Leading by example: St. Louis Green Business Challenge

by Jeanette on January 17, 2011

in About, Green Resources

Congratulations to St. Louis Earth Day and Pure Power for leading by example! The office-sharing duo has received high marks in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge which was launched in February 2010 as an effort to create and sustain regional prosperity by encouraging money-saving green practices among area businesses and organizations. A program of the St. Louis Climate Prosperity Project, a St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) strategic initiative, the Challenge focuses on green savings that, by adopting sustainable business strategies, companies can save money and reduce harm to the environment.

St. Louis Earth Day entered the challenge as a team with its office mates—Pure Power, along with 58 area businesses. Each participant was scored on achievements in the areas of forming company green teams, improving energy efficiency, raising indoor environmental quality, reducing waste, reducing water usage, and promoting/providing clean transportation options. Richard C.D. Fleming, President and CEO of the RCGA talks about the initiative’s success: “RCGA member companies aggressively took up the Challenge and proved that these business strategies can provide “green savings,” by helping grow their bottom lines through sustainable practices. This effort is one of our key initiatives to advance a green economy for our region.”

One example of how a company is helping employees eat locally, support organic agriculture and reduce energy spent on trips to the super market is the in-house farmers market at Mackey Mitchell Architects. As highlighted in the September/October 2010 issue of St. Louis Commerce Magazine, an employee who runs a produce stand on the side brings in organic produce and foods that are in season to the office.

Missouri Botanical Garden’s Earthways Center acted as the Resource Advisor to Challenge participants, organizing informative seminars and performing site visits to help company green teams implement measures in key areas. Additionally, participating companies hosted tours to showcase their accomplishments in sustainable-workplace programs ranging from recycling to building energy improvements to customer and employee education. “This program generated extraordinary excitement in the business community, as the Challenge scorecard guided strategic implementation of internal green practices,” said Glenda Abney, Director of the Earthways Center. “…A significant number of our region’s businesses have expanded their ‘sustainability literacy’ and adopted policies to inform their ongoing work with these options.”

On December 7, representatives from participating businesses converged in the Point of View restaurant at the top of the Laclede Gas Building downtown to recognize each other’s achievements and share ideas for future initiatives. The St. Louis Earth Day/Pure Power team earned a place in the Circle of Excellence. Jeanette Reynolds, Program Manager of St. Louis Earth Day and Cindy Bambini, Senior Ameren Partnership Manager of Pure Power, were present to receive the Award of Merit for the Greatest Gain in the Tenant Category.

Cindy Bambini of Pure Power and Jeanette Reynolds of St. Louis Earth Day accept the Certificate of Merit Award for Tenants in the Oak Category (that's really good), pictured with Jean Ponzi of the Earthways Center and Dick Fleming, President and CEO of the RCGA.

Although the Awards ceremony is over, the Challenge continues with participating organizations and businesses looking for ways to go above and beyond expectations. Be sure to keep up to date on how the St. Louis community is progressing by visiting www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com.

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