Bees are amazing creatures. Over 10,000 of these little guys work and live tirelessly together filling their home with delicious oh-so-sweet honey. Of course, maybe some of us have a different opinion on bees, perhaps those who got a bit too close and ended up with a painful sting or two. Reading the header of this article, you may be wondering: why are we talking about bees? This year Seibert Media has introduced our own little bee workforce. They are just one way we are focusing on sustainability.
According to Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, “Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people.” Today, sustainability is a topic of immediate and utmost importance. Ultimately, we have harmed the planet we live on. It’s a sad reality, isn’t it? The list is quite endless - pollution, burning fossil fuels, deforestation, climate change, oil spills, soil erosion, and coral bleaching to name a few. But finally, after years of neglecting the environment, people and businesses are taking notice that we need to be more sustainable in our lives - to adverse the effects of what we have done. Therefore, Seibert Media takes sustainability to heart. We believe that businesses should include sustainability in their philosophy. In 2020, sustainability was officially included in our corporate values. And as anyone working at our company knows: we take our corporate values seriously.
Leading the scene to keep it green
Seibert Media is not all talk and no bite. We are evidently taking strides to fulfill our sustainability corporate value. Recently, the company has hired Manuel Löffler, to solely develop and focus on the company’s sustainability initiatives. You might be asking, what exactly are our current initiatives?
Sustainability Coordination Group
This year, one of the largest initiatives is the company’s creation of a Sustainability Coordination Group. This group consists of a number of eager employees who discuss the topic of sustainability every two weeks. This could include topics such as the future sustainability initiatives of the company, sustainability trends, the company's current status on its sustainability goals, etc. This meetup however, is not a recent phenomenon! As far as three years back, employees at Seibert Media have gathered together informally and planned and implemented sustainable measures throughout the company.
Ecoprofit Award program
Since 2020, Seibert Media has participated in the Ecoprofit Awards program and received its certificate in November 2021! So you might be wondering what exactly is it? Founded in 2000 by the Environmental Agency of Wiesbaden, it is a regional environmental and climate protection program and a local network for sustainable management. Its purpose is to motivate and educate employees about sustainability through various workshops and consultation appointments.
Working with nature
Ahhh fresh air, take a deep breath outside and join us on the field! Last year, Seibert Media bought land and planted various trees and flowers, and….most recently placed bee hives! Bees are vital for a healthy ecosystem and are important pollinators that allow us to enjoy a range of foods from apples to coffee, and to the clothes that we wear (cotton). But, bee populations around the world are declining. As a company, we are doing our part and are excited about this "bees"ness!
Did you know this crazy fact? A single person will produce about 127,604 pounds or 57.880 kilograms of garbage in their lifetime. That is a lot of trash. And to combat this, we at Seibert Media are pursuing a zero-waste strategy. Part of this process is first documenting an inventory of how much hazardous waste we produce. This is done with the help of the cleaning staff who weigh the waste bags using a luggage scale every two weeks. Also, in order to reduce waste, waste separation will soon be implemented at Seibert Media’s headquarters.
And we are doing many many more things!
Howard Zinn, an American historian, playwright, and philosopher, says it best, “we don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” We try our best to incorporate sustainability in all aspects of our operations and business. For example, we also focus on sustainability measures in our energy, catering, procurement, travel, culture, and public relations. Check out what we do below!
- All our offices are using green energy.
- We record the electricity consumption of all our locations.
- Systems operate part-time as they fall asleep outside of usage times.
Catering and food
- The company has a long-term partnership with sustainable caterers like Dean & David. Seibert Media actively looks for suppliers who also focus on taking sustainability measures. Furthermore, we look to cater regional fair trade and seasonal food for employees.
- We don't like throwing food away: everything that's left over after the workday (breakfast, lunch) is offered to employees free of charge.
- Also, we offer more vegan lunches to employees.
Supplies and Materials
- In the office, with our supplies we also try to be as sustainable as possible. We use recycled paper, double-sided printing, etc.,
- The company will make larger orders instead of ordering each item individually.
- Give-away boxes → this works like public bookshelves only for all sorts of things.
- Promotional material like T-shirts are made from recycled material.
