NWEI’s EcoChallenge: Energizing Change! Sustainable Business Oregon Article Highlights Capital Pacific’s EcoChallenge

Kristen Connor and Kimberley Angove, Co-chairs of Capital Pacific Bank's Green Team
Kristen Connor and Kimberley Angove, Co-chairs of Capital Pacific Bank’s Green Team

Welcome to the 2013 EcoChallenge! Sustainable Business Oregon featured the below article yesterday, highlighting Capital Pacific Bank’s Green Team EcoChallenge efforts. For the full article, click here.

Editor’s note (from Sustainable Business Oregon): In conjunction with the Northwest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge, we invited participating companies to discuss their experience in the event, which drives businesses to seek more sustainable solutions. The event starts Oct. 15. Here’s one of those reports from Capital Pacific’s “Green Team” leaders.

At Capital Pacific Bank, green is a way of doing business.

We’ve grown beyond recycling and energy efficiency, creating a corporate culture of sustainability that has developed from the ground up. What started as a small group interested in launching a Green Team has grown into a corporate-wide philosophy of community involvement, local economic success and conserving environmental resources.

This commitment is a key driver in everything we do. We often hear from our customers that banking with us is a high priority because of our demonstrated commitment to our planet. Every day, we see how these shared values allow us to engage with our customers on a deeper level.

When we first learned about the Northwest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge, we saw the perfect opportunity to challenge our employees to take action, while making a difference for the planet. The results were so successful, that we’re now getting ready to participate in our second EcoChallenge.

Here’s how the NW Earth Institute EcoChallenge works.

First, you set one goal to reduce your environmental impact. There are five categories to select from: water, energy, food, waste or transportation. The idea is to pick a stretch goal, something that takes you outside your comfort zone. Then, for two weeks, you take action toward that goal.

During the 2012 EcoChallenge, Capital Pacific Bank took on waste reduction. By the end of the challenge, our staff was eager to do more in this area both at home and at work. The challenge inspired our Green Team to conduct an internal audit of our own garbage and look for ways to manage and reduce the material we were adding to the waste stream. Over the next several months, we launched several mini-campaigns:

We borrowed an idea from PECI Inc., to partner with our local Starbucks and reduce the use of disposable coffee cups;
We partnered with Free Geek to collect and recycle e-waste;
We partnered with B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery to collect and deliver Styrofoam for recycling.

All of these activities led to more robust Green Team objectives and broadened our thinking about sustainability to include nutrition, which influenced the formation of a Wellness Team focusing on health, fitness and food.

In the end, we discovered that the Northwest Earth Institute EcoChallenge inspired and engaged our employees. And that’s what the EcoChallenge is really about: creating habits that are good for the planet.

As we gear up for this year’s EcoChallenge, set for Oct. 15 through Oct. 30, we’re aiming for 100 percent participation among our 36 staff members. Inspired by our new Wellness Team, and a Northwest Earth Institute course called A World of Health, many of our staff will take actions that promote individual health and a healthier environment. Whether that’s eliminating containers that have BPA, cleaning with safer products or turning down the thermostat to save energy at home, we are ready to seize the moment and make it happen…

For the full piece, click here.

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