Astana Hub and ECO Network Implementing Environmental Standards Among Startups
Astana Hub is moving towards establishing a "green" office by implementing environmental standards among startups in partnership with ECO Network. The collaboration is based on an innovative approach to conducting business called ESG, which stands for Environment, Social, Governance. The essence of this approach is to reorganize company operations in a way that does not harm the environment.
Within this year, the "green" office project has recycled over 200 kg of paper, 130 kg of plastic, 20 kg of glass, and 12 kg of aluminum. This initiative has saved 4,420 liters of water, reduced CO2 emissions by 376 kg, and preserved two trees from being cut down. In an interview, Evgeny Yusupov, the Chief Manager of the International Technopark for IT startups, Astana Hub, emphasizes the significance of such policies and collaboration with the ECO Network platform.
What waste sorting and recycling systems are already implemented in the technopark, and how do they operate? We are systematically greening the Astana Hub pavilions. When organizing spaces for startups and technology companies, special attention is given to indoor plants. Machines for accepting plastic bottles have been installed, and bonuses in the form of discounts are given for their return. Separate bins for plastic, paper, glass, and metal recycling have been placed.
What educational or informational campaigns on ecology and waste recycling are conducted at Astana Hub? The partnership between Astana Hub and Eco Network goes beyond recycling; it aims to foster a conscious attitude, urging people to reflect on their impact on the environment, reconsider their consumption, and actively seek ways to reduce their ecological footprint. This comprehensive approach is crucial for building a sustainable future. Together, we conduct training sessions, distribute reports with identified sorting mistakes and recommendations to prevent further violations. Within contractual relationships, Eco Network provides training sessions for employees and companies. Three explanatory meetings were held this year. During coworking and office visits, individual conversations are systematically conducted with Eco Network representatives.
What challenges do you face in organizing the waste sorting and recycling process? Unfortunately, few understand the importance of sorting processes. Perhaps it is due to human laziness when people are unwilling to make extra efforts to go to the bin and dispose of their waste properly. According to reports, the most common errors in waste sorting are organic contamination, disposal of non-recyclable "paper" cups, disposable plastic items, and items at the end of their lifecycle. Food and beverage residues often contaminate recycling containers, leading to the spoilage of recyclable materials and unsanitary conditions. Many believe that paper coffee cups can be recycled, but their plastic coating makes them harmful to the environment and human health. Disposable utensils and plates, especially those made of low-quality plastic, are not recyclable and significantly contribute to global plastic pollution. Items like used napkins, already being the end product of recycling, cannot undergo further processing.
Can you provide examples of successful practices or initiatives already implemented at Astana Hub? There is a successful case. Before our collaboration with Eco Network, one of the participants in the Hub Space program, Playrix, independently installed separate waste sorting bins in their coworking spaces. Now, with our comprehensive approach to problem-solving, employee engagement is increasing. The most active offices at Astana Hub use the money earned from recycling to purchase indoor plants. We aim to instill eco-friendly habits among residents and startups at Astana Hub. By integrating innovative waste management methods and promoting environmental awareness, Astana Hub inspires the community to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
On their part, the ECO Network strives to improve the collection of recyclables at Astana Hub, ensuring that as many qualitatively sorted waste as possible goes for processing.
"We deliver recyclables to LS Astana collection points and Zeta store, where they are used to manufacture packaging, films, household goods, and many other items. We also remind people that sorting and recycling are just the tip of the iceberg in caring for our environment. It is essential to ask ourselves questions such as: What impact are we having on the environment? Do we really need what we consume? How can we reduce our impact on the ecological situation? By answering these questions, we can collectively save our planet, as caring for it is everyone's responsibility every day," said Aigerim Zharalgapova, Managing Partner of ECO Network.
The collaboration between Astana Hub and Eco Network serves as a reminder that preserving the health of our planet is a task requiring joint efforts from each of us. This partnership continues to evolve, becoming an example to follow in environmentally oriented initiatives in the technology and business sectors.
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