Green Business Challenge at Cosand

From March 2009 until October 2010, I volunteered our Cosand Center for a St Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) challenge supervised by the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center.  Sixty businesses and 5 schools joined to compete against our sustainable practices baseline.  This experience taught me a great deal about where to start (green team formation), what was doable (Paper Reduction Challenge) and what lies on the longer journey (policy creation).  For the baseline, I didn’t take points for practices like lighting retrofits that were in operation on the campuses and just beginning at Cosand. Our baseline was 36 out of a possible 150 points across the following categories: outreach, energy, indoor environmental quality, waste, water, and transportation.  This put us in the Acorn category.  Many companies in this challenge, like AT&T, HOK, and Missouri Botanical Gardens, have been leading the community with their practices.  These major league players were in the Oak Tree category.  RCGA hosted the monthly sessions to help participants gather information on major categories.  I really enjoyed meeting the greenies from these inspiring companies and hearing about their strategies.  What I liked best about this challenge was this collaboration, support and inspiration for walking the walk with these giants.  Eric Schneider of RCGA, Jean Ponzi and Glenda Abney of the Garden all rock! They encouraged and coached me to reach for innovation points like our new Green Website and the district wide paper reduction started by Human Resources with PeopleAdmin. Special thanks to my green champions on the Cosand Green Team who helped me with the paper reduction challenge, and to John Duarte for his tireless help to evaluate and make changes to our facilities to earn us points. I couldn’t have done the Green web pages without George Sackett’s advocacy.  Further thanks to my fearless leader, Carla Chance, who has helped move us towards greening our operation policies, especially in the paper reduction areas.  At the end of this six month journey, we submitted for 104 points!  That is a 150% improvement.  I am humbled by the incredible commitment of my fellow “Heroes of the Planet.”  I believe our Acorn has blossomed into a mighty role model too.

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One response to “Green Business Challenge at Cosand

  1. Congratulations on making such an improvement! It sounds like the challenge was a great experience.

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