Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eco-Friendly Company Tour

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of touring an eco-friendly workplace of a friend. She is always providing me with information about environmental issues and started a recycling and eco-friendly initiative at the division of Philips where she is employed. She told me about how she worked with the facilities and OSHA officers at her company to develop a recycling plan which includes paper, plastic, glass, packaging filler and tennis shoes. There were recycling bins everywhere (she told me that people are inherently lazy so you have to make it easy and convenient to do). Most employers are receptive to starting a recycling plan because it saves money on waste hauling and in some cases earns income. All employees have their own mugs and access to a mini gym that includes spinning classes! One initiative led to another and soon the company started implementing an eco-design process that reduced the environmental impact of its high tech equipment. The need for eco-friendly materials expanded into an evaluation of the sustainability practices of Philips suppliers. I mentioned this trickle down theory in a previous post as a wake up call to opportunities in the green economy. Anyway, I was so impressed and excited by all of the positive sustainable business practices that I decided (with my friend’s encouragement) to start a recycling program at my job. I don’t know how I am going to balance my already busy work day to do this, but with the help of my county’s business recycling specialist and the Guide to Recycling in the Workplace, I can at least take a step in the right direction!

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