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18.02.2022 - Read in 5 min.

RST solar power plant — from chats over coffee to reducing annual CO₂ emissions by 25 tons

18.02.2022 - Read in 5 min.

From talking over coffee, we do small steps and we move on to large projects that have a positive impact on our environment. This year, we intend to reduce CO₂ emissions by 25,000 kg. As much as the plane emits on 155 flights from Warsaw to Lisbon. As much as a car emits when burning fuel on a route of 212 thousand kilometers

Własna elektrownia słoneczna RST
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In RST, we start the change with ourselves, one step at a time. We started taking care of the world around us many years ago by sorting waste, limiting the purchase of plastic, and choosing recycled packaging.

Over the years, the initiatives we took have gained momentum. We supported various noble causes – we built beehives for the addiction treatment center, organized regular plastic collecting initiatives, and got together for clean-up the world events.

We knew we wanted to go a step further. This natural step for us was… building our own photovoltaic power plant!

 

Fotowoltaika w RST

 

Building our own photovoltaic power plant – where did the idea come from?

 

The CEO or the board were not the only people behind it – this success truly has many friends! The topic first came up during eco-workshops accompanying the hive-building campaign. It soon became a recurring topic in casual conversations on Slack and over coffee.

We talked about it not only because we want to take care of our environment, but also because we are the owner of the building in Świdnica – we saw the potential in the initiative and wanted to follow through.

It took a long time to actually do something about it, until an unexpected stimulus: an announcement of major regulatory changes. According to the new law, electricity from photovoltaic power plants built after January 1, 2022, would be billed less favorably.

This project was just meant to be done, now or never!

 

Who calls the shots about building a power plant in the company? Which strings should be pulled? Who coordinates such an investment?

 

Pomysł na elektrownię fotowoltaiczną

 

Piotr Bar – our Chief Delivery Officer, also in charge of our Świdnica branch, was the person who provided inspiration and leverage, giving the initiative proper momentum. It was he who undertook to obtain the approval of the management board and our CEO for the investment.

As the construction of a solar power plant is a considerable expense, the involvement of our Chief Financial Officer Maciej Bednarski was invaluable. Maciej helped to find financing and proved that the project is not only environmentally friendly, but also economically viable.

 

Piotr Bar - RST Software Masters

Piotr Bar

Chief Delivery Officer, RST Software Masters

Putting the PV panels in costs several hundred thousand zlotys. However, it was not difficult to convince the management that it was a sensible investment. Both employees and Krzysiek, our CEO want to take care of the planet and our local environment. Additionally, Maciej’s meticulous calculations showed that this investment would eventually pay off, which it was an irrefutable argument.

 

We have secured funds and gained the board’s go-ahead – now we just need a man who will do the installation. We needed someone who would find a reliable contractor, compare offers, handle official matters, coordinate work, and take care of inspections and guarantees. Magda Czyryca – our Back Office Specialist – was surely faced with a tall order.

 

Ecology? It pays off! Financial effects of the project

 

We built the power plant in the area adjacent to our building. It consists of 130 photovoltaic panels and produces 49.4 kWp of power. Is that a lot?

According to our assumptions, the installation should cover 60% of our electricity bills in the building which, outside of COVID, holds up to 40 people. We need electricity to power computers, air conditioning or server rooms.

The 60% savings are impressive. According to our early estimates, the investment should pay off within the next 6 years.

 

How will the environment benefit? How to imagine 25 tons of CO₂?

 

The 49.4 kWp mentioned above will allow us to generate enough energy to avoid the emission of 25,000 kg of harmful CO₂ every year. Because carbon dioxide is invisible, it is quite hard to imagine. Let’s take other CO₂-emitting sources.

 

Sun electricity

 

 

25 tons is the amount a plane would emit on 155 flights from Warsaw to Lisbon [1]. It’s as much as the Hyundai i20 would generate on a route of over 212,000 kilometers. [2]. The same amount is emitted during the production, transport and subsequent use of 337 iPhones 13 Pro Max. [3]

It would take 3,500 trees to absorb this amount of CO₂ per year.

 

What do our employees think about this project?

 

Yana Kłodkowska - Developer - RST Software Masters

Yana Kłodkowska

Developer, RST Software Masters

I am not an ecology expert, but I am glad that we can use renewable energy sources to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Additionally, the company saves on fees, so it’s a win-win. I work remotely, but even from my home office, I can see RST’s “eco spirit” ;). I see it in the initiatives and in responsibly selected and wrapped gifts.

 

Robert Służały - Senior Graphic Designer

Robert Służały

Senior Graphic Designer, RST Software Masters

The company’s activities in line with the principle of “think globally, act locally” are of great value to me. Thanks to the solar power plant, we will significantly reduce CO₂ emissions, but much more important for me is to prove that it is best to start changes with yourself. It is worth being part of this change to inspire others.

 

What future awaits us? Innovation is part of our code!

 

Not long ago, we were only starting to promote eco-friendly attitudes. Today, we are building a photovoltaic power plant and printing three-dimensional models that are a material reflection of our work. We provide the logistics industry with software that reduces empty truck returns, saving additional tons of CO₂.

We support the development of socially responsible businesses. Among the 25 companies of the RST group, there are such businesses as Zeme Technologies – a company that collects and transports waste, and RST Ventures for Earth – a fund that invests in innovative projects for the development of education and environmental protection.

 

Krzysztof Habowski-RST Software

Krzysztof Habowski

CEO, RST Software Masters

We believe that innovative technological products should bring value to both our customers and our environment.

Progress comes at a price – technology can have a negative impact on our relationships, health and the environment. We try to balance these consequences – we focus on strong relationships and communication between people, we promote sport and a healthy lifestyle, we invest in startups that support sustainable development.

Photovoltaics fits perfectly into our vision. To create software, we need electricity – to power the office, computers and servers. Thanks to this project, we are balancing the negative impact also in this field.

 

What will tomorrow bring? Perhaps the first company electric cars? Or could the imagination of our employees go beyond even that? 😉

[1] according to https://www.flysas.com/en/sustainability/emission-calculator/
[2] Hyundai i20 5l / 100km [11,75 kg / 100 km.]
https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/oee/pdf/transportation/fuel-efficient-technologies/autosmart_factsheet_6_e.pdf
[3]https://www.apple.com/euro/environment/pdf/a/generic/products/iphone/iPhone_13_Pro_Max_PER_Sept2021.pdf

 

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Adrian Kozłowski - Digital Marketing Lead

Adrian Kozłowski

Digital Marketing & Communication Lead

Currently working as Digital Marketing Lead in RST Software Masters. In his work he strives to nurture simple communication aimed at generating value for clients. Fan of Excel spreadsheets, storytelling, escape rooms, modern architecture and contemporary art.