ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International has been named a certified green business through the Montgomery County Maryland Green Business Certification Program. The program recognizes businesses and other entities that have taken voluntary steps to protect, preserve and improve the environment on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
As a certified green business, Goodwill® was vetted as an agency that operates in a manner that demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship, including conserving energy and water, reducing its carbon footprint and generating less waste. The on-site reviewer praised Goodwill for its extensive sustainability policies, energy management initiatives and recycling programs.
Goodwill’s detailed sustainability policies govern business practices and operations in six categories: energy conservation, transportation and telecommuting, water conservation, purchasing, waste management, green cleaning and pollution prevention, and training and education. In addition to providing guidelines for staff behavior, the policies outline reporting requirements and set benchmarks for future success.
“Goodwill Industries International is committed to preserving the environment and strengthening communities,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “As the headquarters of an enterprise of agencies that promote social and environmental leadership, we hope to serve as an example of what it means to be an environmental pioneer.”
The certification was achieved under the guidance of Eco-Coach, an environmental sustainability advisory firm based in Washington, DC, and through the work of a dedicated green team, made up of staff members who lead their peers in promoting sustainable behaviors. With its certification, Goodwill joins the ranks of 26 businesses in Montgomery County that are currently certified, including Lockheed Martin and Marriott International.
Goodwill has set specific goals over the past year in energy consumption, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally responsible purchasing. In August 2010, Goodwill signed a two-year green electricity purchase through Constellation New Energy, which now provides the agency with renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind-renewable resources to offset 100 percent of its energy use. Prominent energy management efforts also include using energy-efficient overhead lighting with occupancy sensors, and utilizing Energy Star-labeled products.
“As a Certified Green Business in the county, Goodwill Industries International has clearly committed to continuous improvement,” said Douglas Weisburger, manager and green business certification program senior planning specialist for the Sustainability Programs Department of Environmental Protection for the Montgomery County government. “They have not only energized their employees to initiate and ‘own’ environmental initiatives, but they utilize their leverage with suppliers to multiply their environmental impact.”
Goodwill’s on-site efforts are a natural extension of its commitment to sustainability. In June 2010, Goodwill launched the Donate Movement, a corporate social responsibility platform and public awareness movement powered by Goodwill that focuses on the positive impact donating has on people and the planet. On a yearly basis, Goodwill diverts more than two billion pounds of clothing and textiles from landfills by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods. Through its Reconnect computer-recycling program with Dell, Goodwill has diverted more than 170 million pounds of electronic equipment from landfills and created nearly 250 green jobs.
As part of the Green Business Certification, Goodwill will be listed amongst other certified businesses in the Certified Green Business Directory.