Planning Greener Events from the Inside Out
Three Squares Inc. (TSI) is leading the way as a sustainable business force that maintains balance between the people, economic growth and the planet. As a globally recognized environmental consulting firm, Three Squares specializes in developing sustainability plans for corporations, government agencies and academic institutions. TSI also plans campaigns to promote green products and services as well as oversight of sustainability efforts at large-scale events, such as the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the premiere screening and gala for Warner Brothers' film “Inception.” Their plan for the “Inception” premiere ensured reductions in energy use, waste generation and the carbon footprint of the event, successfully diverting 1.8 tons of waste to a recycling and compost center.
TSI’s sustainability standards also guide their own operations through monitoring pollution and energy use, outlining recycling procedures to increase waste diversion and educating employees. TSI works to further reduce their own carbon footprint by tracking and reporting all carbon emissions from their business activities such as air travel, automobile emissions and energy use. They also invest in renewable energy certificates, which support carbon offset projects.
What is TSI doing to reduce energy use?
TSI uses smart power strips to reduce vampire energy use among all power outlets when not in use. EPEAT Gold computers used by TSI are certified as more energy efficient than average computers, and are also built using less hazardous materials. TSI’s office space is arranged so employees can take advantage of natural lighting, and only use the electrical lighting systems after sunset. The firm is located one block from the beach so employees can use the ocean breezes for cooling.
What is TSI doing to reduce waste?
Three Squares Inc. has a strong reuse and recycling policy to ensure that waste is kept to a minimum. Office paper and supplies are reusable or recyclable and electronic waste is recycled. Unwanted mail is reduced by regularly managing mailing lists and not publishing a mailing address on their website. When TSI designs marketing materials, they minimize the use of resources by avoiding envelopes and instead using postcards or trifold paper. TSI chooses vendors that will reclaim products after their shelf life is exceeded and sell or exchange gently used items that are no longer wanted. In addition, personnel use websites such as freecycle.org and donate items to non-profit organizations. At least 30 percent of the furniture and equipment purchased for the office is used or refurbished. The break room is equipped with a filtered water pitcher and refillable containers for bulk products, like sugar, to avoid the use of individual packaging. For large events they choose caterers who purchase from local, organic vendors, compost food waste and serve on reusable dishes.
What other green actions is TSI taking?
TSI only uses non-toxic cleaning products, or those that meet Green Seal standards. Indoor air quality is kept healthy by opening the doors and windows daily as well as having potted plants. Education sessions are held to teach staff about recycling, waste reductions and sustainable office procedures. TSI also encourages employees to take advantage of nearby cafes or office supply stores to promote local business and reduce travel time.
The 2008 Democratic National Convention’s sustainability plan included transportation, waste diversion, alternative energy production and materials, green office standards, and a carbon offset program.
A globally recognized environmental consulting firm with an expertise in sustainable business.
Green Business Actions:
- Tracks and manages data from all business activities that emit pollutants, such as air and vehicle travel and energy use
- Invests in renewable energy certificates to offset 100 percent of energy needs
- Coordinates carbon offset purchases through The CarbonNeutral Company to cover their carbon footprint
- Utilizes natural lighting
- Keeps office doors and windows open for ventilation
- Uses smart power strips save energy by turning off phantom outlets
- Organized recycling system, including e-waste
- Reduces usage of paper in mail by eliminating envelopes
- Purchases office supplies that are reusable or recyclable
- Educates employees about proper recycling, waste reduction, and sustainable office procedures