In the spring, Optidev introduced a new fitness initiative called “plogging” to its coworkers. Plogging involves jogging while picking up trash in the local environment. The purpose is to create awareness around littering, to promote a healthy work culture, and most importantly; to take responsibility for the environment.
”Optidev was challenged to join the plogging movement by Hejco, another Swedish company based in Borås. Since March, several of us have been plogging every week. Sometimes it is just a short trip on a lunch break or a longer weekend run, and running is not the only option, you can walk, skateboard or bike,” says David Landerborn, COO at Optidev with responsibility for the plogging initiative.
It was the simplicity of plogging that was appealing to Optidev. It is easy to get started, everyone can be involved, and you can adapt plogging to your level – all you need is a trash bag. Therese Nirvander, team leader for Optidev’s ordering and purchasing department and one of the company’s most active ploggers, says that you don’t have to run very far to fill up a bag.
”The amount of trash that we throw in our environment is completely horrible. There are many discussions about emissions from cars and factories, but little attention is paid to our local environment, even though a PET bottle can survive a human several times over. We want to bring attention to the impacts of littering in the local environment and influence as many people as possible to do the right thing.”
Optidev’s coworkers have engaged friends and family and invite everyone, including children, pets, grandmothers, and uncles to participate in plogging. Optidev has also started a Facebook group that is used to motivate each other and post photos of the findings after each plogging. Plogging helps create a good work atmosphere and team unity.
“Everyone can participate and make a difference and it is a fun and easy way to do something concrete for the environment, instead of just showing Optidev’s environmental policy in a PowerPoint presentation. Now, we urge other companies to start plogging and we will pass on the challenge to one of our customers or partners,” says David Landerborn.
Plogging is part of Optidev’s environmental program, which was recognized with the Svensk Miljobas environmental certification last month. After being awarded as one of Sweden’s best workplaces in 2018, Optidev is now aiming at becoming the best workplace in the Nordic region.
Optidev has obtained an environmental certification from Svensk Miljobas and is now pressuring its partners to think green.
“Our ambition is to be an environmental pioneer and role model in our industry. Therefore, it feels like a natural step to not only formalize our environmental work but also inspire and drive our partners to do the same,” says Fredrik Logenius, CEO of Optidev.
Several years ago, Optidev developed an environmental policy for the business. When one of the company’s customers required its suppliers to be environmentally certified, Optidev seized the opportunity to take the environmental work to the next level.
Optidev started the journey to become environmentally certified by Svensk Miljobas, a Swedish association that performs environmental certifications and audits. Together with Svensk Miljobas, Optidev defined environmental goals and developed an action plan for becoming a “green” company. In April of this year, the external audit was completed and Optidev is slated to receive a diploma for its efforts.
Carina Lennartzon, who is a project coordinator at Optidev leads the environmental work at Optidev and managed the certification process.
“Svensk Miljobas did not find any complaints during the audit, so our hard work has paid off. Now I am excited for the next steps that involve execution of our action plan and further engagement with both employees and partners,” says Carina.
Optidev’s goal is to create ripple effects among the company’s suppliers and partners. Following a review of the current situation, Optidev will start putting pressure on partners that are not yet environmentally certified. The ambition is to drive a positive change toward a greener and more sustainable way of doing business.
“More and more companies demand that their partners and suppliers have an environmental plan. I think that is great and something every business should do. It was because of demands from one of our customers that we became more serious about our environmental work,” says Fredrik.
Optidev’s environmental work will be evaluated at the end of the year, and a new external audit will take place in spring 2020.
“It is very important for Optidev to maintain the environmental certification — especially since we have to live up to the title as one of Sweden’s best workplaces and achieve our goal of becoming the Nordic region’s best workplace,” concludes Fredrik.
Earlier this year, Optidev was once again placed on the list of Sweden’s Best Workplaces, following collaboration with Great Place To Work, an organization that ranks workplaces by evaluating and developing workplace cultures.