At Bytes Managed Solutions, innovative technology goes hand-in-hand with environmental awareness. The company’s approach to environmental responsibility has led to the implementation of a number of green initiatives. The results have been positive, with the company reducing its electricity usage for lighting, as one example, by 65%.
The Bytes MS head office building has been revamped in the last six years, with refurbishment focused on ways to save energy. These included the installation of LED lighting which has lowered energy consumption and running costs, and of motion sensor lights, which are activated only when someone is present in the area.
“It’s been encouraging to see that our investment in environmental responsibility has been greatly offset by the cost-savings we have incurred as a result,” says Dirk Eksteen, financial director, Bytes Managed Solutions. “We’ve saved 65% in electrical costs and are now saving more than R17 000 per month on our energy bill, with our overall electricity consumption being down by 28%. That equals an estimated saving of more than R4 million over the next ten years.
A recycling campaign for staff has seen the installation of two recycling stations – one for the responsible disposal of day-to-day consumables which can be recycled, and a second one for collecting items such as newspaper and cans. Compartmentalised bins provide for easy separation of waste types, which are then removed and recycled. Employees are reminded and encouraged to recycle through internal communications campaigns. This is in addition to the general recycling of all possible waste in the daily operation of the business, such as paper, cardboard, polystyrene, glass, cans and plastic.
“As a company that recognises the need for business to be responsible to our people and our environment, we see recycling as a key element of our operations,” says Eksteen. “We are cutting energy usage by promoting recycling rather than reproduction, reducing pollution through responsible disposal, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and decreasing the amount of garbage that goes to landfills.”
“We also have an electronic waste recycling drive, which is critical for an IT company,” says Jeanette van der Spuy, support service senior manager, Bytes MS. “E-waste is a huge problem globally, because it is often easier to throw away equipment than repair it. We are reducing the environmental impact of electronics at the end of their useful life through reuse and donation, and recycling though Desco which offers a socially responsible solution for disposing of e-waste.”
Transport has also been targeted, with employees being encouraged to use public transport such as the Gautrain. For this purpose, shuttle services are available to help employees travel between the office and the train station. Employees are also encouraged to travel together for out-of-office meetings.
“We strongly encourage other companies to implement environmentally responsible practices,” says Eksteen. “In addition to being kind to the environment, these can also result in decreased costs, which is good news for any business.”