5 ways to go green and celebrate World Environment Day

environmentForty-two years ago on June 5, 1972, the United Nations launched its Environmental Program, UNEP, and the first World Environment Day was born.

Back then, laptops were simply a perch for small dogs, and all people ever got from a cloud was rain. What hasn’t changed is UNEP‘s mission to spread environmental awareness and everyone’s responsibility to mitigate the effects of consumption and waste on the environment around us.

Promoting sustainability in your office can be as simple as turning off your computer at the end of the day, or bringing your lunch in a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag. If you’re looking to make environmental action a corporate-wide initiative, check out these Softchoice practices to get inspiration for how to do it! [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…]

CSR Reporting 2.0: From Stats to Stories

**The following is an excerpt and link to a piece on Communicating CSR that I wrote for Sustainable Brands media outlet…

It seems there’s a gap for many organizations in reaping the benefits from their CSR programs.

A new Director Notes report called What Board Members Should Know About Communicating CSR, shows that awareness of a company’s CSR activities among its external, and even internal stakeholders, is typically low.  Not surprising given that the typical approach to CSR communications comes down to a once-a year, static PDF report that may never get read, or ends up getting buried in the back of an annual report.

So how can you communicate more than just what your organization is doing when it comes to CSR….how can you take more steps to engage your stakeholders in sharing your CSR story?

Read my full article here for insight into how other companies are using more social means to engage their stakeholders and tips to help you do the same!

Rollin’ in the green: Sustainability at our Mid Year Meeting

A fact that we all know is true is that all hotels, whether one star or six stars have giant environmental footprints. I’ll explain more about this as we go.

But first, let’s fly to Phoenix.

As most sales conferences go, the last thing most people are ever thinking about is environmentally friendly practices. Everyone, except for Softchoice’s amazing event planning team that is. Why am so excited about the events team thinking about being green during mid-year? Because they actually pulled it off! How, you ask? By hooking up with one of the greenest resorts , the events team was able to put together an incredible environmentally friendly conference.

The Sheraton Wildhorse Pass & Spa is famous for it’s sustainability practices and exceptional quality. The meetings and banquet rooms are designed for the highest levels of efficiency depending on the kind of event you are hosting.  Some of the green iniatives the hotel had in place were:

  • Air-conditioning in meeting rooms is determined by the status of the room, meaning that when they are not in use, the A/C is  not on.
  • The facility does a lot to reduce overall waste, but not having plastic cups or paper cups on site and using glasses instead. [Read more…]