As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have been looking at ways to reduce single use plastic across our sites. The Customer Lounge in Basel shows us how it’s done.
We are all aware of the importance of implementing more sustainable practices wherever we can. As a company, we are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Climate Action, and part of this is reducing single use plastic consumption at our sites, and offering our customers more sustainable choices.
If you walk into the Customer Lounge in Basel, you are immediately offered a coffee or a drink. The coffee is from a local provider, who works with small farmers and women’s cooperatives to provide sustainable and Fair-Trade beans. Soft drinks are served in glass bottles, collected and returned to the vendor after use, while bottled syrups provide extra flavor for the filtered water. In the fridge, a rainbow of fresh juices is served in individual glasses, accompanied by local, organic fruit, and fresh pastries from the nearby French patisseries.
But it wasn’t always like this. In 2019, the Basel Customer Lounge recorded using almost 20,000 PET bottles per year providing refreshments for on-site customers.
“We wanted to reduce this amount significantly,” says Anna-Louise Durocher, Customer Service Excellence Representative. “However, we wanted to ensure that we were elevating the customer experience at the same time – that we were offering something better, rather than taking something away.”
“We wanted to reduce the amount of plastic, however, we wanted to ensure that we were elevating the customer experience at the same time.”
Hence the shift, not only in presentation, but also in product. The team spent time researching local vendors to ensure that they were ‘walking the talk’ and providing customers with local, responsible options, of higher quality and more variety. They also presented a business case for a water filter, and provided all on-site customers with a flask and mug, removing the need for plastic water bottles and disposable cups.
To ensure safety at all time, the team also provide single servings of all snacks, with disinfectants available throughout the lounge.
The result is not only a drastic reduction in single use plastic, but also happy customers, who appreciate the efforts the team have gone to, to provide a sustainable and enhanced customer experience.
Find our more about our commitment to the UN SDGs here.
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