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Right thing to do

Before sustainability became a buzz word, we did things because we believe they are right and fair. We still do. They include:

  • Subsidizing mass transit use and carpools
  • Telecommuting
  • Implementing green building practices such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Recycling
  • Providing a tiered benefit structure: higher pay grades bear a higher cost share of employee health insurance

Inspired to do more

Operating in a region that is a leader in sustainability, the example of other great Northwest companies inspired us to become much more purposeful and strategic about sustainability. Now we incorporate it into our operations, use it as a gauge for ourselves, and seek out business partners that share these values and beliefs.

Taking our cue from the "triple bottom line" concept of financial health, environmental stewardship and social progress, our efforts since 2009 are already seeing results:

  • Reduced energy consumption by 12 percent
  • Reduced travel and meeting expenses by 48 percent
  • Reduced paper consumption by 30 percent
    • Further reduction of an additional 17 to 30 percent expected from new printers with greater functionality
    • Network printers use paper containing 30 percent post-consumer content

Expanding existing programs

We examined our current practices to see where we could go further.

Transit

Going beyond subsidizing mass transit, we offer:

  • Zipcar car sharing with no application fee, half-off annual membership fee and discounted rates to Portland/Seattle employees
  • Support of employee-led bike commuter initiative has led to earning a bronze award from the League of American Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly business

Green buildings

All facilities integrate some LEED principles such as:

  • Have minimal impact on indoor air quality
  • Built of recycled or easily recyclable materials
  • Manufactured by companies recognized for their sustainable products and processes

Building stronger communities

Work toward social progress through:

  • Grants to support health clinics in our communities
  • 50 percent match of employee giving campaign to support nonprofits
  • Volunteer opportunities through Community Investment program
  • Worksite wellness opportunities: encouragement, support and rewards

Integrating sustainable practices

Our goal in the years ahead is to expand and build on this early start, to embed sustainability into our culture and operations through:

  • Building sustainability criteria into our purchasing and vendor management evaluation processes
  • Adopting "green" meeting and travel practices
  • Implementing "green teams" across more of our locations to engage front-line employees as ambassadors of our sustainability program

Long-term commitment

We recognize that we have only begun to scratch the surface in our efforts to become a more sustainable organization. We still have a lot to learn and a lot to do. Along the way, we hope to inspire others as other companies have inspired us, to extend the reach of sustainability.