Back to Mother Nature’s Cycles: The "Bumagovorot" Project

OPTICOM

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 15. Life on Land 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Opticom's innovation is the "Bumagovorot" project which is about creating a sustainable process within business. Opticom would collect waste disposal of the businesses to use in the production of its sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Within this project, Opticom also offers participating business partners trainings for their employees in ethics and sustainability.

Authors

Viktoriya Khalueva

Viktoriya Khalueva

Anastasia Fatalina

Anastasia Fatalina

Gisèle L'hoest

Gisèle L'hoest

Lorenzo Murgo

Lorenzo Murgo

School

National Research University Higher School of Economics

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Professor

Ekaterina Ivanova

Ekaterina Ivanova

Innovation

How does it work?

Firstly, Opticom brings a cardboard collection bin into the office.

Secondly, it collects the full bin and transports it to the processing plant.

Thirdly, upon request, it sends data on the volume of waste paper collected in the office for any period of time required.

Finally, it offers the opportunity for the client to use this data in CSR reports, presentations, media, and office environmental assessments.

What else do they offer to all project participants?

Employee environmental education.

Opticom specialists will hold lectures in the offices on the topics: "Recycling in the office and at home", "The second life of things", "What is a green office", "Green cleaning".

The customers are provided with the Certificate as a participant in the "Paperwork" project and will be able to let customers and employees know that they are an environmentally responsible company.

In addition to this, Opticom has a wide range of products to make the customer's business more sustainable.

The code of conduct for employees it has introduced is strict and must be followed. For instance, the business aims at minimizing the negative environmental impacts of its direct activities, including recycling, minimizing waste production, emissions, efficient use of water and energy, taking into account the climate agenda, defining and applying Opticom's relevant requirements for procurement of goods and services; collaborating with external suppliers to design and develop sustainable products; and supporting environmental initiatives of external suppliers.

Back to Mother Nature’s Cycles:  The "Bumagovorot" Project

Back to Mother Nature’s original cycles: Opticom’s The "Bumagovorot" project

Inspiration

Opticom is a company that not only takes care of the environment, but also believes that taking care of it should be translated into the philosophy of any business. A company should not do projects in the field of sustainable development because it is a hot and trendy topic. Opticom translates its vision of sustainable development into its mission and values. One of the company's values is "environmental friendliness", which is about the production of sustainable goods, caring for nature, circular economy, popularization of a sustainable and responsible way of doing business.

Anna Vasilyeva, Director of Organizational and Sustainable Development in Opticom told us: "We have translated into the mission that our main goal is to help our partners building a sustainable business together. When developing the strategy, we decided that sustainable development should be considered in all our business processes. This is part of the company's DNA".

The "Bumagovorot" (paper cycle) project is one of the most successful initiatives at Opticom. It greatly contributes to sustainable development by creating an affordable and convenient infrastructure for the processing of paper waste for any business which uses paper in daily work.

Anna Vasilyeva pointed out that: "The project "Bumagovorot" recently received second place and shared it with Ikea in the nomination "Leaders of sustainable development". The project "Bumagovorot" is well-recognized, as it is already more than three years old. In addition, this project also has followers.

The desire to build a company with a circular business model, caring for the environment and assistance to business-partners are three factors that inspired Opticom to develop in the field of sustainable development. Back in 2005, Opticom did not have a department for sustainable development, it was just a marketing department. In 2021, the CEO of Opticom created a department of sustainable development, which reports directly to the CEO and in the future will become the management team for Sustainable Development with two objectives: sustainable development and organizational development.

At the end of the interview, Anna shared her impressions about her work in the field of sustainable development. She is very proud of the sustainable initiatives that the company undertakes. Anna told us: "You know, every project is a victory. Because in order to implement every project, even the smallest simple solution or to introduce a new product into the range, is a very big job. These are studies, calculations, and analyses. It's really hard and represents a lot of work. Every project that is approved by our clients and other stakeholders is certainly a victory and it is truly accepted and shared by the whole company".

Everything has a beginning and an end. Thanks to the recycling of 1 ton of waste paper, 24 trees are saved, CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are prevented, electricity and water are used less. Consequently, the world around us becomes cleaner and safer for life. Recycling is the future!

Overall impact

Overall, the "Bumagovorot" project has an impact on the business, the society and the environment at the same time.

Indeed, in terms of its own business, the project helped Opticom gain new customers and increase its sales since one of the requirements to become a partner in the project is to be or to become a regular customer of Opticom’s environmentally friendly products. In addition, this innovation allows our hero to decrease its need in raw material. However, the company had to modify its business model since the supply chain process had to be adapted to be able to collect and reuse used paper.

