One year ago on Earth Day 2021, more than 15,000 SEAT S.A. employees stopped to reflect on climate change. The #Project1Hour initiative was born to promote debate amongst employees and to foster sustainable ideas to make the company, and the world, a better place. One year on, the ideas that were born 365 days ago have become reality.
An efficient factory.
On Earth Day last year, SEAT S.A. employees stopped for 1 hour to aid in fighting climate change.
One of the projects that has already been launched involves monitoring and reducing the energy consumption of electronic, electrical and air conditioning equipment when the factory is at a standstill. The initiative is supervised by the Energy Savings Team, which evaluates the facilities and their operation on a weekly basis and carries out efficiency measures. “This has enabled us to reduce energy consumption by 20% during non-productive periods” says Adrián Navarrete from Facility Management. The same team has also activated a plan to replace halogen fluorescent lights with LED bulbs in the workshops, which represents a 56% energy savings by consuming up to 1,514 fewer mWh per year.
An ecological garden.
“By planting native species in the flowerbeds, we’ve succesfully reduced water consumption by 34% compared to watering the lawns” explains José Canabal from Facility Management as he arranges the first shoots of ivy, gorse, rosemary, lavender, and sage planted on the SEAT Martorell grounds. With its 950,000 m2 of woodland, the complex is one of the Volkswagen Group’s largest nature preserves, 90% of which contains native species. This project and others like it are the results of last year’s #Project1Hour. José sees it, “beauty and sustainability aren’t at odds with each other.”
#Project1Hour spurred ideas that have already materialised in the company 1 year later.
Every day, SEAT S.A. employees who use the canteen service choose to take away more than 400 menus. Between packaging and disposable cutlery, too much plastic waste was generated, which is why the ‘Cuidemos del Planeta’ initiative was created, promoting the use of reusable containers and cutlery. “Employees can bring them from home or buy their own pack of two glass food containers, cutlery and carrier bag at a reduced price” says Marcel Dassonvalle from Canteen Management. This has done away with up to 336 kg of plastic per month. In addition, a waste sorting system has also been implemented in the canteens to make recycling more effective.
A bright horizon.
Projects launched so far: sustainable gardens, reusable food containers and reduced energy use.
And light will also be the hero of a new sustainable project for this year, the 'LED'S DO IDEAS' initiative. For each ecological idea that workers contribute, SEAT S.A. will donate two LED light bulbs to social entities to replace their incandescent bulbs. This action will have a direct impact on the reduction of emissions, since the life of two traditional light bulbs is equivalent to one ton of CO2. “It’s a challenge, a way to actively involve all the workers in the company’s environmental project, and at the same time, to reduce the carbon footprint” explains Eugenia Alquézar from Employee Engagement and Innovation. In fact, if at least half of the employees each contribute one idea, the carbon reduction would be equivalent to planting 60,000 holm oak trees over 30 years. Small gestures that make a big difference on the road to a more sustainable company.
Stop to raise awareness.
SEAT S.A. is firmly committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Accords. Therefore, to commemorate International Earth Day, the company is activating #Project1Hour again this month. In this global awareness-raising initiative, SEAT S.A.'s 15,000 employees will have the opportunity to reflect on climate change in the next days, and will be provided the tools to define specific actions they can integrate into their daily work and personal lives to help curb it.