How Camber Outdoors Prioritizes a Sustainable Workplace
Sustainability in the workplace is directly linked to workforce engagement, not to mention the health of our planet. Here are some of the green initiatives we’re taking as a company and as individuals.
By Kiran Herbert
Sustainability is non-negotiable for many of our partners at Camber Outdoors, including REI and its 13,000 employees, whose annual #OptOutside campaign is focused on cleaning up our parks and lands. And our partners don’t stand alone: A new 20,000-person global survey by HP revealed that 61 percent of participants believe business sustainability is mandatory, 58 percent said environmentally-conscious practices are key to engaging the future workforce, and 46 percent said they would only work for companies with sustainable business practices.
No matter where your company falls on the eco-friendly spectrum, we hope you’ll join us in “Opting to Act” this year. Not only will we be blogging about what sustainability means to us in the build-up to Black Friday, but we’ll be sharing actionable tips you can adopt at your workplace once the campaign is over. As a new employee at Camber Outdoors, I wanted to highlight three things that speak to what we’re doing to promote a sustainable workplace culture.
1. We’re a completely remote office
This is a big environmental win and chief among the reasons I accepted this job. For telecommuters, carbon footprint savings primarily come from reduced office energy and a lack of commuting. In the U.S., transportation is our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and allowing folks to work from home even just one day a week can reduce traffic jams (not to mention prevent accidents and save public infrastructure), leading to a significant reduction in pollution. Half-time telecommuting could reduce carbon emissions by more than 51 million metric tons a year, which would be the equivalent of taking all of New York’s commuters off the road.
Of course, not every job can be done remotely, but it’s in everyone’s interest that companies consider offering the ability to work from home for those jobs that can, even if it’s just occasionally. Personally, working from home allows me to compost, waste less food, and cut down on the packaging associated with to-go lunches, K-cups, and office snacks. Telecommuting saves me from going from a heated or air-conditioned home to a heated or air-conditioned office. Because I have more time in my day, I go to the gym or grocery shop via bike, reusable bag in tow. Perhaps most important, I also spend more time outside, enjoying nature and reconnecting with the earth.
2. We’re Paperless
Starting a new job typically includes a mountain of paperwork, from hiring docs to employee handbooks, new business cards to all the junk mail that comes from having your name associated with a new address. When I started at Camber Outdoors, except for a signed W-9 form, all of my new hire paperwork was done electronically. I was told business cards wouldn’t be necessary until Outdoor Retailer, and even then, I could decide not to or, we could do a limited run on recycled paper. As for all of that junk mail, I’ve opted out of receiving it at home.
3. We support each other in sustainability
My welcome gift from my manager, Director of Marketing & Communication Olivia Omega, included a reusable straw. In the scheme of things, that may seem like a small gesture, but as we work to combat climate change, our small actions all add up. Reusables make great gifts for employees and clients alike because they subtly offer a way to change your habits, supporting someone on their journey to becoming greener and taking daily action. Today, as I went to grab a coffee, I brought my metal straw and Hydro Flask cup, forgoing plastic and paper products. Alone, my actions aren’t enough to save the planet, but it’s a start.
Through this post (sponsored by REI), we hope that you’ll join us in creating sustainable change over the course of our lives.