Colleagues make a difference with local sustainable initiatives

Sustainable choices are coming more and more naturally to colleagues. And they don’t always have to involve major sustainability projects. Even small interventions can generate a positive impact.

21 April 2023

Sustainable choices are coming more and more naturally to colleagues. And they don’t always have to involve major sustainability projects. Even small interventions can generate a positive impact. Our colleagues worldwide are contributing with a range of initiatives and Unilin is more than happy to throw its weight behind them.

Carpooling with Rashid and Saad

When machine operator Rashid and his neighbour Saad wound up in the same shift system at Unilin Flooring four years ago, they felt it was foolish to drive to work separately every day when they could carpool. So they did. Four years later they are still happy to take turns driving. “And you do feel it in your wallet”, says Rashid with conviction. “You have to refuel less and the car needs less maintenance too. The difference amounts to approximately €100 per month. And one car on the road is better for our climate than two, right?” Rashid and Saad take turns driving every day. “This way driving duties are evenly distributed and there can be no discussion.”

Because they spend fifteen minutes in the car every day they also got to know each other much better. “We’ve become friends, we also carpool to the fitness club or the supermarket”, he laughs. ”The social contact makes the home-work commute much more enjoyable. That’s why it’s important to carpool with someone you get along with.”

Rashid and Saad are just two of the many colleagues to catch on to the advantages of carpooling. At the request of some of our colleagues, Unilin has established a brand-new carpool community. There you can easily find colleagues who live near you and you can contact them to make the necessary arrangements. The first carpool community focuses on Flanders but over time the concept can be installed in other locations as well.

Unilin Malaysia supports rebuilding of local Hindu temple

On 18 August 2021 disaster struck in the rural setting of Sungai Batu (Malaysia). Torrential rains caused a landslide that destroyed a 150-year-old temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Rama. All that remained were a few statues.

Shortly after the disaster local volunteers started rebuilding the temple. Donations poured in and the decision to restore the temple to its former glory was taken soon after. At the initiative of one of our operators Unilin Malaysia also made a contribution. They had been going to the Ramar temple for the longest time and appealed to Unilin Malaysia to help.

The company donated 145 m² of B-quality planks and 224 m² of rejected planks. These were integrated into the ceiling of the new temple, where the first prayer service took place on 17 December 2022, sixteen months after the catastrophe. This gave a second life to planks of lesser quality.

Drinking fountains in Ghent

When the offices of Unilin Flooring at the site of non-profit Gandae vzw were renovated two years ago, our colleagues in Ghent decided to also equip the site with drinking fountains to give all colleagues access to free filtered water, eliminating all PET bottles in the process. 

To this day, Leonie Declerck, responsible for production & distribution within the marketing materials team, is very enthusiastic about this decision: “Back in the day the PET bottles would arrive on pallets. Today our office workers can fill their drinking bottle with still or sparkling water. Personalised with the Unilin logo, of course”, she says with a wink.

“The main reason we opted for this system are the ecological benefits, not to cut costs. But looking at the cost of PET bottles it’s only natural we’re saving money: the transport and handling by staff, the waste mountain that must be processed, bottle collection, ... “

Meanwhile reusable and sealable coffee and soup cups have also been introduced at the site. “Mainly for safety reasons”, says Leonie. “People would walk around the warehouse with an open coffee cup, or they would take the stairs like that or put their coffee down on a forklift, ... not exactly safe but coffee is obviously an integral part of our work environment”, Leonie continues. After the coffee cup a sealable soup cup was recently introduced. “The soup cup was a present to celebrate twelve months without industrial accidents with absence from work. An achievement we take great pride in”, Leonie concludes.

Meanwhile the Avelgem site and the Flooring Department Centre in Waregem have followed Gandae’s lead by also switching to drinking fountains. This year our headquarters in Wielsbeke will also install drinking fountains in the offices.


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