Checkbox recently re-located to Chase Mills in Watertown, MA, one of the oldest LEED certified buildings in the country. While our landlords deserve all the credit for attaining LEED EB Gold certification, we have been inspired by their initiatives as well as by the beautiful Charles River Reservation, which is right outside our door. Below are a few ways Checkbox is going green – send us a comment if you have more great ideas on how companies can lessen their negative environmental impact.
- No more CDs. We used to send physical CDs to every customer who purchased the server version of our software. It dawned on us one day, after tossing a bunch of outdated Checkbox CDs, that most of our customers probably throw away their Checkbox discs since they receive the electronic version of the software immediately upon order. Not only were the CDs ending up in a landfill, but we were increasing our carbon footprint by sending them airmail all over the world. So now we only print and send CDs to customers who specifically request them – 95% of our customers do just fine with the greener, electronic alternative.
- We’ve ditched the paper plates and cups in favor of real dishes. Even though we were recycling our disposable plates, cups, and flatware, we were creating a lot of waste by using throwaways. Now we use real dishes and wash them in an energy efficient dishwasher. Added bonus – we actually feel like grown-ups eating lunch with china and silverware!
- Recycling – the easiest thing you can do for the earth. We have bins for paper, plastic/glass/aluminum, and cardboard all over the office. We take all our toner cartridges, old electronics, and batteries to the local recycling center and give away or sell extra usable furniture or equipment rather than send it to a landfill. And you better believe that anyone who gets caught throwing out a plastic cup or piece of paper is publicly put to shame!
- We offer a fringe transportation benefit for employees who bike to work. One of our cycling employees brought it to our attention that the IRS allows a $20/mo tax free fringe benefit to offset the costs of cycling to work. We have several employees who reduce their emissions by biking to work every day – we hope this benefit will encourage even more to do so.
- Shut off the lights (and computers and printers and fax machines)! Ok, we take it back – this is even easier than recycling. But driving past cities at night, it’s shocking how many people leave their office lights on! We use compact fluorescents during the day, turn off the lights on sunny days, and turn off all computers and lights before we leave at night.
- We try to maintain as paperless an office as possible. Inter-office communications are emailed, many customer invoices are emailed, and we’re working on going paperless with our invoices and payroll reports. Old habits die hard in the Accounting office, but we’re trying.
- And last but not least, we are researching ISO 14001 certification. Stay tuned for details on our Environmental Management System.
Thanks for reading and please contact us with any other ways you think we can go greener!