At Blue Acorn, we strive to do our best at every endeavor we take on. Usually, those endeavors include such tasks as Conversion Optimization, eCommerce Development, and Search Engine Optimization. However, we are now taking on an obstacle unlike any we’ve conquered in the past…recycling. That’s right. Mother Nature, we’ve got your back!
As of February 2012, Blue Acorn has entered a local recycling challenge – the Charleston County Green Business Challenge (GBC). The GBC is essentially a report card system where we keep track of the ways we’re improving our recycling effort and lowering our overall carbon footprint. For a tech company that is mostly paperless, we assumed we would have a great score and there wouldn’t be much room for improvement. Boy, were we wrong! The GBC takes into account more than the basic tasks of recycling your lunch container, though we learned we had room for improvement there as well.
The program is broken down into several initiative categories, such as Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Waste Management, Transportation, Operations, and Community Involvement. Getting started involves going through and grading the business on how well it has accomplished the line items in each initiative category, jotting down notes to prove the business’ green prowess. The next step is to submit this card to the fine people in charge of the GBC, and then they will grade the efforts already in place, affording point values for the different line items.
A couple of key factors we did really well in pertained to waste management. Being a tech company, we were able to brag about our almost completely paperless office. Yes, we do have a printer (what else are we going to print our Groupons and funny signs on?), but in general, we go through a surprisingly low amount of paper for a company our size.
The other area where we scored high was our kitchen facility. It is a rare occasion to find any paper plates or cups in our office. Our cupboard shelves are stocked full of real cups, dishes, and cutlery that our employees do a great job – as far as developers go – of cleaning every day.
Back in March, we scheduled a visit from the Charleston County Business Recycling program to have someone speak to us about the importance of recycling, what items can be recycled, and how recycling impacts our community now and in the years to come. As a result of that visit, recycling efforts amongst the employees have doubled. There are recycling containers in each part of the building, a collection area for food and grocery bags in the kitchen, a collection box for any old non-rechargeable batteries, and a can crusher that is very patiently waiting to be hung on the wall. The last one serves a dual purpose as both recycling space saver and a stress reliever.
Once we knew the areas we needed to improve, it was time to decide how we were going go about achieving such improvements. Having our very own Strategic Team of Awesomocity™, we decided to tackle this strategic-marketing style. We needed to define a key performance indicator (KPI) and come up with a strategic plan on how best to reach our goal.
Blue Acorn now has a “Green Team,” a collection of employees who are passionate about recycling and whose sole purpose is to establish a to-do list of green initiatives using our GBC report card as a basis for our efforts. Our final graded score will act as our KPI, letting us know how successful our plan was and what we’ll need to focus on to improve the following year.
We are only a couple of months into our plan, and we know we have a lot of work cut out for us. Nobody ever said that being a squirrel was easy, but as we’ve proved many times, you have to work hard if you want to succeed and be among the best.