Baby Steps—An Update from the Standing Green Team

In April, we promised to keep our readers updated about our progress in the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association St. Louis Green Business Challenge. As first-time participants, our discovery process has been extensive as we get to know the ins and outs of the challenge.

However, it was just recently that we came across one of the most fundamental takeaways of going green – the intimidation of simply getting started!

Throughout our Green Team’s brainstorming process we realized just why the idea of going green can be daunting. There are countless ideas, resources and possibilities available for making green changes. Many organizations don’t know where to start. They believe that you have to go to wild extremes or reshape your organization to make a positive environmental impact.

The Green Business Challenge has proven to us that this isn’t the case. It’s possible to start small and still make a difference.

The best example of this concept is a story we were told by Jean Ponzi from The St. Louis Earthways Center when she paid us a visit to coach us through the challenge. She shared a bit of history about Standing’s current recycling service, Earth Circle Recycling. Jean told us that Earth Circle all began when the owner, Jerry Witter, started driving door-to-door, gathering recycling on his own. Earth Circle is now a state-of-the-art recycling facility serving thousands of customers.

Sometimes the smallest thing leads to something great. Here at Standing, we understand that sometimes it just takes one person with the will to make tomorrow better to pave the way for an innovative idea.

This is why the St. Louis Business Challenge really is the ideal green challenge. It gives you a custom structure for sustainability that is doable for your organization. Participants are at varying levels in their sustainability efforts – some, returning to build on their impressive green efforts and others are first timers looking to start small while making a difference.

It has taken us and the 86 other participating companies in the St. Louis area away from the “shoulds” and into implementation.

So, what has Standing been tackling?

Well, we’ve discovered that there are several scorecard components that we are already doing right – buying green office supplies such as Sustainable Earth by Staples and ACCO recycled paper clips by Office Depot as well as encouraging recycling and using virtual meeting outlets like GoToMeeting. We also have plans in the works to promote sustainability at our office such as:

  • a “turn-it-off” campaign;
  • a “taking green home” initiative; and
  • a policy to reduce junk mail in the office.  

We can’t wait to see how our office progresses with our Green Business Challenge scorecard! Check back for more updates on our key findings, achievements and new ideas.