Honest self examination

Michael Payne | April 12th, 2007 | , ,

Treehugger.com has a useful section on How to Green Your Work.

What’s the Big Deal?
A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line. Whether you’re the boss or the employee, whether your office is green already or still waiting to see the light, some practical steps can lay the groundwork for a healthy, low-impact workspace.

They include a Top 10 List so I thought it would be an interesting exercise to do an honest self examination to see how we stack up here at Pelago.

Here is my assessment of how we are doing and where we can improve.

1. More work, less energy

We tend to have our computers set to save energy pretty good, but we do not utilize smart energy strips right now. If we spent a few hours looking around at our office we definitely could cut back our energy consumption more. All in all we tend to do a pretty good job here. I give us a B.

2. Digitize

We do pretty good here. We don’t print much at all except when necessary. Our contracts are our primary printed item. We try to send our invoices in digital format as much as we can. With Intervals everything is digital and we committed to not mailing anything to our customers. There really isn’t a reason to. All invoices are electronic and to date we haven’t used any paper for promotional materials except for business cards. I give us an A.

3. Don’t be a paper pusher

We recycle and reuse boxes as much as we can. Unfortunately our double sided printer jams like crazy. I’d give us an A.

4. Greening the commute

One Pelago employee rides his bike to work 80% of the time and everyone can work from home as much as they like. Three of our employees work out of the office at least one day per week. For those of us that do drive, we definitely could do a better of car pooling and using public transit. I give us a B+ here.

5. Green sleeves

This is an area that we definitely can improve upon. I don’t think many of us deeply consider the materials in the clothes we buy. I give us a D here.

6. Work from home

I just mentioned this one above. This is definitely an option for everyone that works at Pelago. It can be a little tricky depending on your job function, but this is part of our culture for work/life reasons as much as cutting traffic time. I’d give us an A.

7. Use green materials

We do a pretty good here with print cartridges, cleaning materials, etc. I give us a B.

8. Redesign the workspace

We have a lot of natural light, but we need to do a better job with the types of lights we use and with energy use in general. We live in a pretty moderate climate, but our monthly energy use if higher than we would like it to be. We are actively investigation our Air Conditioning system to see if we can make improvements. I give us a B-.

9. Lunch time

We tend to either eat out or order in. Obviously when we order in we are paper wasters. I give us a C.

10. Get others in on the act

We have been in business for seven years at Pelago and I think we are finally getting around to owning up to our responsibilites and making conscientious decisions. Sharing of our journey to be good stewards is finally starting to take shape, but I don’t think we have thoroughly articulated our commitments well. It is definitely in the background more with our group. I give us a B-.

All in all I give us a B/B-. Some areas we do a really good job, but other areas are moving more to the front of our minds.

Feel free to check yourself to see how you are doing. It’s definitely a useful mental exercise. The areas we need to work on are much more clear to me now.

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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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