Big and Small Steps Toward Sustainability
Making green choices at TSYS
Going green has never been more buzzed-about, but waiting for the next big fad has never been the style at TSYS.® That's why the payment solutions company began its recycling efforts decades ago, long before it was fashionable — or even expected — for companies to do so.
"We make sustainability decisions [based on] the right thing to do, rather than some arbitrary number that is popular at the time," said Chip Torbert, TSYS team member and head of the company's sustainability program.
While the company's recycling efforts began with paper, they have expanded to include programs to recycle everything from batteries, office equipment, aluminum and Styrofoam to cardboard, wooden pallets, grass clippings and even the food from the TSYS' Riverfront Campus Café. "We've always taken the approach that we want to be environmentally friendly, but it's also about being a good steward and not wanting to waste anything," Torbert said.
"All of these efforts are part of the TSYS culture," said Debbie Avery, a Columbus-based facilities manager and part of the corporate sustainability program. "If we see a need, we take action."
Thinking green globally
TSYS locations all over the world continue to lead the way with environmental initiatives and community partnerships. For instance, the office in York, England set a lofty goal of diverting 100 percent of its waste from landfills — and attained that goal.
"This was very important to us," said David O'Neill, York team member. "We've been recycling for years, but we really wanted to get to the point that we weren't adding anything to landfills."
The team received the "Best Sustainable Travel Initiative Award" at the Press Business Awards 2013 for their Cycle to Work program, which allows team members to rent bicycles at low cost — or even borrow them at no cost. Additionally, the team partnered with the City of York Council, and helped fund and plan the launch of the city's public "Park and Pedal Initiative."
"We've been recycling for years, but we really wanted to get to the point that we weren't adding anything to landfills." David O'Neill
In the New Delhi office, TSYS India makes it easy for team members to contribute to the green cause on a daily basis by maintaining electronic waste bins on-site. In addition to disposing of e-waste from work, team members are encouraged to bring their e-waste, like batteries and halogen lights, from home for disposal.
Grassroots, team member initiatives
TSYS' top executive leadership has empowered team members to advance the company's sustainability efforts and have fun doing it. "Lights Out Friday" — where muted lighting is put in place to close out the work week — is one idea team members have embraced at locations around the globe. In Atlanta, team-members have initiated a carpooling program. And in Boise, Idaho, and Tempe, Ariz., team members take advantage of their bicycle-friendly communities to promote alternate forms of travel to work.
New to the TSYS family — but not to green initiatives
TSYS' newest company, NetSpend®, adheres to the "every step can make a difference" philosophy with their in-house green initiatives. "Anything we can do to create more of a green community is what we're after," said Lynda Lerma, NetSpend team member. "We're always on the lookout for more green ideas."
Sometimes it's the smallest steps that can make a big impact. The Austin, Texas, site has implemented initiatives like replacing all paper cups and stirrers with new mugs and spoons for team members, setting all of their printers to print double-sided, working to replace paper towels in restrooms with hand dryers and much more.
Taking green efforts personally
Aside from corporate sustainability initiatives, individual team members are also getting involved on a personal level. Tempe team member Dean Krupa embraces environmental responsibility in every area of his life. He is the driving force behind the TSYS Green chapter in Tempe and works to help his fellow team members find ways to get involved with corporate and grassroots initiatives.
"As much as corporations have responsibility to protect the environment, team members have this opportunity, too." Dean Krupa
Krupa walks the green walk outside of TSYS. In addition to practicing an eco-friendly lifestyle, he volunteers with national parks and wildlife sanctuaries working on a wide variety of projects from building hiking trails to working to sustain plants and wildlife.
"All of these experiences and my passion for nature are what inspired me to start a TSYS Green chapter to begin with," he explained.
TSYS Environmental Initiatives Quick Facts
In 2013, at the six Columbus locations alone:
- 236,267 pounds of cardboard recycled
- 1.28 million pounds of paper recycled
- 2,470 pounds of aluminum cans and plastic bottles recycled
- More than 100,000 pounds of metals recycled
- U.K. Data Centre reduced their electricity consumption by 8.96% in 2013. This is the sixth consecutive year they reduced consumption.
- TSYS U.K. total weight of general waste produced fell from 77 metric tons in 2012 to 71 metric tons in 2013 - a reduction of 7%.