Boly:Welch helps employees 'get religion' for sustainability
By Matthew Kish
Diane Boly and Pat Welch and their firm's green team integrate sustainability on a day-to-day basis at Boly:Welch.
Look no further than the trunk of Carie Strahorn’s car for an illustration of Boly:Welch’s commitment to sustainability.
Each Friday Strahorn loads the company’s full compost bin — brimming with avocado peels, sandwich crusts and coffee grinds — and drives it to her house for proper disposal.
Those sorts of efforts helped make Boly:Welch a finalist for sustainable operations in this year’s Sustainable Business Oregon awards.
Strahorn isn’t even in charge of Boly:Welch’s effort to protect the environment. That responsibility goes to Heather Gordon, who heads the company’s roughly five-year-old green team.
Other efforts of the team:
- Energy-efficient lighting.
- Rechargeable batteries for office equipment.
- Paying to have computers and other electronic equipment recycled.
- Low-flow toilets.
- Recycled paper products.
- Encouraging the use of public transportation.
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The company has made recycling and sustainability a part of each work day. Each worker gets a basket for recycling, but nobody gets a personal garbage can, a strategy that encourages recycling and composting.
The company also bought reusable clam-shell food containers for workers who frequent food carts for lunch.
Each workers also gets a cloth napkin. Another worker takes them home very weekend and washes them.
The company has a communal car — a gas-sipping Nissan Cube — that workers can use for appointments during the day. That means fewer workers need to drive to work.
“Everything Boly:Welch does in regards to their daily routines as well as long-term goals has sustainability at the heart of it,” said Debbie Thomas of Debbie Thomas Real Estate, in nominating Boly:Welch for the award. “The protection and support of the environment is at the forefront of everything Boly:Welch does.”
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