Tools to help your business improve its sustainability efforts.

Member News, Resources, WMSBF News

Imagine Trash Partner Testimonial: Morgan & Morgan CPAs

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum is still offering a waived co-pay promotion to members that sign up for the Imagine Trash Partner Program. WMSBF currently has 15 of the 50 promotional waste audit slots remaining, so the sooner you reach out the more likely the offering will still be available. The program includes a package of technical resources for small and medium sized organizations in the West Michigan region to improve their recycling efforts and potentially establish zero waste to landfill goals.  Now scheduling waste audits for February and March.

This week, WMSBF highlights Imagine Trash Partner Program participant Morgan & Morgan CPAs, an accounting and consulting firm focused on improving the financial and operational performance of small and medium-sized organizations, individuals and families through strategic tax and assurance services.

In response to the Imagine Trash waste audit performed onsite at Morgan & Morgan CPAs (M&M), members within the organization had a chance to assess its current waste stream and formulate a recycling program to align with recommendations provided in the audit findings. M&M plans to take initial actions including the installment of a waste diversion program that engages office, janitorial, and building staff in order to achieve their zero-waste-to-landfill goal. M&M plans to provide each office with its own recycling bin, as well as placing SORT recycling and composting bins in the common & kitchen areas. M&M will also place an Organicycle composting bin outdoors, and is currently working with the property manager regarding shared outdoor recycling dumpsters for paper and plastics. The company’s office administrator will work to train janitorial staff and new & existing employees on the installment of the recycling program, along with coordinating participation of these initiatives throughout the building in which they operate.

Learn more about the Imagine Trash initiative or request a waste audit at wmsbf.org/imagine.

Resources

U.S. EPA Sustainable Management of Food Tools

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The U.S. EPA offers several tools for measuring and tracking the amount, type of, and the source of food and packaging waste. One of the topics discussed at the February Member Meeting.

By using EPA’s food waste assessment tools, food service establishments can:

  • Save money by reducing over-purchasing and disposal costs
  • Reduce environmental impacts
  • Support efforts to eliminate hunger
  • Increase tax benefits by donating food; and
  • Support community waste reduction efforts.

The food waste assessment tools start off with a Guide for Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment. The guide provides a step by step process. In addition to the guide is a waste calculator, tracking logs, and a Waste Reduction Model tool that can help organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions reductions from several different waste management practices.

Resources

Featured Resource: ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

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Energy Star is best known as a product label that indicates to consumers whether or not their appliances are energy efficient, but the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program goes beyond product labeling. For businesses it offers several tools including the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager which helps businesses track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emission. The Portfolio Manager allows users to track more than 100 different metrics.

It can also be used to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings. The tool gives users access to more than 150 different metrics to help them better manage their energy usage as well as make decision on capital investments in energy efficient technologies.

Looking to apply for ENERGY STAR certification or awards the Portfolio Manager is also the portal used to apply for recognition.

Throughout the month of January ENERGY STAR will be hosting a series of webinars on Portfolio Manager. To learn more and sign up for these webinars go to, https://esbuildings.webex.com/mw3000/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=esbuildings.

January 13 at 1 ET – How to Apply for ENERGY STAR

January 26 at 1 ET – Portfolio Manager 101

January 27 at 1 ET – Portfolio Manager 201

January 28 at 1 ET – Portfolio Manager 301

Resources

Brand Purpose?

 

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne offered an interesting take on brand purpose (aka cause marketing) this week that highlighted one of the case studies cited by October’s featured speaker Samuel Shiroff.  The moral of the story:  brand purpose has to be sincere.

Chipotle has been leading with brand purpose for several years with its powerful message to “Cultivate a Better World” (The Scarecrow last month and Back to the Start in 2011). Chipotle is one of the more successful companies in branding with purpose.

Yet even Chipotle has been drawing criticism. The New Yorker wrote, “we’re reminded that Chipotle is a ‘giant corporation,’ tugging at our heartstrings with oppressed bovines not because of a genuine interest in sustainability or animal welfare but to make us buy burritos.”

Many brands are watching Chipotle closely as inspiration for their own purpose-driven campaigns. On the surface, it can seem as simple as making an animated movie about sustainability. Yet marketers need to remember that substance is more important than storytelling. More important than messaging, brands have to practice what they preach.

Brand purpose has to be sincere.