Kristien Grutman is the Office, Prevention and Mobility Coordinator in Nielsen’s Brussels office. While working in the Facilities department, she joined the Nielsen Green team, and has since led many local programs. Kristien’s involvement in Nielsen’s Sustainability efforts helped her bring more awareness of environmental issues to associates in Brussels.
I started my Nielsen career in 2004 as a receptionist in the company’s office in Brussels. From my very first day, I was struck by how friendly everyone was. I could tell this was a place where people accepted you for who you are and where colleagues could become good friends. As the receptionist, I was the first point of contact for office visitors, which allowed me to make many internal and external connections and be at the frontline of the office’s activities. By making people feel welcome and having a positive attitude, I was able to play to my strengths and discover what I like to do best.
Over the years at Nielsen, I’ve broadened my horizons, achieved personal growth and gained recognition as an employee. I assist the Innovation Practice team in Brussels on an administrative basis, and I am the prevention and mobility coordinator for the entire office. In this role, I look for opportunities to improve the health and well-being of Brussels employees, and I often wondered how I could help these associates understand how environmental issues play a role at work and at home. That’s when I saw the opportunity to join the Nielsen Green team in Brussels.
By being part of the Green team, I’ve been able to get more involved in the things that matter to me: the wellbeing of my colleagues, the environment and our ecological footprint. These are important in my life and close to my heart.
Even though the Brussels Green Team is small, we all care about the same things. Each member contributes his or her thoughts, ideas and actions with one common goal: make the office greener and cleaner. And we’re not alone in our quest. We stay connected to the network of Green Teams across Europe and even globally. These global efforts and connections show that Nielsen associates care about their environment, and believe that their actions will make a difference in the future.
I also like how we’re all encouraged to contribute new ideas. For example, I introduced the Brussels Green Team to the online game From5to4, which aims to change people's habits in how they commute to work. The game incentivizes players to use public transportation, carpool to work, or to drive to work outside of rush hours. In the Nielsen Brussels office, players earn points based on transportation choices, and the winners receive free one-day train tickets. Realizing the merit behind the effort, various Nielsen departments sponsored these prizes. We had 43 Brussels employees join the game as active players. Over just six weeks, we reduced car driving during rush hour by 21%, increased public transportation usage by 4%, and increased commuting on foot by 3% among our associates.
For the From5to4 game efforts and transportation improvements, I received a Simply Excellent Award from the global Green Team leadership. I’m grateful for this recognition, and I am proud to be part of the Green Team and with a company that cares about making a local and global impact.