We exist to fuel the environmental movement. Every day, we walk through a door that reminds us of that purpose. And, from sweeping efforts to subconscious daily habits, we try our darnedest to practice what we preach.
How we support the environment:
Our Office. Sustainability was the #1 criteria in our search for a space. Here’s why we chose it:
- Adaptive re-use warehouse building (a.k.a. the ultimate form of recycling)
- Walk Score of 97: public transit, meeting spots, and local lunch options in arm’s reach
- Bike storage and showers for cycling days
- Landlord voluntarily participates in Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program, higher rates that support renewable energy efforts
- Common area bulbs are CFLs, and have been for 10 years
- Low VOC paints and adhesives used for all building improvements
- Open staircase encourages regular use; no upgrade to 50-year old freight elevator
After Move-In, We…
- Started a composting program for our entire building
- Built out our home-away-from-home with 70% re-used or re-purposed materials (We <3 the ReBuilding Center)
- Created a kitchenette to encourage home-cooked lunches
- Put CFLs in all lamps
- Hired Pristine Greening, a green cleaning service chosen specifically because their products are edible
Big Business Decisions Are Rooted in Sustainability.
- Screen all job applicants, prospect clients, and potential subcontractors for eco ethos
- 80-90% of vendors are eco-conscious (i.e. an FSC-certified print shop; a photographer who’s a passionate environmental politico on the side).
- Educate clients on benefits of green vendors, even though the price may be higher
- Host website on Canvas Host, a local company using 100% clean wind energy
- After one year employment, staff receive annual Trimet pass
- Driving is specifically discouraged, as no daily parking is provided
- Provide our own tupperware or plates when buying takeout from nearby restaurants when possible
- Eat, drink, and clean with re-usable water bottles, dishes, utensils, napkins, and towels.
- Compostable and recyclable cups, napkins, and utensils for events
- Provide healthy, organic snacks for the 3 o’clock munchies
- Drink responsibly harvested, organic tea from our teapot OR use real mugs for coffee from the ground-floor cafe, Barista, to save to-go cups
- Conscious commuting
- Meet in person only when absolutely necessary–no need to waste fuel
- Meetings: bus, bike, or walk 60% of the time
- Daily commute: bus, bike, or walk 93% of the time
- Re-usable grocery bags for errands
- Religiously recycle (including special trips to the recycling center for plastic bags)
- Intentionally minimized printing by moving project management documents and contracts online
- 85% of printing is done on re-used scrap paper
- All fresh printings are double-sided on FSC-certified paper from 100% recycled content
- We even watched a TED Talk on how to dry hands with just one paper towel!
How We Support the Local Economy:
- Keep 90% of our dollars local with Portland-area subcontractors and vendors like: Stevens IS, Rare Byrd Creative, Deep Root Design, Periscope Creative, Brown Printing, Alicia Nagel Creative, and Mark Gamba Photography
- Refer clients to local partners like Lifetime Optimization and Cascade Alliance
- Support locally-owned food businesses 99% of the time: Nuvrei, Prasad, Barista, Portland Juice Co., The Whole Bowl, and Brix Tavern are some of our favorites.
How We Support Our People:
- Sponsor Sundown Concert Series at EcoTrust
- Team members donate to social and environmental causes like Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) & Planned Parenthood
- After 6 months, staff are empowered to give $1,000 in acts of kindness annually. This could be a gift for a client, a massage for a co-worker, or a potluck for the team.
- Provide professional development–coaching classes, resource suggestions, etc.–to employees who express interest
- Volunteer 8 hours per month for the Parts Department at Hatch, a community innovation lab helping eco-social enterprises thrive
- We believe that people shouldn’t have to make a choice between working for a cause and having financial security, and our salaries reflect that
- We continue to experiment and push past status quo to develop a benefits package that reflects the values of a new generation of businesses
- Vacation: Under our Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), employees can work whenever and wherever they want, as long as they accomplish their results. There is no sick day, personal day, or vacation day policy. However, to ensure time is taken to recharge the batteries, each employee must take two consecutive weeks off per year. This flexibility eliminates “fire drills” that cause stress, and creates equity for those with children, debilitating illness or who just want to go for a hike.
How We Support Diversity:
- Woman-owned business, and we’re Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certified
- 50% of contractors are woman
- LGBTQ-friendly; owner is member of Human Rights Campaign
- Work with clients who want to increase demographic diversity
- We operate a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), a flexible working arrangement above any current flex standard that exists. We support our people with integrity, allowing them to create a schedule that fits their life. This arrangement asks no questions but allows people with lower incomes, religious holidays, childcare issues, and medical conditions to take care of themselves with dignity and privacy. It’s a no-questions-asked flexible arrangement.
- Group outings like a Bill McKibben lecture, TEDxConcordia, Friends of Trees volunteering, and green conferences
- Host TED Talk Fridays, a monthly discussion about social and sustainability issues
- Staff Book Club covering topics from professional development to human psychology
Efforts in the Works:
- Educating and encouraging paper towel reduction with signage in office bathrooms
- Urging our favorite restaurants to sign up for Go Box
- Team volunteer day six times per year with organizations like Dress for Success, Boys & Girls Club, and Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon
- Regular office-wide recycling lesson
- Annual 100-mile potluck with clients