GSI is committed to the preservation and responsible management of our shared natural resources. Over the years, we have taken many steps to reduce the carbon footprint of our business, and we are constantly evaluating what more we can do. GSI’s Green Team leads these efforts.
And our Green Team does not mess around. Every quarter, they conduct an unannounced after-hours trash audit, examining the contents of our individual garbage cans and recycling bins, as well as the bins and compost in the kitchen, to assess how well we are collectively doing with waste reduction and recycling. (They also check to make sure we’ve turned off our computers at night—and leave candy for those of us who have.)
Because of their efforts, GSI is a proud recipient of the Gold Sustainability at Work certification from the City of Portland, and for two years in a row, we have been included on the list of 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine.
Here is a small sampling of some of the actions we have done to improve the sustainability of our operations:
- In our Portland office, we instituted an extra recycling program to collect non-curbside recyclable plastics, Styrofoam, batteries, and ink cartridges, and organized a composting program in our kitchens.
- We recycle or refurbish all of the electronic devices that we use.
- We have completely eliminated the use of disposable dishware.
- Our paper, binders, labels, and envelopes contain at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.
- Secure bike parking is available at all office locations.
- We offer a public transportation reimbursement program to all employees.
- We have incorporated videoconferencing technologies into all of our offices to reduce the need for travel.
- In Portland, we installed low-flow aerators on bathrooms and kitchen faucets, and motion-sensor lights in the bathrooms, copy rooms, and kitchens.
- We purchase carbon offsets from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset 69% of out business-related travel, which is the largest carbon-producing part of our business.
Of course, there’s always more to be done, and we have many goals ahead of us, including expanding some of the Portland-only changes to our other locations.