Boulder Associates’ updated Sustainable Business Practices policy
July 26, 2012//
One of our missions here at Boulder Associates is to promote environmental stewardship throughout the company.
We describe environmental stewardship to include those ideas, strategies, tools, practices, and approaches that lead to environmental improvement in a manner that is sustainable over time, considers the long term effects as well as the shorter term, more immediate effects, and that which contributes positively to the social and economic condition of the firm, the community, and those whose lives we touch through our work.
The following are some of the ways which we have found to carry out this initiative, and we expect that all employees will participate in our endeavor:
- Boulder Associates has been a U.S. Green Building Council member since February 2001, and is a founding member of the USGBC’s Colorado Chapter.
- Boulder Associates was a charter member of the Healthy Building Network’s Pharos Project which seeks to define a consumer-driven vision of truly green building materials and establish a method for evaluation that is in harmony with principles of environmental health and justice.
- The Boulder Office was certified LEED-CI v2 Gold in October of 2005, as was the Sacramento Office in 2008. The Irvine Office is located within a LEED Silver O&M building.
- All offices are powered by renewable energy (such as wind, solar, & biomass) through the purchase of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates.
- All employees are provided with commuter mass transit benefits. Our Boulder and Sacramento offices have access to bicycles that employees may use to run errands.
- Emissions from round-trip air travel and car rental are offset by planting trees. One tree is planted for each round-trip flight taken, and for each car rented by an employee for business travel. Offsets are calculated and purchased quarterly.
- Emissions from personal automobile travel are offset through the purchase of TerraPasses. The firm splits the costs of the TerraPasses 50/50 with staff, and participation is voluntary.
- All offices have no smoking policies.
- The Director of Sustainable Design is available to assist all staff and project teams to achieve their sustainable design goals; the current director is Kristi Ennis.
- Employees are encouraged to become LEED accredited. The office pays for the first attempt of the LEED accreditation exam, and provides study materials for use in preparing for the exam.
- Socially responsible mutual funds are offered through the 401(k) program.
- Teleconferencing, videoconferencing, electronic documents and FTP sites are used to reduce travel and paper use.
- Reusable plates, mugs, cups and silverware are provided. When disposables are necessary, compostable products are provided at offices with composting programs. Compostable dishware purchased is made in the U.S.
- The Boulder and San Francisco offices have an aggressive composting program. Other offices will implement similar programs when they become locally available.
- Folders, binders, boxes and packing material are reused.
- Everything possible that cannot be reused by our office or staff is transferred for reuse or recycled (incl. computers, monitors, product samples, cell phones, furniture, etc.). We ensure that the computer and electronics recycling services with whom we work are environmentally responsible, to guarantee intact reuse and/or safe disassembly and reuse of component materials.
- Environmentally preferable purchasing includes paper, folders, envelopes, binders, utensils, tissues, and paper towels.
- Rechargeable batteries and charging stations are available for employee use, as well as, battery collection areas for recycling non-rechargeable used alkaline batteries.
- Fair trade and/or organic coffee is offered.
- Fluorescent lamp replacement policies require that all lamps purchased for the offices are low mercury content.
- All computers and copiers are set to go to standby after 30 minutes (or less) of no activity.
- Copies are made double-sided whenever possible, and marketing materials allow for emailing of items when appropriate.
- Printer toner cartridges are refilled (offsite).
- All purchases and leases of electronic equipment and appliances are evaluated for ENERGY STAR compliance.
- Contracts with cleaning companies require use of “Green Cleaning” methods and products.