Evergreen Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. In 2015, Evergreen took on a new mission to be the most environmentally responsible credit union in the nation. As part of that mission, the credit union created four sustainability goals: carbon neutrality, energy self-sufficiency, water conservation and zero waste. In 2017, the credit union achieved zero waste status through recycling, on- and off-site composting, and reuse. It also diverted 1,733 pounds of waste from landfills through these initiatives. In partnership with a local farm, Evergreen also composted 324 pounds of materials, including bathroom hand towels.
Employee training has been an important part of Evergreen’s zero waste strategy. Every new employee learns how to handle office waste, including putting appropriate food items in the compost bin. Evergreen also has a limited number of trash cans in the building. The credit union also partners with local organizations to recycle the organizations’ special events items, such as plastic film and holiday string light recycling.
A key aspect of the credit union’s waste management program is that most waste is the byproduct of provided services. Evergreen Credit Union actively seeks waste reduction efforts such as utilizing less paper, refraining from providing money envelopes, purchasing products produced with recycled content, and eliminating unneeded office supplies. To support the organization’s efforts, Evergreen employs a Sustainability Manager who meets routinely with the executive team. The credit union’s leadership team supports all of the waste management initiatives. In addition to tracking internal waste, the credit union has also begun to monitor external waste such as paper statements.
Evergreen Credit Union has been a zero waste facility under WasteWise since 2015. The credit union strives to make continuous improvements, further reducing the amount of materials consumed and disposed of.
Find out more about this award on the EPA WasteWise website: 2018 Regional Winners.