By 2017, we will have in place and implemented a comprehensive screening tool for all products and services we purchase and vendors with whom we work (with a focus on those related to travel, durable goods, and office supplies) to select the products, suppliers, and service providers that demonstrate the most commitment to sustainability whenever feasible.
NEXT STEPS FOR PURCHASING
- Continue to express expectations to our vendors (Ongoing)
- Continue to evaluate purchasing choices by researching certification systems and purchasing capital equipment with the lowest environmental and social impacts (Ongoing)
- Continue to purchase products in bulk or using reusable packaging, and request no disposables for all catered events (Ongoing)
- Explore options for and begin to develop a purchasing screening tool (Summer/Fall 2015)
Tracking Our Sustainability Performance
In 2015, we achieved 90% waste diversion – the first year since 2010 that we reached this goal, upholding our status as a net zero waste company! More than 1,000 pounds of materials, over two-thirds of our total waste generated, was recycled, and upwards of 350 pounds of food scraps and organic material was composted. While our total waste increased, reaching a five-year high, this was attributable to major cleanup events, including a basement clean-out that produced more than 400 pounds of recycled materials. However, our landfilled waste per employee continues to decline. Many of our concerted actions to reduce our use of disposable goods in the office helped us reach our net zero achievement including embracing practices such as reusable dishes, hand towels, bulk purchasing, and working with suppliers and caterers to reduce or take back packaging materials. This year we also improved our waste-related signage and information for visitors and employees to support us in our efforts.
Looking to 2016, we aim to maintain our zero waste status. In addition, we plan to focus on purchasing practices by developing a screening tool or process to help select the products, suppliers, and services that demonstrate the highest commitment to sustainability and help support our continued waste reduction goals.