The green workplace
Updated: 2013-05-02 09:48
By Sun Ye (China Daily)
Guillermo Munro/China Daily
Xiao grew up in verdant Guizhou province and has always found her sense of security in nature. "I talk to nature to calm myself down," she says. Polluted surroundings irritate her.
She began volunteering for various green NGOs since entering the University of Science and Technology Beijing. Then, during her four years with two large companies, she frequently found herself among the rare, eager ones to participate in corporate responsibility activities.
"My ex-boss once asked me what were my goals in the next 15 years. I said I wanted to develop a green, environment-friendly product that's profitable." Xiao has now come to see that the environment is more of a personal obsession.
"I told my husband, even if my philosophy doesn't work and nothing comes out of it, I can still be my children's model for pursuing one's dreams even though we can't afford private school," she says.
The owners of Gung Ho happened to believe in the same things, that green and business can work together and a big impact starts from small bits.
John O'Loghlen, the co-owner who has been looking for an advocate for their vision, says, "When we met her, we just clicked."
They set aside 1 percent of total revenue as the budget for Xiao's green responsibilities. Xiao joined Gung Ho last September and "Going green" is the company's tagline now.
In the first quarter this year, Xiao helped reduce 51 percent of waste, totally more than a ton. She sent food waste to an organic farm for fuel.
She says by the end of the year she expects more of her projects to turn a profit. And the green-management model that the restaurant works on is already outsourcing. An e-commerce company invites her to give a speech on disposal.
"We've only just started and I can't say how much value I'm creating, but I'm doing the positive, right kind of business."
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