I’m proud to report that this year Standing Partnership is taking on the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association St. Louis Green Business Challenge for the first time! In reflecting on our sustainability work on behalf of clients, the newly rejuvenated Green Team decided that charting our own sustainability efforts would be a great way to underscore the three pillars of people, planet and profitability.
Led by Eric Schneider, RCGA senior director – Energy & Environment, the St. Louis Green Business Challenge helps companies and organizations adopt sustainable business practices that yield financial savings and reduce environmental impact. Since it launched in 2010, 85 companies and institutions, representing more than 100,000 employees across the bi-state-metropolitan region, have taken the Challenge to implement sustainability strategies and improve their bottom lines.
The Challenge began March 31. All organizations were required to turn in a baseline scorecard, a measurement matrix created by the RCGA, with help from a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden called the Earthways Center. The scorecard charts where an organization begins in its green practices, so it can then quantify its progress on October 31, 2012, when final scorecards are due. The scorecard measures participating organizations’ achievements in six areas:
- Forming Green Teams (that’s a big checkmark for Standing!)
- Increasing Energy Efficiency
- Improving Indoor Environmental Quality
- Reducing Waste
- Conserving Water
- Providing Clean Transportation Options
The St. Louis Green Business Challenge Class of 2012 includes 86 organizations-many of whom are returning participants looking to further the company’s sustainable practices, and several newbies like us. We proudly join many of our clients, including The Doe Run Company, Graybar, Maritz, Monsanto, St. Louis RCGA and URS, in taking on this challenge.
Though there is an award ceremony in December 2012 to recognize the accomplishments of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge participants, the important thing to remember is that we’re not in competition with each other-we are all collaborating to make our community a smarter, cleaner and more sustainable place.
As the year goes on, we will post updates with our Green Business Challenge scorecard progress and best practice ideas. Be sure to check back. Good luck to our fellow classmates this year!