Sustainability has always been an important component of what defines Envirologic as a company. As an environmental consulting and services firm, we provide contaminant investigation and remediation management for our clients. When a project is beginning, it's our job to assess a building or site for contaminants with the "end in mind" -- the "end" being a healthy place to live, work, and play. Adhering to good sustainability principles ourselves just makes sense when our role is to manage the cleanup of contaminated properties. This idea is reflected in the first statement of our company vision, "Do Good Work to Do Good."
Since Envirologic's inception, we have striven to be a model of sustainability through our actions and employee education. Over the years, we have implemented over 30 internal sustainability initiatives, from conducting an office-wide sustainable renovation project in 2015 that focused on green building products and energy and lighting upgrades, to using 100% recycled paper for our business cards, letterhead, and stationary.
Earlier this year, staff reinstituted our Sustainability Committee to ensure Envirologic is doing all it can in support of our Sustainability Philosophy. Several of these efforts are further detailed below.
The Sustainability Committee is currently working to restore our staff garden. This project was started a few years ago, but it needed some TLC to bring it back up to our team's standards. Once the threat of frost is past, a variety of vegetables, herbs, and pollinator-friendly native perennials will be planted.
The first step to restoring our garden was to have one of our Project Scientists take soil samples to ensure the soil is contaminant free. To read more about evaluating soil for urban gardens, click here. We anticipate starting to plant in mid-May; stay tuned for Envirologic Garden pictures this summer!
We've found the two most important elements of a successful recycling program to be education and easy access. We've worked with our waste hauler to understand exactly what waste is recyclable and educated our staff, so they can adhere to the policy and make smart choices in the products they use.
We also have a strong food composting program, which we started three years ago. Statistics show 40% of food in the U.S. goes to waste. Of that waste, over 97% ends up in the landfill. If you look at food waste facts for the U.S and around the world, it's alarming. Food composting is one more way we can reduce what we are sending to the landfill and meet our sustainability goals. We hope to use some of our compost in our new garden.
As the Sustainability Committee continues to concentrate efforts on reducing Envirologic's waste footprint, they're focusing particular energy on decreasing the amount of paper we use. Although most of our client reports and communications are now digital, we believe the further reduction of paper use can be attained by following some simple steps: we ask our team to think before they print, print two-sided, store information digitally, and reuse paper for internal documents or note taking when possible.
According to ThoughtCo, "recycling paper conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and keeps landfill space free for other types of trash that can't be recycled." Even though paper recycling efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, the American Forest & Paper Association reports that the U.S. is still landfilling 22.4 million tons of paper each year.
Sponsoring Community Events
The Envirologic Team believes it's important to be involved in and give back to our local community. A good way for us to do this, as well as follow our Sustainability Philosophy, is to sponsor and participate in local conservation-focused events.
This past Saturday, Envirologic sponsored the Bronson Park Earth Day Celebration held by the Kalamazoo Nature Center. It was a great time for everyone involved with live music, food and drinks, and educational exhibits. Our Kalamazoo River Valley Trail (KRVT) Adopt-a-Trail Cleanup Day is also quickly approaching. Envirologic has participated as a Friend of the Trail for the past seven years, and on April 27th, staff will once again be donning their safety vests and trash grabbers to help clean up our section of the KRVT.
Envirologic's vision is to be a model of sustainability through our actions and education. We view sustainability as common-sense practices that lessen our environmental impact and promote a better quality of life while promoting business success. It may take a little more work to be green but isn't our planet worth it?
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earth day • sustainability • environment • green • conservation • recycling • natural resources • kalamazoo river valley trail • krvt • composting •