As I reflect on the recently passed Earth Day 2018, I was reminded of conversations I have had with my daughter as she was growing up, about sustainability and care for earth’s ecosystem. When she was born, I remember thinking that when she gets to driving age, her first car will be a green car or a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV). This thought recently became a reality as she just passed her driving test last month and is now driving a hybrid vehicle. I was also reminded of going to events with her such as beach/river clean ups, trail restorations, tree plantings, when these were considered “special” events. For my daughter and her generation, this has now become the norm. As a junior in high school, she volunteers at a sustainable fish hatchery, teaches primary school children about marine ecology and the importance of keeping plastics out of our oceans and rivers, and regularly attends events run by our local river clean-up crew. She knows the importance of our finite supply of natural resources and how we all have an opportunity, and obligation, to protect and preserve them as much as we can. This led me to the realization that natural resource conservation must continue to be learned and nurtured to effect lasting change, and that education isn't just for the next generation. We can all learn from ongoing education to drive continuous improvement.
"This led me to the realization that natural resource conservation must continue to be learned and nurtured to effect lasting change, and that education isn't just for the next generation."
As I have guided my child through the hands-on Earth Day event presentations over the years, it has been exciting to watch her learning progress – from her amazement in baking cookies with a solar oven, to shock at how plastics kill and maim our aquatic life. Yet the learning continues. Even as a professional with direct purview of environmental topics, I realize that I am constantly learning too! More than once, my daughter has reminded me about the ingredients in our foods, our personal care items, and the importance of taking time to appreciate the simple wonders of nature. It is with this understanding of ongoing learning and continuous improvement that I appreciate the efforts of Keysight in this area.
Keysight’s ongoing education and communication to conserve natural resources and reduce waste
At Keysight, we have long had programs, policies and procedures in place to support the environment. We operate under a company-wide environmental, health and safety management system registered to ISO14001:2015 standards. In addition, Keysight has the goal of recognizing $2 million in cost avoidance, 10% energy conservation and 15% water conservation by the end of fiscal year 2020 (using our fiscal year 2015 as a baseline). Ongoing education and communications are implemented to ensure employees not only comply to standards, but also to understand how their individual actions can support the company goals in natural resource conservation and efficiency. For example, recurring communications include reminders to employees such as to:
- Conserve energy by turning off computers, monitors, and equipment when not in use.
- Inform Workplace Solutions about water leaks so they can be quickly fixed.
- Increase trash diversion rates by segregating wastes, and recycle food waste in food compost areas.
- Minimize the use of disposable cups by using washable mugs.
- Print double-sided, and only when printing is truly necessary.
- Use public transportation or bike, walk or car-pool/ride-share to work if viable.
The hope is that these learnings carry over into their personal lives as well. In line with Earth Day 2018’s theme to help end plastic pollution, Keysight’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) team provided information to all employees through our company newsletter about how to calculate and reduce their plastic consumption. That was a great tool for me at work, as well as personally. It was eye-opening to understand how much plastic one household puts into the environment over the course of a year. It also gave me another tool to share with my family and to think twice about the need for a plastic straw in our water glass at restaurants.
"In line with Earth Day 2018’s theme to help end plastic pollution, Keysight’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) team provided information to all employees through our company newsletter about how to calculate and reduce their plastic consumption."
Earth Day is always a great time of year to be reminded and educated about natural resource conservation and environmental impacts. However, it is important to continue the learnings year-round, whether it is in support of your company’s goals or your personal “Earth Day Resolution” goal.