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…]

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…]

It IS Easy Being Green: Tips to More Sustainable Catering

Kermit the frog is known for one particularly famous line: “It ain’t easy being green”.

This may be the case for Kermit but when it comes to being environmentally ‘green’ – it really can be easy.

As a Seneca Green Intern over the past few months, part of my placement was to support Softchoice with sustainability-related initiatives. During this time, I attended a few of the company’s Lunch ‘n’ Learns and noticed that Softchoice offers tasty meals for employees to enjoy when they learn about the latest and greatest in the IT world.  Unfortunately, like many catered meetings, they tend to produce large amounts of waste – plates, cutlerly, containers and leftover food. [Read more…]

Softchoice Joins Green Challenge

It is still in the very early stages but I wanted to get a post out there to let you all know that Softchoice will be participating in Chicago’s Green Office Challenge.  We will need to allow the city access to some of our electricity and water bills to participate but I think we really have a great chance at winning if everyone in the office is up to the challenge.

I will post plenty more on this as we begin and go through the contest so you are aware of how these challeneges work but it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  Our first meeting is next Tuesday so I will know a lot more after that.  For more information or to sign your own company up go here http://www.chicagogreenofficechallenge.org/

We’ll be wrapping presents yo!

We were sitting around the table at our last Green Team meeting discussing ideas for projects we can take on. And idea popped in my head: Eco-wrapping. No, it’s not throwing down rhymes about the environment (though that would be pretty cool!) it’s about reusing materials for holiday wrapping to save a few trees.

I’ve done this a couple of years with a local charity – at malls and our local emporium where people buy their outdoor gear. I’ve wrapped snowshoes, canoe paddles, vases – all with kraft paper or recycled posters and paper rafia. And the best part is … no tape!

A lot of my Green Team cohorts were shocked when I told them this. Ya, it’s not pretty…but it makes for an interesting conversation piece under the tree or passed over glasses of rum and eggnog. How many of us wrap beautifully anyways? I know that even with the best paper money can buy and rolls of tape my gifts look like they have been wrapped by drunken elves with no thumbs.

Eco-wrapping is coming to a Softchoice branch near you! And if you want to bust a rhyme while we wrap the DVD box set of MASH you got your Uncle Herb, you might even get a discount off the fee (which will be a donation to Softchoice Cares.) Want to learn more? You can read “Eco-Chick’s” online post about Eco-wrapping.