7 Things Employees Love
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Dawn Easterday, a landscape architect for design firm Belt Collins, wanted to test the viability of green roofs, which can absorb storm water and reduce energy use by absorbing heat that the building would normally take. But since the technology hasn’t been proven in Hawaii, any installation would be experimental.
So, at the Belt Collins Center in Kalihi, the engineering consulting and design firm gave her a second-floor awning that will be used as a demonstration project for clients, and a part of the main roof that will experiment with soil types and plants. “For employees who are interested in this technology, the company is supportive of doing the research, going out and becoming an expert in it,” Easterday says. “It’s not only for our clients, but for ourselves.”
The company would have given her all 22,000 square feet of the roof, but 80 percent of it was already allotted for a photovoltaic solar energy system. “We want to be on the cutting edge of sustainable design,” says Michael Terry, president. “We felt that we really had to get behind this and support it, try to do it on our own building and try to be a leader in this area.”
It also makes sense that the company would recycle. “We’re a consulting business and we have, especially in our staff, a very high interest in environmental issues,” Terry says. “People want to feel that the business that they’re in has the same sensitivity to the environment.”
Jane Dewell, a project environmental scientist, helped set up a recycling program at the office. Empty bottles are donated to a nonprofit, or employees can take them for their kids’ fundraisers. About 650 pounds of non-confidential documents and newspapers are recycled each month. Since the company deals with confidential and proprietary material, third-party vendor Shred-It shreds and recycles up to 2,100 pounds of paper a month. The firm is working toward a paperless management system, and things that need to be printed are made with recycled paper.
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