Together, for Greater Value - Let’s Do It All Together, Even the Small Things
"Within the company, we utilize tumblers instead of paper cups. Employing tumblers is one of the most effortless methods to enact a zero-waste lifestyle."
At Hyosung TNC, paper cups are nowhere to be found. This is due to their ongoing 'Eliminate Disposable Cups in the Workplace' campaign, aimed at reducing single-use items in daily life. In order to encourage participation in this campaign, employees have been provided with funds to purchase personal tumblers, and disposable items such as paper cups in break rooms have been eliminated. Initiated in May 2021, the campaign continues to this day. Approximately 190,000 paper cups were used in Hyosung TNC offices during 2020, which equates to an annual emission of roughly 2 tons of carbon dioxide. The collective efforts of individuals willing to endure minor inconveniences can result in a staggering reduction of 2 tons of carbon dioxide emissions – is that not truly remarkable? We gathered firsthand impressions from three employees actively participating in eco-friendly campaigns at a company that vigorously promotes environmentally conscious workplace culture.
Q. What were your initial thoughts upon hearing about the 'Eliminate Disposable Cups in the Workplace' campaign?
Employee A(🥰): I was intrigued by the prospect of directly participating in 'ESG activities', which have been a rising issue. Although ESG activities are a global direction, I thought they had little direct relevance to my everyday life. However, through the in-house campaign, I found it fascinating that I could naturally contribute to ESG activities in my daily life and closely experience ESG endeavors.
Employee B(🌞): I knew that ESG activities were beneficial for the environment, but I didn't think there would be any direct benefits for me. Protecting the environment inevitably entails some inconvenience for people. But by using a tumbler instead of paper cups, I was able to gain financial benefits. The company could reduce the cost of purchasing disposable cups, and I could receive discounts at cafes by using a tumbler. I thought it was a good campaign since it reduced disposable cup expenses while directly contributing to environmental protection.
Q. Were there any concerns among employees when they first heard about the campaign?
Employee A(🥰): When I first learned of the company's plans for the campaign, several concerns came to mind. The main reason we had failed to reduce the use of disposable items was the need to accept personal inconveniences. To carry out the campaign, we had to allocate sometime during work to wash cups and prepare mugs for client visits. Although seemingly trivial, changing our daily routines required us to develop a sense of purpose and adjust our mindset for participating in the campaign. Considering the negative impact of disposable items and the environmental benefits of using tumblers and mugs, I eventually decided to practice it.
Q. What is the most significant change you've noticed since implementing the 'Eliminate Disposable Cups in the Workplace' campaign?
Employee C(🌸): Naturally, the amount of waste from disposable items has decreased considerably. In the past, I used 2-3 paper cups daily, but since the campaign, I've consciously avoided not only paper cups but also other disposable items. I initially thought of it as a small habit-changing campaign, but it seems to have gradually altered my environmental awareness.
Q. If your environmental consciousness has changed, do you also practice this outside of work?
Employee B(🌞): I use a tumbler when I go to the gym for exercise, and I actively try to use a tumbler when visiting cafes outside of work. Some cafes even offer discounts when using a tumbler. In such cases, I feel proud to contribute to environmental protection while enjoying the added benefit of a coffee discount.
Employee C(🌸): Since becoming more aware of disposable items, I realized I use many of them when ordering delivery food. So, when I order food at home, I indicate 'no need for disposable items' in the request section. Washing dishes after eating may be a bit bothersome, but considering the impact these habits have on the environment, I'm happy to practice them willingly.
Q. Your participation in the in-house campaign has contributed to reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2 tons. You must be very proud. How do you feel about this achievement?
Employee A(🥰): Although it may seem like a small practice, it was even more meaningful that we could easily contribute to preventing environmental destruction just by participating. Before the campaign, I was well aware of the seriousness of environmental destruction through articles and documentaries addressing issues like the Amazon rainforest deforestation and the risk of polar bear extinction. However, I didn't actually practice environmental protection for reasons like lack of awareness or inconvenience. But with the company's active encouragement to use tumblers, a simple action, I was very proud to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I also found it rewarding that small practices from my colleagues came together to achieve such significant results.
Employee B(🌞): The activity I started for participating in the campaign has now become my habit. I used to find washing tumblers bothersome, and carrying them around inconvenient, sometimes forgetting them, but now I always carry one when I go out. In addition to tumblers, I started using reusable items like hand towels instead of disposable ones. Practicing these habits, I feel like I have become more diligent than before. I am very proud to have recognized the necessity of environmental protection through the in-house campaign and to practice it even outside the company.
Q. What other eco-friendly campaigns can be carried out in the workplace?
Employee C(🌸): I think implementing a 'Reuse One-sided Paper Campaign' would be beneficial. There is a lot of paper used only once and then discarded in office life, which feels wasteful. Actively encouraging the use of the blank side of printed pages could help protect the environment. Additionally, starting with small actions like unplugging unused power cords or using stairs for short-distance travel within the building could lead everyone to practice them, just like the 'Eliminate Disposable Cups in the Workplace' campaign.
In addition to these efforts, Hyosung TNC has expanded the 'regen® Upcycling Campaign' to its business locations nationwide this year. The 'regen® Upcycling Campaign' is a PET bottle collection campaign where employees bring PET bottles, which are then exchanged for goods and bags made from Hyosung TNC's recycled polyester fiber, regen Polyester. Last year, about 9,000 PET bottles were collected, and this year's goal is to collect 15,000. The carbon reduction effect of this campaign is similar to the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by approximately 70 pine trees in a year.
There is a theory called the 'butterfly effect,' which states that a small flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a typhoon on the other side of the earth. Although it is currently a campaign limited to Hyosung TNC employees, their small efforts, when combined, can someday instill a belief in eco-friendliness among all members of every company. As this culture becomes established, wouldn't it lead to all people around the world actively practicing environmental protection? Today, as they dream of an eco-friendly future, Hyosung TNC employees continue to participate in eco-friendly campaigns.