Sustainability

Sustainability

We’ve always been conscious around sustainability, but in 2014, we launched the audacious goal of becoming The Most Sustainable Professional Services Company in the World. The reason? We’d like lots of companies to try to beat us. Hopefully we lose, many times. 

There are hundreds of professional services company reducing their impact on the globe and setting the standard for other companies to mimic.  Here’s where we are so far. We welcome criticism, ideas and general ramblings. You can track news of our efforts here on our blog, Engage Thinking.

What we’re working on…

  • Herb bins for employees
  • Insulating all outlets/doorways/windows
  • Serving local wines
  • Installing vampire energy strips
  • Providing Citibike annual memberships to NY-based team-mates.
  • Subsidising bike equipment for employees
  • Deploying locally made soap in bathrooms.

In 2014, we’ll be moving from leased office space to owned space. This will allow us to:

  • Rehab a historic building.
  • Install water barrels.
  • Install solar energy generation.
  • Offset grid energy use.
  • Investigate a grey-water system.

Still a long way to go.

Paper

Our stationary and workshop materials are produced with unbleached, 100% post-consumer recycled content at a US-based mill that’s powered by hydro-electricity.

 

Printer paper is all 100% post-consumer waste recycled, chlorine free. We double side print, obviously.

 

Recycling bins at everyone’s desk ensure all paper and cardboard are recycled.

 

Client sensitive material is shredded, then industrially composted.

 

Paper towels are 7th Generation unbleached recycled paper.

 

Seventh Generation brand bathroom tissue and facial tissues are made of 1005 recycled (minimum 50% post consumer waste) paper, whitened without bleach. Bathroom tissue rolls are donated to the local children’s museum for art projects.

 

We encourage use of reusable cloth towels in bathrooms, but the optional paper towel waste is composted.

 

Our flip charts are made from 80% sugarcane waste.

 

Large scale commercial printing is produced at our print partner, located half a mile from the Richmond Studio. We print on recycled and recyclable poster board rather than polystyrene.

 

We deploy PaperKarma.com to suppress in-bound junkmail.

 

We ship client gifts in re-used paper grocery bags.

Catering / Food

We source most of our catering from a lebanese restaurant two blocks from the Richmond Studio where food is prepared from raw ingredients on site.

 
Food and drinks are served in reusable flatware, mugs, glasses and crockery or, for large scale events, compostable materials.

 
Frontier branded chocolates are made in Richmond by Kelly’s Chocolate.

 
Frontier’s coffee is fair trade certified and roasted in Richmond by Blanchard’s.

 
We’re known to occasionally serve a beer or two. Sourced locally from our friends at Hardywood Craft Brewery.

 
Fruit, available to employees and guests, are sourced at the local farmers market, available seasonally.

 
We encourage employees to take home any leftover food from client events. Any waste food, napkins and disposable flatware is industrially composted.

 
We provide compostable plastic bags for employees to bring in food waste from home to be dropped at the Studio for industrial composting.

 
We’re part of the “Meat-Free Mondays” food movement, encouraging employees to consider the environmental impact of large scale meat consumption.

Timber / Cork

Our desks are constructed of sawhorses and FSC certified wooden doors.
Cork notice boards and, erm detritus of wine drinking, are all recycled.

Water

Bottled water is not available in the studio.
We provide filtered tap water to employees and guests.
We provide reusable steel water bottles to all employees (and guests who wish for one).

Glass

All glass is recycled, though we minimise the use of glass in packaging due to its transportation weight.

 

Glass containers for our locally-made custom candles are returned for re-use.

 

Plastic

Disposable cutlery and water bottles are banned from the Studio.
We recycle all plastics of numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5.
We recycle all #2 and #4 plastic grocery bags, and encourage employees to bring in their plastic bags for recycling.
The pens we provide to employees are Pilot B2B brand, made from recycled plastic water bottles.
Our printer cartridges are refilled for multiple use.
For the limited amount of trash we generate, we use compostable plastic trash bags.
We donate all #6 (non-recyclable) plastics to the art studio at the Richmond Children’s Museum for re-use.

Energy

CFLs are installed across the Studio. We’re migrating to LEDs with each upgrade of lighting.   We base our teams in co-working spaces in New York and Miami, sharing energy use with multiple other technology/entrepreneurial companies.   Timers are installed on lighting in public spaces to ensure usage minimized when Studio is closed.   We have interior bike storage facilities (the “bike shed”) with subsidised cost showers at a gym two blocks from the studio.   For every commute journey leg that a Richmond-based employee makes by foot or by bike, we donate $2.50 to BikeWalkRVA, the 501C3 tasked with developing bike and pedestrian transportation options in the city. We have a communal “FrontierBike” available for employees at the Studio to use to travel to nearby meetings. 100% of NY-based employees commute by public transport. All employees are free to work from home, commute-free, at will.   The Studio cleaning crew travel to/from the Studio by bicycle.   Signage in bathrooms encourages employees to use only cold water for hand washing.   We have programmable thermostats in each wing of the Studio, ensuring energy use is cranked down on evenings and weekends.   During spring and fall, windows are open in the temperate central Virginia climate of our Richmond studio with A/C and heat turned off.   Amtrak stations are within walking distance of our NY and RVA locations. We encourage train travel wherever possible.   We purchase carbon offsets for all train and plane business travel.   We use Fedex carbon neutral shipping for document and package shipment.

Electronics

Legacy computer equipment is wiped and donated to local schools.

 

Redundant electronic equipment is recycled.

 

Mobile phones, batteries, and CFLs are all recycled (we also take our employees waste from home for recycling).

 

CDs and DVDs are donated to the local Children’s Museum Art Studio as supplies.

Studio Supplies

Candles used in the Studio and for client gifts are made locally of soy. The glass candle containers are returned for re-use.   Paperclips: 100% recycled (50% pcw)   Our desks are constructed of recyclable steel sawhorses.   The cleaning crew for our studio use only non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning materials.

Re-use

We maintain a large Goodwill bin in the Studio for employees to donate materials from the Studio and from home that may be re-used by community members. Employees are encouraged to “dumpster dive” and take at will.

 

Furniture is donated to Caritas, a local charity that treats those suffering from addiction and supports re-housing.