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But this is insane

Water cooler conversations are in danger of becoming a thing of the past after the digital bank Monzo scrapped its office drinks dispensers as part of a net zero drive.

Bosses removed the coolers from Monzo’s London office to cut its carbon emissions, in a move that could be copied by other companies around the country.

Not so much the action – tho’ if they’re buying green leccie why bother? – it’s the idea that a corporation has senior management worrying about such trivia. Sell Monzo therefore…..

27 thoughts on “But this is insane”

  1. I suppose it might mean they can spin a press release out of it, maybe some customers care that they’re Really Into Eco.

    But I do wonder how much people care. The sort of I Saw You Coming brands of chocolate and whatever rely on people buying organic/fair trade/solar powered, but your banking? Does anyone actually care that much, in large numbers? Would love to know some real data on this.

  2. This “we are removing this service in a drive towards Net Zero’ is a load of orchids, obviously.

    In the same way ‘In the interests of improving the customer experience, we have replaced our helpful, friendly, human operators with an automated service guaranteed to drive you insane’ is simply to reduce costs.

    As you have said before Tim, if this is the level of ‘problem’ they have to deal with we have solved all of mankinds’ major ills.

  3. While at Tescos yesterday, shoppers were bombarded with messages that Tesco supported LGBTQ genital waving at children, or something.

    There is literally no reason to shop there, they never have what I want anymore ( I had heard that it was back in stock but it wasn’t ) and this sort of bollox is just depressing, primarily because it is such transparently cynical marketing.

    And as Tim says, it is worrying that senior management concentrate on this sort of thing but more so if they really profess to believe in it.

  4. Otto – Yarp.

    I think I mentioned that Sainsbury’s are selling Disney branded “Pride” merchandise for children.

    Y’know, just what you want for the 7 year old who enjoys cartoon talking doggies and Queer Theory.

  5. Ottokring,

    Any eco/LGBT/celebrity endorsed stuff is a red flag because if a business can do this PR nonsense, there’s probably a business out there doing the same product without that, so you’ll pay less for the same quality. Five minutes on Reddit and you’ll find discussions of people telling others where to get the cheaper alternative.

  6. Ottokring,

    Meant to add… this is a perk of Aldi and Lidl as far as I’m concerned. You’re not the church, you’re a supermarket. Supply me potatoes and reasonably priced gin, thank you.

  7. The Meissen Bison

    primarily because it is such transparently cynical marketing

    It’s almost the antithesis of “marketing” or promotional activity because it aims to educate rather than appeal to, inform, or consolidate a relationship with the consumer. Gilette, Nike, Addidas, Bud Lite are among the brands that have paid £££ to learn that this doesn’t work.

    It will no doubt be a source of grief to Tesco that they haven’t transformed platoons of Ottos into better people but have lost sales.

  8. BoM4
    Not necessarily. If there is money in the marketing budget to do something, they may believe it’s best spent on eco/woke etc to drive sales rather than other ways. I wouldn’t tend to agree but it might be true.

  9. Ottokring,
    If shoppers at Tesco were suddenly bombarded with messages that the store supported images of topless women jiggling their breasts at heterosexual males, I would probably, no, defintely, go back to shopping there.

  10. It’s all about the perceptions. I will not use firms based on support of Marxist identity politics. Why wouldn’t you assume that the green eco loons wouldn’t do the same for firms, but those who are not signalling virtue. Also the green eco loons are less likely to actually have an understanding of the issues and energy use, otherwise they wouldn’t be green eco loons in the first place. That’s why turning off water coolers works on them. They are too stupid to realise it’s fluff.

  11. Just a small data point. I haven’t noticed seeing a single Pride flag down here, so far. I think they must have it. There was something in the paper of stupidity going on in Madrid. But capital cities never tell you much about a country.
    Every day I’m more sincerely glad I f**ked off.

  12. @ BiS

    Yarp, no Pride Flag shite here either… Again, I haven’t been to Nicosia recently but nothing in Limassol or Pafos as far as I’ve seen.

    Left the UK in October 2002 and never looked back.

  13. Martin Near The M25

    If you can’t be bothered to do something then claim it’s because of net zero.

    I notice the Barclays Bank in the high street has boarded up it’s letterbox and grandly proclaims they don’t accept letters from customers any more. Large organizations of all types are becoming openly hostile, while wittering on about ‘inclusion’.

  14. WFH you can get a glass of water any time, but you miss the office scuttlebutt (or cooperative innovation as it’s officially called).
    It’s almost as though Monzo doesn’t want people in its offices. Fair enough, maybe profitable if the lease is short.

  15. Aren’t Monzo staff likely to start bringing in their own bottled water and sticking it in the fridge?

    Tesco have their multi buy offers tied to their club card. I popped in for some beer and other odds and sods and thought that they had over charged me. The customer service person explained that I needed a club card to get the offers and I haven’t darkened their doors since.

  16. If the idea is that people feel excluded as they don’t see themselves on tv or associated with a product then surely that works for majorities as well as minorities so by chasing the minority groups you are excluding the majority of your customers.

  17. if they’re buying green leccie why bother?

    The electricity suppliers do love to sell good old green leccie to their customers. There must be some interesting fine print behind those tarrifs. Does anyone have the number of how much is sold compared to the amount generated?

  18. AndyF @5.35, I checked out the Ecotricity website a couple of days ago. Green electricity and green gas. Their own windfarms generate enough electricity for 56,000 homes, have a ‘Green gasmill’ that can power 4,000 homes and a ‘Sunmill’ which can power 250 (usual caveats of not when the wind blows / sun doesn’t shine etc). This is 20% of their customers demands*
    They have 200,000 customers.
    They buy the rest from other ‘green’ suppliers or from the wholesale market.

    If I were paying them over the odds for ‘green energy’ I would like them to guarantee that no electron that came out of my electricity socket was generated using fossil fuel and no cubic foot of gas that went to my gas boiler came from FF either.

    But as we all know, the whole ruinable energy scam is simply to fleece the sheeple.

    *Numbers from their website.

  19. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    This is all that corporate boards do, you know? The decision will have been the outcome of multiple expensive jaunts, team building exercises, an entire subcommittee will have been formed with remit to discuss the advantages of removing water coolers and disadvantages of not removing water coolers, and present their findings to the board, at a corporate retreat, in Bermuda.
    Maybe they even called in McKinsey to help them decide.

  20. But just think how much it costs to paint each of those electrons green!

    It’s all done by robots these days.

  21. Our office removed water coolers last year and replaced them with fancy taps (Brita Vivreau) that dispense still, sparkling, cold, ambient, or boiling hot water. CO₂ isn’t the reason: it’s just cheaper. As a bonus, people no longer waste valuable work time waiting for the kettle to boil.

  22. Most places I’ve worked, there’s one of those boiling water things on the wall by the sink. So, boiling water for tea from the wall thing, cold water for cold drinks from the cold tap, hot water for hand/dishwashing from the hot tap.

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