Efforts to improve environmental performance also encompass offices and other work areas.
During the year, the Group continued the program of replacing electronic office equipment such as computers, monitors and printers with energy-saving equipment certified by Energy Star. The program to migrate to virtual servers also continued. For the period 2010-2013, these initiatives led to a reduction of more than 26,000 tons in CO2 emissions.
New and existing initiatives provided the opportunity for employee involvement and training on issues relating to personal health, the environment (waste management, water consumption, energy savings) and good practices in the workstation environment. The ultimate objective of these initiatives is to generate a 360 degree awareness of sustainable practices applicable both in the office and at home.
Environmental initiatives include the “Zero Waste to Landfill” program instituted at the Chrysler Group Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills (Michigan, U.S.A.), where more than 14,000 people work. Approximately 1,670 containers were installed for separate disposal of plastic, paper, recyclable and organic waste. At a special education event employees were given a questionnaire to test their awareness relating to waste disposal with awards given for the best responses. Of a total 8,358 tons of waste generated at the Auburn Hills complex during 2013, including 5,613 tons of metallic materials, zero waste was disposed of via landfill.
Group initiatives utilize a variety of different channels to encourage employee involvement, including face-to-face meetings, information published via intranet portals or websites, e-mail campaigns, notices posted in common areas and special events.
In 2013, the Group undertook the conversion of an unutilized 42,000 m2 industrial site in Mirafiori (Turin, Italy) into offices.
The energy performance specifications of the new structure are superior to existing regulations and, from 2014, the site will house approximately 1,600 employees. Beginning with the design phase, particular attention was given to the ability of the building’s outer shell to adapt to seasonal variations in climate, optimizing ventilation systems and natural lighting, as well as using advanced technologies to limit thermal dispersion.
From an environmental point of view, the primary benefits of renovating an existing building rather than building a new structure are:
- reuse of an existing industrial site
- significant reduction in the generation of waste due to preservation of the building’s internal structure and outer shell
- reduction in use of new construction materials with consequent impacts of production and transport being avoided
- conservation of latent energy of materials forming part of existing structure
Another tangible sign of the project’s responsible approach was the use of recyclable materials for the renovation.
Once occupied, the building’s energy performance will be monitored. In addition, the new site is expected to contribute to a progressive revitalization of the local area and infrastructure.