Getting Greener by the Minute

by Gayle Gilham on December 22, 2014

in Administrative,Resources,Strengths

Keep Oregon Green: The Beaver State Keep Oregon Green Association, Salem, Oregon: 1962

We did it again. Cascade Employers Association has just earned recertification (view 30-second video) for the coveted EarthWISE Certification from Marion County. We first received recognition as an EarthWISE business in 2009.

What’s an EarthWISE Certification and Why Does it Matter?

EarthWISE Certification recognizes businesses in Marion County that have made a commitment to environmentally friendly practices. To obtain the certification, businesses must meet the criteria outlined in eight categories.

  • On-site recycling
  • Waste reduction and prevention
  • Environmentally preferable purchases
  • Outreach and education
  • Water conservation
  • Wastewater and storm water management
  • Energy conservation
  • Going above and beyond

Becoming EarthWISE certified has been a great way to showcase our environmental commitment to Cascade members and the community. We’ve realized enormous savings from converting to electronic publications and newsletters, developing an online pay survey system and lowering energy consumption. We estimate that during the first year alone we saved over $6,000 just by converting to electronic publications. This made our Green Team ponder more ways to contribute to conservation. In recent years we’ve implemented a flexible workplace program for our staff, allowing them to work remotely a couple of days a week. Not only does this flexibility help our people save on fuel costs, but it reduces travel on roadways by about 30,000 miles a year. And, it’s proved to be a great employee recruitment and retention practice.

What Other Sustainable Business Certifications Are Available to Employers?

Recognizing that many of Cascade’s members reside outside of Marion County, I decided to conduct a quick search of other sustainable business practice certifications. I was surprised that in just a few minutes I found such a lengthy list. Here’s a sampling.

I’d love to learn about the sustainable business practice certifications in which you are involved. If you have a minute, send me an email: gklampe@cascadeemployers.com.

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