It has been nearly a year since the Cash4Books Sustainability Committee was formed, and our first year has been a great success. The committee is composed of five employees coming from several different departments throughout the company. While we have a wide range of perspectives and areas of focus on the committee, our main mission is to is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable practices at work.
There were several highlights for us in 2010. As a company, we logged over 110 hours of volunteer community outreach! We volunteered with the Children’s Book Bank, Tualatin Riverkeepers and the Oregon Food Bank. We were also happy to provide year-end donations to these organizations as a way of saying thanks for their hard work and dedication to their causes.
In July, we participated as a company in the Carefree Commuter Challenge. The CCC is a friendly competition between companies and organizations in the Portland, Oregon, metro region to see who has the most sustainable commuting habits. Over the course of the month we logged over 1,600 miles using sustainable transportation (defined as public transportation, carpooling, walking and biking). This saved over 65 gallons of gasoline, and prevented the release of 1,300 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Enhancing our recycling program and reducing waste was another area of emphasis for us. We improved the recycling area in our employee break room, and installed a peg board to eliminate the use of disposable cups. We expanded our recycling list to include items like CDs and batteries. Additionally, we continued to reuse and recycle the boxes and packing materials that we receive from our customers who send us their books. Over the course of the year, we recycled 40 tons of material that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
To finish off the year, we installed lighting occupancy sensors in the employee break room and shipping area of our warehouse. These sensors are anticipated to result in a 5% reduction of our annual electricity consumption. Plus, its really cool to have the lights turn on automatically when you walk by the sensors.