Goodwill’s commitment to sustainability extends from its retail stores to its international headquarters.
ROCKVILLE, MD — Long before the first Earth Day in 1970, a Methodist minister in Boston, MA, Rev. Edgar J. Helms, pioneered the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice in 1902. He began what would become Goodwill Industries® by collecting used household goods and clothing, hiring those in need to mend and repair the clothes, and reusing the clothes for those who needed them. More than a century later, Goodwill Industries International has become a network of 165 independent, community-based agencies that divert more than three billion pounds of clothing and household goods from landfills every year, recovering the value in consumers’ unwanted material goods and applying the revenues to help fund an array of job training and placement programs. Goodwill has not only been at the forefront of the sustainability movement for more than a century, but over the years it has also expanded its mission to a number of programs that merge environmentally friendly practices with the power of work.
- Through a partnership with Dell, Goodwill has diverted more than 374 million pounds of computer electronics from landfills since the program’s inception in 2004. At more than 2,000 Goodwill locations, consumers can donate working computers to fund job training and placement programs, as well as safely recycle their used computers and equipment.
- Keep America Beautiful and Goodwill have partnered on the Give and Go college move-out program to reduce waste and inspire students to create change when they move out of their dorm rooms at the end of each school year. In 2014, campuses diverted more than 220,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
- Goodwill brings the green ethos to its headquarters as well. An enterprise-wide sustainability program launched in 2008 promotes energy efficiency throughout every Goodwill agency. Goodwill Industries International leads the enterprise by example, completing a Level 3 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning audit in 2010; transitioning to energy-efficient overhead lighting and occupancy sensors in its Rockville headquarters; and purchasing renewable energy certificates sourced from wind renewable resources to offset 100 percent of its energy use at its headquarters — earning Goodwill recognition as a Green Power Partner by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- About a third of all Goodwill agencies in the United States and Canada have already participated in an internal Energy Star Challenge, using the EPA’s tool that helps companies improve energy performance. The enterprise currently has 24 Energy Star-labeled buildings and 19 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings.
“The challenges facing our planet also present opportunities for organizations to think innovatively and create initiatives that provide real and tangible benefits to our communities and the people in them,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Goodwill is proud to take a holistic approach to the environment that incorporates reducing, reusing, recycling and donating into everything we do — not just on Earth Day, but every day.”