Furthermore, Opticom offers the possibility for the project partners to have specialists come to their office and educate their employees about diverse sustainable topics. In the long run, this can have a considerable societal impact since those employees are then able to educate their families and friends who can also contribute by word of mouth. Considering that Russia is still evolving in sustainability this can truly have a societal impact.

Regarding the impact on the environment, the fact that the project contributes to the circular economy leads to some positive impact on the planet. It allows Opticom to reuse partners' paper waste thus, as previously mentioned, decreasing the company’s need for raw materials. Additionally, the fact that partners’ employees can become more educated regarding environmental issues can encourage them to take action and contribute to a greener planet outside their office. Finally, since partners need to be regular customers of Opticom’s environmentally friendly products, more businesses may become "Green Offices" and contribute to a "Greener planet". Which would meet Opticom's goal which was mentioned by Anna: "Our main goal is to help our partners build a sustainable business".

Business benefit

To be able to take part in the "Bumagovorot" project, a company needs to regularly purchase Opticom's environmentally friendly products. Meaning that companies either wanting to be involved in sustainability matters or wanting to show evidence of being a responsible business can take part in the "Bumagovorot" project by providing Opticom with their waste paper but will then have to purchase some of their environmentally friendly products if they are not clients yet. To make it easier for companies, Opticom proposes 3 different sets of preselected products. However, the customer can customize their set if they want to. This strategy allows Opticom to extend its clientele, sell more products and encourage the use of environmentally friendly products within businesses.

Besides, another business benefit worth mentioning is for the project’s partners. Indeed, as Anna said : "In, addition to working with employees, realizing the contribution and the ability to loop a large amount of paper without much effort, the company also receives a certificate every year, which states how the company reduced the carbon footprint by taking part in this project, how many trees were saved and how much water was preserved and kept clean and fresh. It's no secret that pulp and paper production is a quite dirty production". The certificate Anna is mentioning can improve the trust of the partners’ customers and boost their sales which is a considerable benefit.

Social and environmental benefit

According to the list of 17 global Sustainable Development Goals, the "Bumagovorot" project was identified by the company as contributing to 3 of them: Goals 12, 13 and 15 (Responsible consumption and production, Climate action, Life on Land).

The project was originally created to support sustainable development. We highlighted several positive sustainable impacts:

  1. The "Bumagovorot" project is decreasing the need for natural materials and resources. Thus, the company states that when recycling 1 ton of waste paper, it saves 24 trees to be cut down, prevents the emission of 1 ton of CO2 into the atmosphere, requires 4.7 mWh less electricity and requires 33 m3 less water.
  2. Participation in the project was made very easy for the businesses. In addition, they can easily present this project to their employees and explain the importance of it.
  3. Specialists conduct environmental education for employees of client companies participating in the project. For instance, they can hold lectures on the following topics: "Separate waste collection in the office and at home", "The second life of things", "What is a green office", "Green cleaning".
  4. The project contributes to the development and popularization of the principles of cyclical economy.
  5. Increasing the environmental responsibility of business.
  6. Maintaining an environmental conservation policy.
  7. Promotion of separate waste collection.

Summing up the benefits conducted, it can be concluded that the main benefits of the "Bumagovorot" project are aimed at supporting nature by educating B2B customers and encouraging them to recycle materials and have a real positive impact on our planet. Specifically, in this project, social benefits focus on the fact that the training of the business community is taking place. The company has different projects in which it also supports non-profit organizations and helps the poor.

The project proved its usefulness, it was recognized at the awards, the project won in the nomination: "Efficiency and responsibility". We are sure that the positive impact of the project will continue rising over the next years!

Interview

Anna Vasilyeva, Director of Organizational and Sustainable Development in Opticom

Photo of interviewee

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OPTICOM

OPTICOM

Moscow, RU

Business Website: https://www.opti-com.ru/

Year Founded: 2005

Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

Opticom was founded in 2005 and, since then, adheres to principles of sustainable development by introducing them in a variety of business processes. Opticom is highly involved in ecological education and is continuously building a growing portfolio of sustainable solutions.

Opticom is one of the players in the Russian market of wholesale supplies of packaging, consumables and household goods. In addition, Opticom pays special attention to scientific developments in the production of sustainable products, educational activities and participation in environmental projects. Indeed, Opticom now sells more than 16.000 items from over 20 product categories to more than 6.500 loyal customers ranging from offices and shops to restaurants and hotels. It delivers 2.500 orders on a daily basis to 85 regions in Russia.

The business continues to grow since the company's production capacity is constantly expanding in order to meet the growing demand of the Russian market.