It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also about being a good environmental neighbor.
For several years Gap Inc. has been ‘going green’ by reducing waste and energy use in our stores and offices in New York and San Francisco.
As a company we’ve saved 300 miles in paper alone after a number of our employees switched to paperless paystubs.
Our New York headquarters is Gold LEED-certified and we have LEED-certified stores in Texas and Canada too. Several of our store designers and members of our facilities teams have become LEED accredited professionals as well.
This month our San Francisco head office is going green in part to help our company achieve a 20 percent reduction goal in absolute U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2015. They’ll be doing things like using reusable cups, which is expected to save 2.3 million disposable cups and lids from hitting landfills.
Here at our New York headquarters, we have recycling bins and a side trash car for trash at our desks that we’re responsible for emptying ourselves. We also separate our own food waste, composting old food in the appropriate bins.
I’ve always thought that waste is just a resource out of place. So I love the fact that I can take that mentality to work everyday and play my part in keeping our offices green. We’re conserving more raw materials, helping to protect the environment, saving energy and money and reducing waste products in landfill. Simple, everyday actions like these – and thinking carefully about what we consume, reuse and repurpose – can make a big impact.
Our company continues to focus its environmental efforts by looking at innovative ways to increase recycling and composting to reduce what goes to landfill. The company has also established a Sustainable Building and Operations working group to identify ways to build, remodel and operate our stores, distribution centers and headquarters offices more efficiently.
Of course, there’s still plenty of work to do. But at least we’re moving in the right direction. And we’re all in it together, a concept I can only hope becomes contagious outside of our walls as well.