Passionate about travels, Benoit left France in 2011 for Asia, lived in Hong Kong then landed in Singapore 6 years ago, working for Credit Agricole CIB. With 15 years of experience in IT across different sectors and industries, he is now managing a team focusing on IT application support. In 2017, he was one of the founders, and now the leader, of their first green team in Singapore.
To be honest it started more out of curiosity than it was a clear goal initially. Later, it became a necessity for me, as you cannot do everything at home, which is very far from what is done at work, to be aligned with your thoughts or convictions.
I started by building a community, to understand who showed interest around me and get ideas from my fellow colleagues.
The awareness of what sustainability means in the office has been raised, from employees to top management. The concept of doing things differently, with another parameter (environmental criteria) than cost, has been introduced.
We are working now more consciously to minimize our impact on the environment, make our employees feel good and sometimes even increase our own well being.
Mainly to find people who understand you, who trust you and also how to work towards the interest of the company. Then, you need sponsorship from management and finally draw a detailed plan to executives and motivate people.
Having a team of volunteers with limited budget is a challenge (how to keep people motivated over time, the frustration of having a limited impact).
We have overcomed the challenge by recruiting new green team members, earning trust from the management and the community, and by showing real, measurable impacts from the implementation of the initiatives. Definitely, a big part is commitment and learning. Innovating and increasing our network also helped a lot to overcome difficulties.
Of course, it is challenging, as our roadmap was delayed for 6 months and most of the team members were not able to participate (more workload due to the pandemic - necessity to adapt to new work conditions, communication and work in a remote environment).
But it also created new opportunities (things that were not allowed before and needed to be (re)activated, think out of the box during emergency situations, facilitate quicker decision).
It will change the approach as we have physical constraints, interaction being limited, some aspects were totally cancelled. But it can open new doors or oblige you to adapt/innovate quickly.
In 2019, we organized an Environment Week (upcycling workshop - talk about climate change, fast fashion - raise awareness about electronic waste, green market). We recycled newspapers, screened a documentary about the plastic issue and led our first beach cleanup.
In early 2021, I became officially Animator of “the Climate collage” and I will be conducting workshops with my colleagues to raise awareness towards the climate change issue.
I will be glad to share my experience or help others to move towards a better and sustainable environment if I can. Let’s keep in touch.
Benoit kindly accepts to answer your questions.
If you need additional insights, you can send him a message.