Walking Our Talk…by Auditing Our Waste

Chelsi Tryon

Businesses with multiple locations understand the challenges of employee engagement. They also understand the challenges of managing resources, from energy and water use, to generating a large volume of waste.

With eight office locations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom—plus multiple small and remote offices—Ecova is no different. One way we are breaking down the challenges of departmental silos and geographical distance is to engage employees in a collective project. When it comes to environmental awareness and corporate responsibility, companies of any size can use this opportunity to enhance their office environment and create value.

As part of our goals for corporate responsibility—and to demonstrate that we Walk the TalkEcova is using our own expertise in energy, water and waste to audit all of our own offices. This project incorporates over 1,300 employees and demonstrates a commitment to our vision: enabling a sustainable world where people, organizations, and the environment thrive.

Ecova chose waste audits as a pioneer for this employee engagement endeavor. Most people may not think of dumpster diving as a company bonding activity, for us it fulfills three goals:

  1. Progress toward Zero Waste
  2. Tangible implementation where every employee has a role
  3. A physical engagement process

Ecova’s Waste Solutions that are offered to our clients use waste audits as a foundation to improve.

Ecova Waste Audit 2“Waste audits are a great source of data which can be used to verify progress with sustainability initiatives, build a business case for creating sustainability initiatives or create training to avoid regulated waste in municipal waste stream,” explains Deanne Fultz, Project Lead – Waste Consulting, “so whether you are looking for current diversion rates, diversion compliance, non-compliant waste items, or finding out your employees most frequented restaurants”.

The project will analyze three areas across all our North American locations:

  1. Our office culture (how we influence behavior and engage employees through training)
  2. Our waste streams (solid waste, recyclables, and organics/compost)
  3. The volume of material we are generating

So where does the employee engagement come in to the picture? By utilizing technology, a virtual meeting connected all our offices and remote employees so everyone could view the required audit supplies, the audit methodology, and safety protocols. Fortuitously, we can leverage our internal waste expertise from the Waste Consulting team to enhance knowledge-sharing throughout all of ENGIE North America companies.

Stay tuned, because we will be sharing the results of our company-wide waste audits and developing our Zero Waste recommendations. We also invite you to learn about making progress toward sustainability at your own company through creative strategies for employee engagement. Mark your calendar for this upcoming webinar, Achieving Waste Diversion through the Art & Science of Behavioral Change,” on Thursday, August 24, hosted by Ecova’s Waste Solutions experts.

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Thank you to our Ecova volunteers: Aaron Payne, Andrew Kulink, Bertha Razo, Chelsi Tryon, Christi Dearborn, Christie Rasmussen, Cortney Pagel, Deanne Fultz, Diane Fisher, Eddie Fanene, Hannah Rile, Hayden Hauck, Kelly Stevens, Kristina Ries, Lachele Altiq, Lisa Ramos, Nick Tiberino, Olivia Ybarra-Arizmendi, Ronnie Flores, Ryan Ries, Samantha Kopp, Sophia Haven, Steviee Southerland, Tom Tucker

Photo credits: Christine Baldwin and Brittany Lockwood

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