Businesses reduce environmental impact by planning for Olympic disruption

Businesses who planned for disruption during the Olympics benefited from changing their work and travel patterns and reduced their impact on the environment, according to research by environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP).

Global Action Plan’s charter for businesses, launched in the run up to the Games, provided advice on how companies could keep functioning during the Olympics.

Businesses that adopted the charter found they avoided disruption to their services which led to increased productivity, decreased costs and a reduced impact on the environment.

Changes made by companies included, shutting down their offices for one day each week, introducing flexible working hours, and holding more meetings online.

According to GAP, the charter helped O2 Telefonica avoid 100,000 commuter miles, which is the equivalent to driving four times around the globe and saved 30 tons of carbon. The company also prevented 6000 travel hours.

Global Action Plan CEO Trewin Restorick said: “The Olympics has shown UK companies that there are far better ways of doing business.

“Using the same principles of ambition, planning and dedication that resulted in TeamGB’s incredible achievements, businesses were able to boost productivity, cut costs and reduce the damage they cause to the environment. It’s been a win-win situation for both employers and employees”.

O2 Head of Sustainability, Bill Eyres, said: “We reduced the amount of miles and time our employees spent commuting, increased employee productivity and reduced the impact our business has on the environment.

“The business benefited, and so did our employees who saved money and got to spend more time with their families. The benefits have convinced us to implement these changes longer term so we can work smarter, travel less and live better.”

Leigh Stringer

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