RECAP: SUMMER OF SUSTAINABILITY 2017
In 2015, we began “Summer of Sustainability” to promote sustainable behaviors throughout the company and improve practices at each office. We continued with Summer of Sustainability in 2016 and have kept the tradition going strong this year. As a company, we have reached new heights in 2017 in implementing sustainable practices and engaging employees to tweak their personal habits.
During UGE’s Summer of Sustainability we focused on four key areas:
Trash and Consumption
In combination with each other these four areas gave our employees a chance to examine their sustainability practices holistically both in the office and at home. Are there small changes you can adapt to your daily routine to strengthen your sustainability profile?
Week 1: Wellness
Kicking off Summer of Sustainability, we put the focus on Wellness. Maintaining wellness involves equal parts emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental health. Physical activity and meditation are two useful practices for maintaining wellness. So, this week we challenged employees to:
Stretch for 15 minutes everyday
Forgo the elevator and take the stairs
Bike or walk to work
Week 2: Trash and Consumption
Moving into the second week, we shifted the focus to trash and consumption. The “Three Rs” provided a great starting point for this week, but we had to add a fourth R- Refuse. This week we challenged employees to:
Limit trash in the office to less than 1 bag
Donate clothes and books to local collections
Week 3: Food
During week 3, we focused on food and the changes that we can make to our eating and purchasing habits to promote a more sustainable future. Many scientists point to cows & sheep as the leading cause of rising methane emissions, so as part of this week we sought to cut back meat intake. Challenges this week included:
Bring in food/ utensils for lunch
Week 4: Energy
For the last week of Summer of Sustainability we turned to our bread and butter: Energy! Since we live and breathe clean energy every day, we put the focus this week instead on energy conservation.
1 hour lights off every day
No air conditioning after 3pm
Keep showers to less than 15 minutes
The accomplishments seen these past few weeks are remarkable, from offices having an entirely vegetarian team lunch to individuals donating full bags full of clothes to families in need; we are proud to demonstrate UGE’s commitment to sustainability, both in the services we offer and in our behaviors as an office and as individuals. It is only together that we will create a more sustainable future!
Written by: Brooke Ruggiero