Every entrepreneur wants her or his company to have a notable impact on the world — but you probably don't want that impact to be environmental.
We talked with three Chicago companies about what they do to make sustainability part of their company culture. From recycling and bike parking to utilizing natural light, here's what they had to say:
“A pillar of Signal’s company culture is respect, which includes not only respect for colleagues, clients, and partners, but also respect for the world we live in,” said VP of Human Resources Sara Schroeder. “This is why we pursue sustainable practices such as working with suppliers who share eco-friendly values, choosing an office space that’s easily accessible by public transportation or bike, and recycling everything we can, from LaCroix cans to batteries.”
Signal also promotes a paperless environment, encouraging its employees to use Google Docs, DropBox and email to share documents whenever possible. In addition, the company deliberately chose an office space with lots of natural light to cut down on overhead lighting in the daytime. The company also offers in-office bike storage for commuters.
"At NextCapital we strongly value sustainability and strive to make a positive impact with all of our day-to-day decisions,” said Project Manager Sam Patterson. “We are always looking for new ways to help play our part in promoting a culture of sustainability."
Among the company’s sustainability initiatives are indoor and outdoor bike storage, recycling and opting for local vendors who emphasize sustainability whenever possible. This summer, NextCapital is moving into new headquarters with reclaimed wood furniture and live plants hanging throughout offices and meeting rooms.
“SAP Fieldglass thinks of sustainability in two distinct ways: first how to contribute to the overall human race and second how to make sure employees continue to love to work for SAP Fieldglass,” said VP of Information Technology Jeff Basso. “The interesting thing is that both are closely related. SAP Fieldglass believes that sustainable environments offer sustainable employment. For this exact reason, we decided to build out spaces with materials that are locally sourced, functional in design and that add richness to any conversation.”
“Utilizing locally sourced products tends to drive more social awareness of the environment issues at hand. It’s simple to say that SAP Fieldglass is fortunate enough to invest in sustainability — however, I say sustainability is the engine that allowed us to be this fortunate,” added Basso. “A change in perception is all that it takes to create a movement. Sustainable efforts are no different than any other business initiative. SAP Fieldglass believes that we are capable of making a difference and we are dedicated to joining the conversation and inspiring others to do so as well.”
Images via participating companies.