Renewable Choice featured in CORE’s Success Story Blog
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by Jamie Dandar on 08/26/2011
Renewable Choice was featured on CORE's (Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy) blog. Read the post.
In July, Renewable Choice Energy was asked to participate in an interview with CORE (Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy), a Colorado-based, non-partisan non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices and a more responsible economy. CORE is excited to be featuring member companies’ success stories on their blog. Specifically, CORE wanted success stories regarding their members’ practicing what they preach. We shared with CORE (link to their blog) one way we engage our employees in minimizing their impact via our commuting challenge.
With one more week left in our summer commuting challenge, we will have an update on the overall results soon and the winners of this summer’s challenges. If you are interested in learning more about our commitment to the environment (link), we implement a variety initiatives.
Renewable Choice Energy -- Employee Engagement
July 28, 2011 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Renewable Choice Energy is a company founded on the idea that you can do well in business by doing good. In order to help reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy, the company offers a variety of services (you can read more here). Above and beyond this, Renewable Choice Energy is actively pursuing initiatives to get employees more excited about doing good for the environment.
Employees at Renewable Choice Energy are eager to share all the great things their company is doing. Jamie Dandar, Director of Market Development, talks about how Renewable Choice sponsors several music festivals around Colorado to offset their carbon footprint with RECs (renewable energy credits). She also mentions how happy she is to be working for a company that is actively working to fix problems that have frustrated her for awhile. “I always get disheartened when I see someone throw away something that could easily be recycled,” she says. And this same sentiment permeates the Boulder-based office. Jamie pointed to the motion-sensory lights, and recycling and compost bins as examples of employees living out the values of the company.
The carbon footprint from employee commuting and business travel is also tracked and measured every quarter. Posted on the wall in the main hallway of the office is a large chart with every employee’s name along one side and working days along the top. This chart tracks everyone’s commuting habits throughout each quarter. One point is given for every day the employee takes alternative transportation to the office and one half of a point is given for every day the employee works from home.
At the end of each quarter, the employee with the most points is declared the winner. The prizes are various gift certificates and a celebration in honor of the winner’s efforts. The goal of this initiative is for every employee to participate at least once a week in reducing their commute. Looking at the chart it is obvious that employees care about reducing their carbon footprint. The majority of the names have markings in almost every box, indicating that they seek out alternative transportation more than just once a week. The chart is also a visual way for employees to note which of their coworkers might need a little extra encouragement to participate in the program.
Since implementing the program, employees have logged 750 days of emissions-free or emissions-reduced commuting. With an average commute of 12 miles roundtrip, this can add up. By doing the Commuter Challenge, Renewable Choice Energy annually saves 1,726.9 lbs of CO2. This amounts to almost two barrels of oil. Even though Renewable Choice Energy is a small company, Amy Haddon, Director of Business Operations, says “Every little bit helps and if more companies participated it could make a big difference!
Amy could not stress enough that the success of the employee commuting chart and the business as a whole comes from the buy-in of every employee from the top down. She feels that working in an office environment that supports green practices helps people carry those practices throughout their lives, because it becomes the norm to act a certain way. In the office it is easy to implement good ideas for new initiatives and achieve buy-in because everyone understands the benefits received.
For a business like Renewable Choice Energy, it is important for their success in the market that they walk the walk and not just talk the talk. By engaging employees in actively reducing their own carbon footprint, they are reinforcing the values of their company and creating a more supportive workforce. Employees like Jamie and Amy can say they are proud to work for a company that is actively working to make a difference.
Written by Kristin Friedery, CORE Intern
Read the original post here.
Jamie Dandar is Director of Market Development for Renewable Choice.