Four simple ways to encourage employees to bike to work!

biking to work

Joseph Byer leading the pack to celebrate Softchoice’s 2012 listing as one of Canada’s Greenest Workplaces by Maclean’s magazine!

It’s no secret that in North America, more and more commuters are choosing two wheels instead of four, or giving up their transit pass to avoid the crowded subways and busses. There are many more reasons than just traffic frustration as well including health benefits both physical and mental.

Aside from the reasons on the personal level, there’s no shortage of reasons for companies to promote the use of the bicycle as an efficient means to get to work every day.  For that to work, there are some things to consider that will encourage those would-be cyclists to drop the excuses and start pedalling!

As a year-round bike commuter, I’m lucky to to work for a company that not only provides shower facilities but also has a very casual dress code for regular in-office work days. Occasionally I may have to “suit up” to meet clients, but for the most part jeans and a T-shirt are perfectly acceptable.

So what can other business do to make it easier for employees to choose the cycling option?

[Read more…]

Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

Going Green: How Softchoice is making an impact on the environment

To help reduce their carbon footprint, search-engine giant Google decided to scrap their lawn mowers and rent goats to munch on their lawns instead. Not only are these goats much more environmentally-friendly than lawn mowers, but as Google puts it, “goats are a lot cuter to watch!”

Softchoice hasn’t yet progressed to renting goats to do our landscaping, but we’re doing our part to take care of the environment with some other green initiatives. Being a technology provider, we know it’s important to look at how we can become more conscious of implementing more environmentally-aware practices when it comes to technology – after all, the IT industry produces the same carbon emissions as the airline industry, approximately 1 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year. While we may be excited about the technology advances we’ve seen recently (i.e. iPads, Google Maps, social media outlets), we have to be conscious of the amount of energy it takes to run the servers and infrastructure that support these tools.

Of course, while data centers can be obvious energy gorgers, there are ways that IT companies can run their centers to help reduce their carbon footprint. To find out how Softchoice is making our data center greener, I sat down with Softchoice IT Infrastructure Manager Lester Moniz. Lester explained the top 3 green IT initiatives that Softchoice has been focusing on recently: [Read more…]

Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program

Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality

Just some of the Softchoice green crew who bike to work every day.

 

In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting.

But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public transit to using their own two feet – all part of our company incentive program that encourages employees to travel green.

Long-time Softchoice employee, Joseph Byer, takes advantage of the Green Commute program almost every day. “I often wish my trip was longer,” he says. “When the weather is nice, I purposefully take the scenic route. I also like taking my bike out over lunch and getting some extra fresh air.”

Softchoice isn’t the only one. Many companies also support ‘greener’ commuting through providing various programs, including: [Read more…]

CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.

Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy.

Just like the hard-working beaver, employee commitment makes a huge difference in the environment!

This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the list, but employee involvement is driving the success of their sustainability programs.

This isn’t surprising. As with many workplaces, engaged employees are the internal change agents, fueling innovation and success of many programs. According to GreenResearch’s 2012 Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, staff engagement is one of the top two sustainability trends for 2012 – simply because “engaged employees make things happen”. They are the “make-it-or-break-it” factor. [Read more…]

Softchoice Toronto Goes Wildly Green!

This past Friday the Corporate Marketing and Business Development teams joined forces with the Softchoice Green Team to bring Softchoice the greenest, most environmentally friendly, beer cart ever. Dubbed as ‘Green Day’, the event embraced all that is green in celebration of World Environment Day. Unlike other beer carts- and with Mother Nature on our side- the team managed to throw a rockin’ party outdoors; a fantastic way to start the weekend and get people excited for the summer!

So what was so green about it anyway?

As World Environment Day was to be celebrated on June 5th – the team kicked it up a notch by doing their best to reduce the environmental impact of this event. The scrumptious food was local – thus supporting our local community and reducing our Co2 emissions. To be specific, the team ordered fingers foods- meaning no napkins, plates, or spoons which lead to zero waste! We also purchased herbs from a local greenhouse to use as décor for the event and then sold them off for charity- now there’s an idea! [Read more…]

Green supply chain analysis

If there’s one thing I can urge companies to do is to request that their orders be shipped complete, whether it’s from an office supply company or for your new laptop. When you contact them, just ask that the order be shipped together and not as stock becomes available. This option is not usually available when ordering online and is something organizations would rather not do- you may have to call in your order. The reason they detour shipping in this method is that it inflates inventory; the product stays on the shelf longer waiting for its counter parts to arrive.  Another quick way is to order from as few companies as possible, further reducing deliveries. This project was to promote shipping complete in an effort to reduce packaging and carbon dioxide from couriers.

To begin this project, I first took a look at how many orders were shipping partial, what the carbon emissions were for those shipments and what was it costing the company to move stock off the shelves faster. [Read more…]