This is our Second Annual Sustainability Report, outlining our recent and continuing efforts to increase our triple bottom line (people, planet, profit). We will continue reporting our progress as we become increasingly efficient and more beneficial to our community. Each section of this report will cover a topic of sustainability and what EFS has done or is doing about it.
We have used a benchmarking tool developed by the Maine Businesses for Sustainability (MBS) and the Management Center for Conservation Sciences to measure and improve our business’s environmental impact and long term profitability, improving our initial score of 50 (on a scale of 0 to 100) by 25 points, making us a Sustainability Leader. We’ve found the assessment to be an invaluable tool for any business interested in long term prosperity.
WASTE: While continuing to use single stream recycling and composting, we have worked to reduce the use of disposable products and the use of paper. We now have reusable plates, cups, bowls, and silverware. We have also converted to paperless audits and tax preparation, which by July of 2013, had reduced our paper usage by 75%. The switch to paperless will not only save us paper, but time, space, toner, and printer maintenance.
ENERGY: Since our initial energy audit, we have continued to make upgrades to our 100+ year old building. We recently participated in an Efficiency Maine program to have 6 hours of air sealing done. We also installed a new heat pump in our front room that will reduce our heating and cooling costs. The heat pump qualified for a $600 rebate from Bangor Hydro.
WATER: We’ve converted our toilets to a dual flush system that allows people to use less water for liquids and more for solids. We’ve calculated our savings to be over 3,000 gallons per year.
AIR: An important part of sustainable living is paying attention to what we put in the air we breathe. We continue to use paint with low or zero VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals). All of our new furniture that has been purchased is certified to be low VOC.
COMMUNITY: Our staff regularly gives back to the community by serving on boards, volunteering, and making other contributions. Recently, Greg worked with Bangor Greendrinks to have two bike racks installed in downtown Bangor. Al has been working with the Penobscot County Conservation Association and the American Chestnut Foundation to plant thousands of trees in a national attempt to restore the American Chestnut.
WELLNESS: The health and happiness of our employees is paramount to our long term goals and prosperity. For years we have incentivized healthy lifestyles with wellness reimbursement for gym memberships to bicycles to even walking shoes. This past year, we brought in nutrition and fitness experts from the Bangor Y to give weekly classes. We found that the steady prodding of health experts proved to be the most effective way to form good habits. We also administered the staff purchased Community Supported Agriculture shares. Every Tuesday, from June to September, our CSA Farmer has been dropping off a cornucopia of fresh produce to our staff. We also jointly order from a local dairy who delivers products each Thursday. We hope you enjoyed our Sustainability Report. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email our sustainability coordinator: Greg@efscpa.com