Our members continue to amaze us with their commitment to sustainability and their innovative green and social responsibility initiatives. They lead by example and demonstrate how business can be used as a platform for good. With the end of 2019 rapidly approaching, we’d like to take this time to recognize some of our member companies via our inaugural “Best of GBB” awards. All our members are regular companies with businesses to run, and they all do their part in becoming greener, more socially responsible and thoughtful. We’ve selected five members who stood out, created great greener businesses and demonstrated their commitment to sustainability with tangible actions and results!
CyberArk is an information security software company and a global leader in privileged access security and data protection. The company was aware of the need to be more sustainable and socially responsible but had a major gap in their actual environmental sustainability practices. What started out as employee activism to bring about change turned into a “green team” which now makes up about 25% of its Newton Massachusetts office staff of 200. The firm’s global workforce is about 1,200. Quoting one of the team members: “When I think about the companies I want to work for, I really want to have pride in everything we do.” The team joined the Green Business Bureau and used the GBB online platform as a framework to set goals and turn ideas into practice. CyberArk’s green team has four subgroups: transportation, energy, community and “green” habits in the office. It also has a management steering committee. Collectively, these efforts undertake a variety of actions such as volunteering on projects in the community, improving environmental practices in the office and working on bigger issues, such as installing electric vehicle charging stations for the office building.
School Specialty, Inc.
School Specialty, Inc. is an educational services and products firm based in Greenville, Wisconsin. Company managers at School Specialty had been taking ad-hoc steps all along to improve sustainability. They use the GBB apps to organize their initiatives and track their progress. They also completed the EcoAssessment and reached a Gold-level GBB certification. Like many organizations, School Specialty initially focused on low-hanging fruit such as recycling of paper, cardboard, electronics, ink toner, batteries, lightbulbs, and plastic throughout their office spaces and packaging departments. They also upgraded their lighting and automated lighting, reduced office space by allowing employees to work remotely, used productivity tools like Skype for meetings to reduce travel and expenses, and installed filtered water stations for reusable water bottles in the cafeteria. Quoting one of their managers: “Sustainability will help with retention, especially with younger workers. It gives them something exciting, positive to do in their workplace, and a goal to work toward.”
Big Rig Wraps
Big Rig Wraps offers advertising opportunities on trucks across North America, giving businesses an effective way to reach new markets by leveraging ads on wraps on the semi trucks and big rigs that dominate the highway. The company’s core business is in fact a green practice since it is placing advertising on space that already exists, but it also implements and encourages many other green processes including re-use of materials and efficient fuel and energy management. As part of their GBB membership, Big Rig Wraps is focusing on two core green initiatives: 1) Encouraging and occasionally rewarding clients and partners to follow the 3Rs. This includes adopting a zero-waste policy, limiting the use of paper and minimizing the use of plastics, energy, and water. 2) Helping fleet partners access government incentive plans to upgrade equipment and transport trucks to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. “The sustainability efforts and green initiatives the team here at Big Rig Wraps have launched have resulted in a number of positive changes, including having multiple companies in North America expand their fleets with newer, better-performing, more eco-friendly equipment,” said Angela Baltkois, Big Rig Wraps CEO. “Our fleet partners, staff and even social media followers have adopted zero-waste policies and are following the 3Rs. That’s a big win in our book.”
Duro Cleaners is a dry cleaning business completely focused on sustainability and leading the small business charge in going “green”. Based in Pittsburgh, Duro cleaners is committed to delivering the highest quality laundering and dry cleaning services while at the same time protecting the environment, its employees and its customers through a number of areas, including: 1) Avoiding the use of harmful toxic chemicals 2) Launching a hanger reuse program 3) Purchasing products that are EPA approved and USDA choice certified 4) Using only non-toxic substances such as water, biodegradable soap and steam. Duro Cleaners also decided to take a stand against plastic waste. They decided to focus on eliminating single use plastic, specifically in the form of plastic garment bags. “Being a green business was never an option, it’s the only way” said Joseph Ferrante, Owner of Duro Cleaners. “Our customers want it, our employees want it and I demand it.”
Web Hosting Canada
In Canada, more than 30,000 businesses rely on Web Hosting Canada (WHC) – a privately owned, Canadian web infrastructure company and one of the greenest hosting companies in North America. The WHC team is passionate about offering the highest standards in hosting service, reliability and security, but is just as passionate about sustainability and running a green business. Web Hosting Canada’s core business relies on running thousands of energy-consuming computers to power thousands of web sites and applications. Unlike most North American Cloud providers that power their data centers with energy made from traditional energy sources including burning fossil fuels, 100 percent of the WHC’s cloud infrastructure is powered by green energy. Reducing the carbon footprint of their data centers was a top priority for the WHC team, so the company powers all its servers and systems using renewable energy from their Canadian hydroelectric grid. Today, WHC proudly hosts all of their customers in this eco-friendly way. “Green should not just be a buzzword. Businesses and individuals need to do their part to neutralize mankind’s negative impact on our planet’s health. The time for action is now,” said Emil Falcon, CEO of Web Hosting Canada.