In 2017, StackAdapt launched the #HackDiversity initiative, to raise awareness about diversity in tech. An 18 minute documentary was released, calling for an industry effort to address bias in the tech industry. We really loved this initiative, and wanted to do more to bring awareness to other issues in the industry and around the world.
April 22nd is Earth Day, and for some this is the only time sustainability is top of mind. For us at StackAdapt, sustainability is an ever-present and growing concern and we felt it was important to do our part to not only bring awareness to the issue but make some conscious changes.
The Challenge! The #StackAdaptWasteReduction Initiative.
First, we needed to gauge how we were doing when it came to waste, to identify where and how we could make a few adjustments. Our focus would be on (1) Smart Commuting and (2) Waste Reduction (e.g., paper and plastic). A survey was sent company-wide, with questions including:
- What is your current mode of transportation to work?
- How often do you print material at the office?
- How often do you get take out coffee in a week?
- How often do you decline a plastic bag or plastic utensils when you order takeout?
The results were amazing. We found that less than half of respondents print materials in the office, and approximately 30% bike or walk to work – depending on the weather. While the majority, almost 70% take public transit.
The team was very forthcoming with their suggestions. Interestingly, the majority of respondents agreed that their biggest concerns revolved around waste in the office and sustainability as a whole. At the beginning of the initiative, we had a few recycling bins around the office, and compost bins in the kitchen – but it seemed there was an appetite for more, with a need to receive details on what exactly goes where.
We leveraged suggestions that came from the survey results to make some key changes geared specifically toward waste reduction. This is what we have done so far:
- Added additional and larger recycling bins around the office to encourage appropriate waste disposal.
- Added more reusable utensils in the kitchen, to encourage less plastic cutlery from takeout lunches.
- Offered tips to the team through Slack such as: “Did you know that both Starbucks and Tim Hortons offer a “bring your own mug” discount of 10 cents per drink? If you have an out-of-office coffee or tea habit you may wanna consider adopting the #travelmuglife.”
- Created a helpful cheat sheet that explains where to dispose of different products, according to the waste company contracted by our office building. It also provides some best practices for waste reduction such as:
This is just the beginning! From deciding against single use coffee pods, to encouraging better recycling and composting practices, we are committed to continually educating our team – and those around us – about conscientious waste reduction, keeping sustainability top of mind.