Green Practices at Pakistan’s Institute of Rural Management
25 February 2012 | News story
CEC member Roomi S. Hayat, CEO of the Institute of Rural Management (IRM), shares the green practices that became the secret ingredient for the evolution and success of the organization he founded.
Two decades of my association with the development sector has reinforced my conviction that environment and development go hand in hand. For years we have been working with the rural communities, equipping them with skills to enable them earn a decent living. During this struggle for poverty reduction, we have realized that development is not possible without sensitizing people about environment protection and conservation. Encouraging people to adopt environment-friendly practices in daily life is as much important as inculcating new set of skills to earn a better living. Thus, providing them better livelihood opportunities is not enough unless you develop consciousness for effective resource utilization.
Growth and sustainability of any organization entails similar consciousness and sensitization. Leading a training institute that evolved from a single room with no staff to an organization that today trains millions all over the country and employs a cadre of professionals, I have realized that secret ingredient of our growth and success has been the similar consciousness that is now embraced by every employee of this organization.
Environmental thinking is an integral element of the business concept at IRM. For years green practices have enhanced our focus while we work on a variety of facets including demographics, socio-economic outlooks, all of which result in creating an enabling and healthy environment for the people we work for and work with.
I strongly believe that being environment friendly organization is a competitive advantage. The organizations that aren’t participating in this movement will quickly be left behind.
The new blood of IRM is all more passionate about embracing green practices at work. The idea of ‘Green IRM’ emerged from this talented pool of young professionals at IRM who share the belief that greener workplace can mean a healthier and more productive place to work, and greater opportunity for the professional growth and excellence.
The whole idea of “Green IRM” is based on four aspects: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Respect. The Green campaign values the fact that our little change in attitude can reduce minor day-to-day expenditure which can result in effective resource utilization and major cost reduction.
The notion of REDUCE focuses on minimizing extra expenses by changing the buying and consumption patterns. For instance turning off the office lights and heaters during tea and lunch breaks, avoiding wastage of drinking water and tap water, saving energy by properly shutting down the computers and switching off the computers on energy-save mode during breaks and turning on the printers only at the time of use.
REUSE element of the green campaign promotes making the maximum utilization of something, for example using both sides of sheets of paper for printing purpose, refilling ink pens etc.
To achieve RECYCLYING, recycle bins have been placed in different locations of the office for collecting plastic, paper, glass and tin cans. When these bins are full, the waste material is sent back to the designated companies for recycling. We believe in this way we can contribute in protecting our Earth’s limited resources as well as reduce the manufacturing costs associated with these products.
By RESPECT we are trying to promote a culture of giving and earning respect because we believe that we should treat others the way we want ourselves to be treated.
The prominent feature of ‘Green IRM’ is the extensive indoor and outdoor plantation that can be seen throughout the IRM premises. The back yard and main lawn of the building are being used to grow seasonal vegetables, thus providing home-grown vegetables for the staff members.
With these little efforts and changes in attitude we can achieve long term benefits of cost saving and conserving our scare resources. This green campaign has a snowball effect. By sensitizing and involving our staff in the green revolution at work we are encouraging them to apply these practices at home where their families can be part of the campaign and multiply the number of green volunteers. There is a great need to realize that our future generations have to carry forward this move. Our sustainable actions in this regard can ensure sustainable development and a better world for our present and future generations.
Roomi S. Hayat is a management and institution development expert, trainer and facilitator who carries the portfolio of designing and conducting more than 500 training events both domestically and internationally. He is the chairperson of Human Resource Development Network (HRDN) and Chief Executive Officer of IRM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org