Report from a Sustainability Expo
I will admit right up front that I am not very familiar with my employer’s supply chain organization, so I was curious to see what I might learn at today’s expo, which they called Supplier Diversity is “Green.” The title of the event left me a little confused: was this event going to be about supplier diversity, environmentalism, or both? From our second floor quadrant I could hear the murmur of the growing crowd in the first floor atrium, so curiosity took me downstairs to check it out.
The expo was set up as a small vendor fair, and there were about 20 tables staffed by representatives of different suppliers with which Halliburton is apparently doing business. The representatives seemed eager to explain the products or services available, and the environmentally friendly aspects were highlighted. One of the first tables I visited was that of a service provider of IT equipment recycling, so I was happy to see them there. At all the tables, product catalogues and other literature, and in most cases samples, were available, so I came away with a decent haul of vendor fair swag, including:
- Pens made of recycled wood and other recycled materials
- Several kinds of Post-It (r) brand notes made of recycled paper
- An “Earth Saver” instructional wheel with information on proper disposal methods of various kinds of hazardous waste
- A “Green Catalogue” of environmentally-friendly products suitable for corporate promotional gifts (100% biodegradable pens and live aloe vera plants, anyone?)
- Samples of disposable utensils and serveware made of corn-based materials
- Several polypropylene bags, perfect for grocery shopping
A handout of 10 ways to Go Green and Save Green seemed like pretty basic stuff to me, but it might have been helpful to someone who was only minimally aware of how to get started being green: Re-route your commute, buy used, buy local, start composting, skip the bottled water, make your own cleaning supplies from natural ingredients, think twice about new electronics, eat one meatless meal per week (only one?), and use your library and other public resources. Nothing earth-shattering to me, but perhaps a good way to get someone who has been resistant to consider taking first steps onto the path of environmentalism.
The event was co-sponsored by the supply chain and the health, safety, and environment (HSE) organizations, so I was eager to chat with someone from HSE. With the company’s apparent embrace of environmentalism, could we hope that something would soon be done about the office building so that it would not feel like a meat-locker so much of the time? Alas, no one at the information desk could direct me to anyone from HSE, a bit disappointing to say the least. If HSE is going to co-sponsor an event like this, it seems reasonable to expect that they would ensure adequate representation for the duration.
Other than that let-down, I came away with a favorable impression of steps being taken at Halliburton to support and promote environmental responsibility both across the organization and by the personnel at home.