The St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, has just completed a tenth year of work with companies across the bi-state region to advance sustainability as a business solution. At an awards celebration held Friday, December 6 in Lakeside Café at the Saint Louis Zoo, 61 businesses, non-profits and local government entities were recognized for their work this year to integrate sustainable policies and practices into their operations.
Twelve companies received Awards of Achievement for participation at the Challenge Apprentice Level, including Summers Compton Wells LLC. At the Apprentice level, companies work with a menu of fundamental sustainability policies and practices. Each participant chooses to work on measures that will best advance their business goals and fit with company culture. Services include a training seminar, customized coaching, peer-to-peer learning in a report-out seminar, and the opportunity to network and learn at monthly Challenge programs.
"Participating in The Green Business Challenge helped our firm explore new ways to achieve our daily activities in a way that is more sustainable and conscious of our environmental impact. Our industry has always been paper intensive and it has been a welcome challenge to find new ways to address our paper usage and the disposal of our used paper. In the past months, in part due to the Green Business Challenge, we have implemented solutions to recycle much of our used paper and to help avoid the excessive use of paper in the future."
Challenge Apprentice participants can advance to the Leader Level, using a scorecard that details a broad range of options to “green” the kinds of everyday operations common to every business.
The St. Louis Green Business Challenge supports companies and local government entities’ voluntary efforts to conserve energy and water, reduce waste through recycling and other practices, advance sustainable transportation options, enhance biodiversity on company property, and educate and engage employees around sustainable thinking and practice.
Since the Challenge launched in 2010, 233 companies, non-profits and municipalities have joined the Challenge. This participation has engaged over 155,000 employees and nearly 470,000 residents, for a total of 620,000 individuals influenced by this work, across our regional economy. Ongoing sustainability commitment is strong: 56% of these companies have participated in the Challenge for two or more years, 41% for three years or more. Twelve companies comprise the Challenge Green Decade Honor Roll, as participants for all ten program years.
“The Green Business Challenge is a successful and innovative example of how we can use competition and collaboration to improve both the economic and environmental health of our region,” said Bob Woodruff, CFO of the Missouri Botanical Garden. “As delivered by our sustainability division, the EarthWays Center, the Garden is proud to lead this challenge to embrace sustainable practices for our business and civic community.”
Glenda Abney, Interim Vice President of Education and Director of the Garden’s Earth Ways Center adds, “The Challenge cultivates a powerful combination of business and sustainability expertise across the St. Louis region. Working together with company Green Teams, our program team is able to guide strategic implementation of sustainability measures toward efficient, cost-effective results in accord with each company’s own goals and culture. The companies’ outcomes, in turn, advance our goal of making sustainability work, across our regional economy.”
The St. Louis Green Business Challenge will launch its eleventh year of sustainable business services in March, 2020. To learn more, visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com
Mallory Fisk proposed the sustainability challenge to the Firm after learning about the opportunity through her position on the Young Friends Council of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Summers Compton Wells’s “Going Green” initiative was impressively led by Donna Sobkoviak. Donna implemented environmentally friendly changes throughout the office, including; only using paper that has at least 30% post-consumer recycled content, maintaining only electronic client files in many cases, and posting “no vehicle idling” signs for deliveries. To read more about the Summers Compton Wells LLC Sustainability policies and practices see: http://www.summerscomptonwells.com/sustainability.html
St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, assists companies in integrating sustainable measures into their daily operations. Initiated in 2010, originally in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Challenge delivers “Triple Bottom Line” results (fiscal, social and environmental) to businesses of all types and sizes across the St. Louis region. Challenge activity influences the business, educational, governmental and non-profit sectors of the St. Louis regional economy. The program works for building owners and tenants, supporting companies new to the concept of sustainable business operations and those already engaged and ready to fully integrate sustainable options.