We believe that the green practices we apply daily in our internal operations can be replicated by our clients and the community, and we regularly carry that message to our stakeholders and the public.
Our online interviews with critical environmental thinkers and planners, webinars, guest blog posts, and the time-tested advice we provide to our clients are just some of the ways we share our environmental knowledge.
On the community front, we leverage outreach and engagement to disseminate the environmental, social and economic benefits of practicing eco-leadership. We facilitate environmental workshops, chair green business councils, present findings to community groups and government commissions, and sponsor awards to recognize local environmental leaders.
Leveraging a staff of ardent conservationists, Marstel-Day’s employee-driven Green Vision Council assists in developing plans, monitoring implementation, and then reporting back on progress in the areas of:
- Green procurement
Purchases from “green” vendors and of “green” products, such as furniture (e.g., workstation walls, desks, and file cabinets) and paper products (e.g., copy paper, letterhead, envelopes, folders, promotional materials, facial tissues, and napkins) are strongly encouraged, and are actively tracked in our billing system
- Energy efficiency, including building and electronics management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
In 2014, the company replaced all of its T12 light fixtures with T5s. The company also partners with Dominion Power to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs), and with Carbonfund.org to purchase carbon offsets for all of its employee work-related travel (driving and flying miles) and building footprints.
- Waste reduction, through material reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting
As part of our recycling and composting efforts, Marstel-Day conducts an annual waste audit to track how much plastic and compostable waste is collected. The 2015 audit showed that the company kept approximately 40 percent of its overall waste out of the landfill. Our goal is achieve and maintain a 50 percent diversion rate across all offices through ongoing recycling and composting initiatives.
- Water conservation
The company installed low-flow faucet aerators in its office kitchens and restrooms to reduce water use. In the company garden, we have planted drought-tolerant plants to conserve water.
- Pollution prevention
Our pollution prevention efforts focus on the use of low-toxicity equipment and supplies. We purchase environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, and use soy-based and other low VOC inks and/or solid phase (cartridge-free, crayon-based) printers for printing.
- Public outreach and engagement
The company’s public outreach and engagement efforts include hosting our Stand with Wildlife campaign, hosting quarterly CLEAR events, and participating in annual Earth Day activities. The company also collaborates with the local Chamber of Commerce, the University of Mary Washington, the George Washington Regional Commission, local environmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address regional issues.
Our Green Vision Council’s efforts have led to the development of dedicated teams of staff which have helped identify and order green kitchen and office supplies, implemented recycling for electronics and difficult-to-recycle plastics, established a partnership with the local community garden to compost kitchen waste, instituted the use of recycling “stations”, identified local green vendors, planted and maintained native plants, piloted ride-share programs, ensured that all employees have smart strips to control phantom power usage, and arranged for company computers to default to two-sided black and white printing. At a more global level, the entire staff participates in an annual Earth Day event in the community, and has contributed to the development of a company-wide Climate Change Adaptation Plan that identifies key climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for each of our office locations.
Leveraging a multi-year partnership with Carbonfund.org, Marstel-Day annually offsets its carbon footprint, and designates the payment to go to reforestation or avoided de-forestation projects within the United States.
Marstel-Day was recertified in 2017 as a Sustainable Service Provider by the National Standards Foundation – one of only a few service providers in the nation to achieve this honor. These initiatives, among others, demonstrate our commitment to continual learning – to practicing and sharing what we preach. Our success, whether measured by our clients, our communities, or ourselves, will continue to be a function of our ability to remain on the leading edge of environmental thought and practice, and to execute those learnings in ways that can be reproduced for the benefit of others.