Creating a more sustainable workplace with our Climate Champion, Holly

5th May 2022 News

As a Sumo Digital studio, we’ve joined the pledge to make positive changes to our environmental impact so we can all become carbon net zero by 2030. This is a huge challenge, and in addition to the bigger projects taken on by our leadership teams, we also all need to pitch in by making small, manageable changes to our workplace habits.

One of the ways we make sure we do this is with the help of a passionate group of volunteers known as Climate Champions. Holly, our Office Administrator and resident Climate Champion for Lab42, tells us all about why she volunteered, what it means to her, and how she helps us in our goals to build a greener work culture.

I guess I’m a bit of an eco-warrior and have been since I was a kid; when conversations about climate change were 20 years in the future, and everything was made from plastic. I grew up digging in the garden, playing in the mud, fascinated by flowers and always hugging trees. I joke about being a hedge-witch, but nature is my soul and my love for the environment influences everything I do.

I had spoken to our Studio Director, Ed about being some sort of “eco rep” for Lab42, back before Climate Champions were introduced, so it has been an interest since I first joined the company. I was shocked when I realised the energy consumption and waste produced by even a smaller studio like ours, and I was keen to make a difference. When the Climate Champion initiative was announced, I volunteered right away!

All the Climate Champions are passionate about conserving and protecting the environment, through new initiatives, education and technology. I work together with other Sumo Climate Champions to generate new ideas for improvement, we discuss how these ideas can work in our individual studios and then roll out these initiatives across the company.

Changes made at Lab42 Games HQ

I’ve made quite a few changes at Lab42 Games so far. Hopefully these small changes combined will have a positive impact and influence the staff to think differently too! With that said, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Many of these changes are fairly simple, and anyone can implement them, both at home and the office.

  • Installed bike racks to encourage cycling to work
  • Swapped the kitchen bin for recycling bags, cutting down on bin liners
  • Moved to using refillable hand soap
  • Installed an EV charger for electric cars
  • Changed to buying food in bulk, which cuts down on emissions from deliveries and packaging
  • Buying predominantly vegan snacks for the office kitchen. This still needs work, but we've made a start. (And our vegan employees are appreciating it, too!)
  • Installing a coffee machine, which is more energy efficient than boiling a kettle and produces less packaging waste
  • Installed a water dispenser, to avoid buying plastic bottled water
  • Recycling cables and peripheries
  • Working closely with the cleaning team to ensure our hygiene practices are all eco-aware, such as using fewer bin liners, improving recycling, and waiting until the dishwasher is full before we turn it on

What plans are we making for the future?

We've made steps, but we're far from finished. A few things I'm looking forward to:

  • Create a green space outside where we can grow our own plants, including herbs and fruit, with seed and plant sharing
  • Looking into getting a composting bin for kitchen and food waste 
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Finding better ways to repurpose or recycle old tech
  • Making better, more conscious choices for everything we buy. Everything from IT equipment to merchandise, to furniture and fittings.

This isn’t just important to me, or Lab42 Games, or Sumo Digital, but is vital for all of us. We need better education, more awareness and more action. We need our eco-warriors and our activists. The future is a dark and scary place right now. The climate emergency will change life inexplicably, and if we don’t act now, we are heading towards that dystopian future… and no one is going to be making or playing games in that scenario!

Climate Champions is just one of the initiatives we're embracing here at Lab42 Games. If you're looking to bring your skills to a studio brimming with fresh ideas and a positive company culture, check out our careers page.