The Chamber: Q&A on Going Green
The Chamber became Green certified earlier this year.
Synergy Sustainability Institute
sat down with our Operations Manager, Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman, for a Q&A on environmental best practices at The Chamber.
What were the most challenging sustainability initiatives implement at The Chamber?
Changing our billing system to become paperless. Staff recycling - making sure the right item ends up in the right bin. Biking - getting staff to switch from their cars to bikes.
Why did The Chamber decide to go green?
It was simply the right thing to do.
In what area have you seen the most cost savings?
Invoicing - paper, stamp, and envelope savings and staff time was reduced.
Changing to electronic billing
led to less paper consumption and faster payments, a real benefit.
Aside from long-term cost savings, what are some of the other benefits you see from operating The Chamber in a more sustainable way?
Increased staff engagement. There is a physical benefit of getting up to walk to recycling bins, as no longer are there trash bins right beside our desks.
How are staff encouraged to adapt to the green changes?
The staff don't need much encouragement, there are no "archaic thinkers" in our group. The team participates in Bike to Work Week and have been known to coach each other on choosing the most appropriate cycling routes. And there is always a surprising amount of impromptu staff meeting around the recycling containers.
Any advice to business owners who are considering operating in a more sustainable manner?
Use it as a team building exercises. Engage staff and members - have them come up with the strategies and turn it into a friendly competition if possible. You are more likely to have adoption from grass roots up rather than management down.
Synergy Sustainability Institute: member since 2017