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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Defining Business Commitment | Atento Climate change and Atento

Climate change and Atento


Climate change and Atento

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreement was set up in 1992 by countries around the world to tackle climate change. Its Kyoto Protocol set legally-binding targets for developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Multinational company, Atento, explains why the climate change negotiations this December are so close to home for its business. After a disappointing meeting for Kyoto Protocol members in Copenhagen last year, world leaders are now trying again in México.

Climate change is a huge, global issue, and many businesses are focusing on cutting their carbon emissions. Atento is one of these, but it is also helping its own customers reach their energy saving targets.

Carbon reduction in contact centres

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and contact centres are changing the way people do business – and use energy. The Climate Group’s Smart 2020 report said the ICT industry could help reduce other sectors’ global emissions by as much as 15% by 2020. This saving is five times greater than the current total emissions from the entire ICT sector.

Increasing the amount of work business clients do by phone – rather than travelling to face-to-face meetings – is cutting business travel and its associated emissions. But perhaps Customer Relationship Management (CRM) companies’ biggest contribution to carbon savings comes from cutting transportation costs. They reduce the need for the vast amount of paperwork that businesses have been sending by post for decades. They’re replacing it with time, cost and energy efficient communication by phone and email. Companies that outsource their previously in-house CRM are cutting costs and carbon too. They use less floor space so there are fewer rooms to light and heat.

Proactive carbon cutting

Atento is one of the world’s leading CRM companies. Spanning 17 countries, it helps clients – global and regional – build solid, loyal relationships with their own customers. Cutting carbon emissions is a priority they share with their customers.

Atento’s carbon cutting programmes include staff awareness campaigns to reduce energy and water consumption. The company invests in energy-saving equipment, and does simple things – like switching off power when it’s not needed. It has already cut energy consumption in Brazil, Chile and México. In Brazil, new microprocessors lead to a 40% cut in consumption. It is installing consumption monitors to better understand energy use, and is using more video conferencing between the Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices. In 2009, Atento emissions in Brazil were just 135kg CO2E per centre.

In 2009, the company organised its third Reforestation Campaign in México and Central America. This time, staff planted 5,000 conifer seeds in México, 400 in El Salvador and 200 in Guatemala. Just in their first year, these trees will absorb the equivalent of 5.5 tonnes of CO2. This could reach 270 tonnes by the time the trees reach adulthood.

In Brazil, during Atento’s Day of the Employee, they planted 73,000 pau d’arco seeds. The pau d’arco is an evergreen tree native to South America. Its inner bark is used for a range of medicinal purposes, but increasing demand has caused the trees to be endangered.

Atento has also launched a pilot programme in line with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) guidelines (Protocol Standard) to measure the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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