Real businesses find real benefits to becoming more sustainable.
Enhanced employee morale and retention
To boost employee engagement and retention, the co-owners of Standing Stone Brewing Company offered a custom fit Trek commuter bike to any employee who had worked at the brewpub for 1,000 hours and agreed to ride the bike to work at least 45 times a year. The bikes came adorned with the employees' initials, Standing Stone branded bike stickers and a class (from an instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists) on how to "drive" their bike. The owners worked with the city to replace two parking spaces in front of the brewery/restaurant with a bicycle rack. Employee retention increased dramatically, the owner’s time spent recruiting and training new staff fell, and customers and employees alike enjoyed using the colorful bike rack out front.
Improved employee communication
Harrington Bank started a green team to implement sustainability projects. What they hadn’t anticipated was that having a green team would facilitate communications among staff in different departments and improve employee morale. The bank received an award from the local green business program for their efforts. The Bank Manager noted that she keeps the award in her office where it serves as a frequent reminder to her, her colleagues, and people visiting the bank that their greening efforts are appreciated.
Frog Hollow Farm is a stone fruit orchard whose owner had been wanting to compost the large volume of branches, roots, trunks, and unsellable fruit. With technical advice from a molecular biologist, the owner invested in a shredder and windrow turner. Today, the finished compost goes back onto the land - creating healthier, more drought-resistant soil and saving the orchard money on water, fertilizer and soil amendments.