9 June 2021 Success with staff-requested environmental initiatives at the IOM office in Egypt

During 2020, IOM Egypt’s Environmental Working Group was keen to celebrate World Environment Day - albeit virtually -, to further strengthen the Mission’s commitment to reduce the office’s environmental footprint. At this point, a survey was sent out to all IOM Egypt staff asking them to share a wish or one thing that they would like to see changed or implemented in the office regarding the way the environment is preserved. The first-place winning initiative was to purchase IOM bikes for more sustainable means of transportation and commuting to work related meetings. The second-place initiative was to work towards a greener office by having more plants inside the office as well as planting vegetables and fruits on the rooftops. Lastly, the third-place initiative was to work more towards e-business modalities.

IOM Egypt successfully implemented the first-place initiative by purchasing three bikes available for more than 150 IOM staff to use while commuting to meetings or for work related matters; taking into account all health and safety measures. Only three months after the implementation of the initiative and especially during the peak of the flexible work arrangements in 2020, the three IOM bikes were used around 60 times by staff members and are still a go-to transportation option for commuting around the office in Cairo.

The second winning initiative, “Adopt a Plant”, was also successfully implemented by the beginning of 2021. A list of 9 types of indoor as well as outdoor plants was shared with staff members. 37 plants of 9 different types were purchased as per the responses received. The plants are completely cared for by their respective adoptive staff member to promote mental wellbeing as well as a greener office atmosphere. The third winning initiative to promote e-business modalities in order to reduce paper usage and printing has been partially implemented by the new Purchase Request platform, which serves as a smooth online purchase process. In addition to the organization-wide implementation of the purchase request system, digital signature was promoted as a way to sign forms during work from home.

On the anniversary of this initiative on World Environment Day 2021, IOM Egypt is celebrating all the great ideas that make our world a little greener, better - and closer to environmental sustainability.

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