Abtran’s ‘Go Green’ Initiative – Winners Revealed

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Abtran’s new ‘Go Green’ initiative is all about sharing and implementing great project ideas on how we can become a greener company. In this blog post we hear from our first Go Green competition winners John McMahon and Shane Keating and find out why their green ideas won over the judges:

But first – some introductory words by Abtran’s Head of Learning, Development & Performance, Christine Kennedy:

“This month marked the launch of Abtran’s ‘Go Green’ initiative where we asked everyone from around the company to submit their best ideas around how we can improve efficiency and energy sustainability at Abtran. We’re delighted with the huge response to our first ‘Go Green’ competition and would like to thank every one of our team members who put their thinking caps on to help make Abtran a greener company. So far the process has been fun and rewarding with shortlisted candidates presenting their ideas ‘Dragon’s Den’ style to our panel of judges. Congratulations to everyone who took part and particularly to our worthy winners, John McMahon and Shane Keating, whose projects will help us to take long-term steps towards a better, greener Abtran.”

Our external judge, James Hogan is an environmental scientist and represents Clean Technology Centre at the Cork Institute of Technology, (CIT), where he manages the Green Business Programme – a government funded, resource efficiency programme for businesses:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be part of Abtran’s Go Green Initiative which is an inspiring and innovative way to encourage everyone to become more conscious and accountable for creating a better, greener environment. The project ideas have huge potential for Abtran and most of them will have an impact on reducing climate change and conserving water.  Congratulations to Abtran’s Go Green competition winners, John and Shane. The level of response and high standard of entries all round is a real testament to Abtran’s commitment to becoming a more conscious, greener company.”

And now over to John and Shane for their winning ideas revealed…

John McMahon – Winnng Idea

“So, there is Off and then there is Off-Off! Yep, it’s a thing.  Off-Off is an actual thing. Let me explain. The monitor you are using to read this has an Off button, usually on the front. Press it and the monitor is Off……. but it is not Off-Off.  It’s still sucking power out of the plug.  Not a lot, to be fair. But let’s do some sums shall we?

One monitor in standby (Off) mode consumes 0.5 watts of power an hour (it varies depending on the type of monitor…some lucky people have two monitors). Your monitor is in standby mode 16 hours a day, so it wastes 8 watts of power every day.

At Abtran, you might work 231 days a year, so that’s 8 x 234 so it wastes 1848 watts every year. So if you are away from work 134 days a year, that’s 12 watts x 134 days – representing a total energy waste of 1608 watts per year.

The grand total of wasted energy per year for one monitor alone is 3,456 watts or 3.5kW’s. Not insignificant. There are approximately 2,000 monitors in Abtran…. That’s a whopping 7,000kW’s of largely fossil fuel generated wasted energy…. every year.

So, what about Off-Off….?  Well, Off-Off consumes 0 watts. My plan is to help move us from Off to Off-Off for personal computers, monitors, lights, printers or anything that eats energy for no good reason.

Something needs to be done – Abtran provided an opportunity

I think it’s fair to say that as a society, we’re generally not great when it comes to  conserving energy. And when you think about it, I’m not really paying for it… or am I? Well, yes, we all are and particularly our children who will have to deal with climate change.  The simple fact is we already generate too much energy and waste a lot of it. Abtran’s Go-Green programme was a great opportunity that popped up to make a small but vital difference. And it made submitting and presenting my idea easy and fun.

Do you have a Go-Green idea?

If you have an idea, get scribbling. Gather the information.  Find the facts. Put them together as simply as you can. Submit your idea to the good people behind Abtran’s Go-Green programme. They’ll support you all the way. Oh, and if at first, you don’t succeed, keep going. I have submitted this idea three times now. Third time lucky!”


Shane Keating  – Winning Idea:

#WeAreGreen – A Green Social Media Campaign.

Going green is not something a person can just ‘do’ overnight let alone an entire company. However, seeing Abtran take its first steps towards becoming a greener company is a great thing and particularly with our staff as a driving force behind that.

When I first read about the ‘Go Green’ Initiative a thousand ideas passed through my head; ‘why don’t we replace plastic water cups with biodegradable cups,’ or ‘why isn’t everyone given a free mug?’ or even ‘why don’t we just install a wind turbine out the back of our offices?’ Ok, so I may have become a bit carried away but that’s why I thought this initiative was such a good idea because if I was having a thousand ideas, then everyone else was having a thousand ideas of their own.

As part of the competition entry  process, I had to compile a document explaining the concept. If shortlisted, I would then have to champion my idea ‘Dragon’s Den-style.’

Once I had researched all of my ideas, I took a step back and looked at where they overlapped and which ones worked well together. I also had to put them into context and thought how Abtran could practically implement them come January 2019.

To meet the entry criteria, I knew my idea had to be affordable and not add to existing waste. It also had to cover as much ground as possible and include all our business sites. Finally, it had to encourage as many people as possible to get involved.

For me, encouraging people to get involved is the most important part because being environmentally conscious and ‘thinking green’ is a state of mind.

From all of this I developed my concept, #WeAreGreen – A green social media campaign.

The concept is simple. Everyone posts a tagged Abtran photo of themselves ‘being green.’ That can be whether they’re at home or on the way to work (not while driving obviously). Once the photo reaches a certain number of likes, the person posting wins their green prize. The more likes, the better the prize. This campaign would run month-to-month and the number of likes would be reset at the end of each month.

I was very lucky to have been shortlisted and even luckier to have won. I’m really looking forward to working on this campaign and to promoting our ‘Going Green’ programme in a fun and engaging way. So a big shout out to everyone at Abtran to get your thinking hats on and those cameras ready for a fresh green start come January 2019.”


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