A start for sustainable operation in a production company

For AS Barrus, the topics of sustainability have arisen from the areas of sustainable production and consumption and sustainable energy.

Barrus has taken its first steps in the world of sustainability and now it’s essential to keep the green wheel running smoothly, so that the subject matter would not lose its momentum and disappear but become our culture and our standard of everyday life. As the popularity of the topic is currently self-evident, it’s important to get it going and then the journey will continue naturally step by step.

Throughout its production activity, Barrus has aspired to sustainable and environmentally-friendly operation. The glued laminated timber produced by our company lasts for decades and with regular maintenance as long as 100 years.

On the other hand, our operation has its unavoidable footprint, and this is why the company decided to take its first steps towards a greener business and join the Green Tiger Academy that would help us understand where we are now and if and how we can improve ourselves further. The green topics never needed much promotion within the company, as the green transition has been talked about more and more, and the importance of the subject matter has also been discussed among our staff, clients and subcontractors.

It’s important for Barrus to create maximum value from wood and to waste nothing. We produce high-quality glued laminated timber and we recycle production waste as much as possible. The sawdust from the production is delivered to a pellet factory for production of wood pellets and wood chips are delivered to the paper industry. Bark and sawdust from logs are also used in our own boiler plants for heating. Appropriate sorting ensures that 70% of the waste sent to the waste plant can be reused or recycled.

The main purpose of joining the Green Tiger was to make a strong start towards sustainability and thus show that environment and sustainability are important for the company, mainly to the client and the community. During the last six months, we have been defining our past, present and future in order to map our current situation and find future courses of action in the world of sustainability.

When planning the activities, we consider the needs of our people, the success of the business and the feasibility. As the behaviour of each individual contributes to protecting the environment, Barrus aims to serve as an example and also guide its staff to a greener life in order to make prudent choices in the future. In reality, everything begins from ourselves, everyone lives in their own world and it’s the individual who can change something in their world.

During the journey of the Green Tiger Academy, we saw that we were in the same boat with other companies. The participants of the second class were varied, which made it even better to find out that we had a common issue which could be defined together, regardless of the area. The first half of the programme was like a detonator of motivation, consisting of exciting lectures and practical examples, while the homework included analysing and defining our company’s viewpoints and goals for the future. The first half of the programme helped to create a constant discussion in the company in order to find out about our place in the world of green thinking, the direction in which we want to move and what kind of company we want to develop into in the eyes of the clients, the employees and the community.

When the practical activities at the Green Tiger Academy started, there were a lot of ideas about which project should be started first. As some of the projects proved to be more long-term, we decided to start from the topics that would yield quicker results. We defined a project and focused on the topic „Reducing wastage in Barrus“. As one of the outputs of the Green Tiger Academy is providing tools for working with green topics in the company, the practical workshop gave us ideas about what people view as wastage in the company, and this became the route for our activities. 

Each subsequent project in Barrus brings us closer to a more environmentally-friendly company. Starting from the most obvious that can be analysed in every company –optimisation of power consumption. Unnecessary energy consumption can be prevented by upgrading to LED lighting, installing more motion-detecting switches, updating the production equipment to increase energy economy, analysing the fan power needs etc. All that formed the basis for a primary action plan which has been and is being implemented step by step in our company. Another important point of improvement in the company is the internal logistics: reducing empty journeys, speeding up the search of materials in storages and minimising running of motors of lifting equipment while it’s not used.

But everything cannot be simple and easy. We are glad that the Academy has helped us to focus on green topics, so when we meet an issue, we can rethink the issue as an opportunity in the future. We think big, which means that when you do something, act once and give it your all in order to avoid redoing it afterwards.

The next step in our future journey is to reconcile the values of our employees and clients with those of Barrus. As the company is developing constantly, the plan is to periodically measure the carbon footprint of the organisation in order to see if the company’s goal is still environmentally sustainable.

We also develop trainings for our employees about the green approach and green thinking – with the purpose of turning our everyday behaviour into a green culture. Open-mindedness and raising people’s awareness are important, whether in our community or in relation to our clients. We benefit from visual quantitative indicators and practical tools which contribute to raising awareness.

Barrus aims to make its production CO2-neutral by the year 2035. Achieving this is certainly full of challenges but the company is convinced that ambitious goals lead to results.

Article adapted from  the website of Äripäev.

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AS Barrus

+372 785 0700
Verijärve, Võru parish,
Võru County 65541

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