- We promote the use of public transport by offering employees a job ticket which relatively lowers the public transport price compared to the normal price.
- Since 2019, we have been leasing an electric car instead of a car with a petrol engine.
- We use atmosfair, a German non-profit organization, to compensate for our CO2 emissions for all company flights. Voluntary contributions from airline passengers help them develop renewable energies in developing countries.
- There are also company bicycles which we lease.
- We have clothes swap parties where clothes that you are tired of are traded to find a new home!
- Information for customer inquiries regarding environmental management systems, certifications, etc. is available under our FAQs site.
What our past says about our pursuit of sustainability
In addition to what we are currently doing, we also did some cool things in the past.
In February 2021, during Seibert Media’s yearly hackathon, where employees group together to create new innovations, one team came up with the idea of the sustainability game "Tu mal lieber die Möhrchen" (I'd rather have carrots). Carrots are important for your health, but now also for sustainability! In the game, employees collected carrots by completing challenges on topics such as energy, heat, waste/recycling, nutrition and many more. For example, a few tasks were to set the fridge and freezer temperature correctly, not eat animal-based food for a month or bring unused charging cables, adapters and other IT accessories or hardware back to IT. Each task had a different carrot count, some tasks required a bit more effort than others (of course all carrots matter). You could also earn carrots by learning about different sustainability topics. For example, you can learn about which electronics are easy to repair by yourself. Plus, the game provides sources for additional information such as through apps like Codecheck or Too Good To Go. Those that earned a high carrot count were listed as the most diligent in sustainability.
The game’s purpose was to raise awareness and convey information on ecological sustainability issues. It was active for a short amount of time, but unfortunately it isn’t active at the moment. We hope to develop it more so that it becomes available in the future again. Even if you can't currently play the game, we urge you to do what you can to be as sustainable as possible.
Knowledge is a powerful tool, isn’t it? In the same year of starting the Ecoprofit award program, employees were keenly interested in knowing more about sustainability. As such, large meetups were held to educate employees on topics including “Conscious Corporate Governance and Sustainability” and “Sustainability and Corona: Experiences and Learnings”. In the first meeting, more than 30 external people came to visit our main office in Wiesbaden to hear keynote speaker Daniel Nowack, from Yunus Social Business, speak on purpose-driven innovation and transformation of value chains through social business initiatives. Later meetup topics included guest speaker Jule Jankowski, who hosts the podcast series "GOOD WORK" where she records how people have managed to deal with changes at work during the pandemic, and entrepreneur Katharina Funke-Braun who spoke about opportunities and risks for the topic of sustainability with and after the pandemic.
This was an amazing joint effort! Since June 2020, Seibert Media has had a sustainability code for everyone to read. Employees worked together to create the code to incorporate their own design of what sustainability for Seibert Media should look like. The code helped the company describe its sustainable orientation for external users such as customer inquiries. At the same time, it sent a signal internally to support the development of a common mindset regarding the company’s strategic sustainability course.
All the way back since 2017, Torsten Groß from Seibert Media, our passionate gardener, has been leading an urban gardening project. We've been growing vegetables on the office terrace and are reporting on the successes and failures of the harvests. Tomatoes, carrots, potatoes….you name it and it has probably been grown!
What future initiatives are Seibert Media planning?
Excitingly, we have had an array of initiatives that we have done in the past, that we are currently undertaking, but we are also planning continuously for what we want to do in the future.
Carbon footprint reduction
For example, the company is taking steps (no pun intended) to measure its carbon footprint every year. This initiative is currently in progress; the most up-to-date information is that the company is considering using the tool Spenoki for this task. Spenoki takes information from a company’s invoices as its input, and using AI, it outputs a carbon footprint estimate. Knowing its carbon footprint, Seibert Media will set goals to reduce its carbon emissions.
As you can see, Sustainability is not just a buzzword to us. It is part of our corporate strategy and our corporate culture. We hope that other companies will take inspiration from us and make changes to their own businesses. Because only together can we change the world.
Would you like to be there the next time we taste our delicious Seibert honey? Or would you like to take part in the next farming project in our field? Many of our teams are looking for reinforcements in different roles. Here are all the current English-language job openings (more will be coming soon). For German job openings, click here.