in a landfill.
Another step was to change the approach to the packaging of production materials delivered to Alstom sites and offices. The amount of film used to protect material deliveries, i.e. bubble wrap, stretch film, sleeves and half-sleeves, was systematically reduced where possible. All general cargo trolleys were lined with sponge. All groupage carts were lined with sponge to enable the transport of small items without the need for additional protective film. As a result, the use of plastic was reduced by 39% and plastic consumption was reduced by a total of 14.4 tons.
The use of plastic in the day-to-day running of the office has also been significantly reduced. Bottled drinks served during meetings are only available in glass containers. 80% of the office materials used have been replaced with environmentally friendly versions, e.g. recycled. This applies to photocopying paper, document shirts, pens and binders. In addition, by moving to a digital workflow and digital archiving, as well as the change to hybrid working methods, the consumption of office supplies has fallen by 29% over the year. For packaging eco-friendly fillers and recycled cardboard from suppliers are used, along with 75% recycled paper tape.
We want to raise awareness among Alstom employees and our business partners that everyone has a real impact on the future of our planet and that it is worth looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental impact. Over the past year, we have shown how much can be achieved by changing our minds and attitudes. And this is just the beginning, because the " Plastic Free” will continue in the new increased organization. "- said Sławomir Nalewajka, Managing Director of Alstom in Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
As a leader in sustainable mobility, Alstom aims to achieve by 2023 a target of obtaining at least 80% of the energy from renewable sources at its sites by 2023 and 100% by 2025. It is worth noting that as of January 2020, 100% of the energy consumed by the Chorzów site comes from renewable sources - this is a huge step towards carbon neutrality.
Projects in the area of sustainable development carried out by Alstom are appreciated by independent experts. The "Plastic Free" action was described by the Responsible Business Forum in the 19th edition of the report "Responsible Business in Poland. Good practices 2020". In addition, in recent years, the company has been ranked in the "100 most sustainable companies in the world" by Corporate Knights and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), World and Europe, which confirms Alstom leadership in sustainable development.