A Better City is committed to net zero business operations by engaging in energy conserving behavior, utilizing alternative commuting methods, investing in energy efficiency and lastly, offsetting 100% of electricity consumption, employee commuting and business travel.
Environmental Policies and Procedures
- 2011 Goal – decrease electric consumption by 5%
- Offset 100% of electricity bill with renewable wind power
- Turn off computers and monitors before leaving the office at the end of the day
- Set computers to sleep mode if the employee will be absent for 30 minutes
- Turn lights off when leaving the bathroom, personal office or a meeting room
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils during our bi-annual office cleaning
- Set thermostat deadzone of 68 - 74 degrees
- Draw shades during the summer to avoid solar heat
- Take advantage of daylighting and turn off office lighting
- Turn off all lights, printers and power strips at the close of each business day
- Purchase beverages in bulk containers and provide reusable glassware, plates, silverware and napkins for catered meetings and events
- Procure food from local providers like Au Bon Pain, Rebecca's Café, Flour or Boloco for catered meetings and events
- Procure office supplies from local vendors
- For external print jobs, soy-based ink and 100% post consumer waste printer, Recycled Paper Printing, Inc.
- Consider fold & mail style for marketing materials to eliminate envelope.
- Conserve water when washing hands or dishes
- Provide filtered water and juice in carafes for catered meetings and events
- Employees are allowed to park their bikes inside the office during inclement weather
- Employees are encouraged to walk, bike or take transit to meetings and events
- A Better City pays for half of employees' monthly transit passes
- A Better City will offset 100% of employees' commute and business travel
- All documents and packages being delivered locally will utilize bicycle courier services: Marathon and USA Courier for documents and Metro Pedal Power for packages.
- Bring reusable bags when purchasing meals
- Provide French press coffee for breakfast meetings
- Ask lunch meeting invitees to RSVP to reduce food waste
- Host zero waste lunch meetings (forgiving the disposal of recyclables)
- Avoid printing when not necessary
- Set printers to produce double sided pages and eliminate printing banner pages
- Include a green printing request in all email signatures:
If you need to print this email or any attachments, reuse and recycle the paper
- Recycle all eligible paper materials, including white and fax paper, post-it notes, envelopes, junk mail, newspapers and cardboard
- Recycle all eligible plastic, aluminum and glass materials
- Use reusable glasses, mugs, napkins and towels
- Recycle all CFL bulbs, batteries and electronic waste in hazardous waste bins in printer room
- Sign up to a junk mail elimination service like DMAchoice.
Partnerships & Affiliations
Challenge for Sustainability
A Better City not only hosts the Challenge for Sustainability program to our members and businesses in the City of Boston, but we are an active participant in the program. During 2010, we raised our Challenge score from a 24 to a 43, an increase of 85%. This was accomplished by engaging in the following environmental initiatives:
- Made custom draft stoppers for windows to increase comfort, reduce noise and reduce building owner's gas expense.
- Instituting a buy local policy
- Developed green policies and procedures (seen above)
- Hired a sustainability coordinator
- Establish a green team
- Coordinate sustainability efforts with property manager
- Institute a sustainability pledge
- Provide secure and covered bike parking
- Installed faucet aerators on sinks
- Turn off or remove non-essential lighting
For 2011, we have an aggressive action plan in the hopes of increasing our score by 15%.
Sustainable Business Leaders Program
A Better City is excited to announce its acceptance into the Sustainable Business Leader Program (SBLP). The organization has committed to implementing sustainable business practices and reducing its carbon footprint through SBLP's comprehensive program, which addresses seven areas: waste reduction; water conservation; energy conservation; transportation mitigations and pollution prevention; local procurement & local food; and sustainability management. As part of the program, A Better City has created a "Green Team" of staff volunteers to enact these changes and help "green" the company's on-going behavior, culture and company mentality.
The SBLP was formed in 2008 through collaboration between the Department of Environmental Protection and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. It has worked with more than 60 businesses across Greater Boston, guiding them towards becoming environmentally sustainable leaders in the community. Each business completes SBLP's rigorous assessment and receives personalized technical assistance over a six-month period prior to achieving eligibility for Sustainable Business Leader certification.
Carbonfund.org is A Better City's provider of carbon offsets for annual employee commutes and business travel, yielding 5 tons of carbon.
Eco-promotional Products is A Better City's vendor for our annual Challenge for Sustainability recognition party. In 2010, this company supplied A Better City with recycled glass and bamboo awards, and planted trees on A Better City's behalf (certificate ).
Awards and Recognition
Green Power Partner from the EPA (certificate )
2011 Bicycle Friendly Business, Bronze Award
2011 Green Business Award recipient from the City of Boston
2011 Excellence in Commuter Options Award