Evan Matzen, Manager, Sustainability

Earth Day is right around the corner (Sunday!) and, to celebrate, HD Supply planned various activities this week surrounding the theme of conservation. The Sustainability Department put together an interactive event each day that our associates are participating in to reduce their environmental impact and our carbon footprint. I hope this sparks some ideas for your property to try, and even implement, this year!

April 16: Paperless Monday
Ink and printing supply manufacturer Lexmark International Inc. conducted a study in 2006 and found that an average of 17% of printouts are waste and immediately discarded (like footers on the bottom of an e-mail or disclaimers below an airline itinerary). On Monday we asked that associates think before they print. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to immediately reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Set your default printer option to always print double sided
  • Put meeting agendas on the projector instead of printing them
  • Don’t print emails, but save them on a server or on your computer for reference


April 17: Turn-Off-Lights Tuesday
Did you know that interior lighting accounts for 43% of a commercial building’s energy consumption? On Tuesday, we challenged associates to turn off the lights and use natural light from the windows instead. You’ll be surprised how easy it is! The Green Team placed stickers on each motion sensor in conference rooms and offices with windows to stop the lights from going on automatically. We took the challenge and switched off the lights for the day.

April 18: Meatless Wednesday
The meat industry generates nearly 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are accelerating climate change across the globe far more than transportation emissions. In addition, an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water goes into producing a single pound of beef, compared to 220 gallons for a pound of soy. Take the challenge to go vegetarian for a day! To celebrate Meatless Wednesday, our cafeteria served two vegetarian lunch specials and the manager actually said he sold more of the specials than most days!

April 19: Carpool Thursday
sticker-resized-600There are many benefits to carpooling, which include reducing gas usage and lowering maintenance costs, keeping miles off of your car, lessening air pollution, having company during your commute, and preferred parking here at our office! We encouraged all associates to carpool to work for Carpool Thursday and, for their participation, we were given a cool “I carpooled to work for Earth Week!” sticker, a Niagara Conservation® Shower CoachTM shower timer, AND a front row parking spot!

April 20: Fuel-Less Lunch Friday
Did you know that in 2010 the U.S. consumed 19.1 million barrels of petroleum per day, 49% of which was imported? In addition to reducing our demand for petroleum, we asked associates to leave their car parked for lunch and walk to a local eatery or bring a bagged lunch instead. We invited participants to meet in the lobby to walk to lunch together or opt for a discounted lunch special in the cafeteria.

April 21: Swan Canyon Cleanup
The Sustainability Department and HD Supply’s volunteer team (A Community Team) are partnering to clean up a local canyon. This family-friendly event will be to help restore the park and hiking trails that surround it while participants learn about the importance of the canyon to our environment.

All of April: Electronics Recycling
The Sustainability Department is offering free electronics recycling all month in which unwanted laptops, keyboards, monitors, mouse(s), TVs, cell phones, radios, or handheld electronics can be discarded at a designated location in our building. Electronics are made up of many materials, including lead, nickel, cadmium, and mercury, which could pose health risks to people and harm the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 U.S. homes in a year. Each time an electronic device is recycled instead of thrown away, the materials are reused and do not end up in a landfill. A win-win!

Sales Team Participation
Our sales team is spread throughout the country, and we wanted to make a concerted effort to get them involved in sustainability. In addition to the above tips, here are a couple of things we suggested for them to do on their own:

  • Strategically plan routes to visit multiple properties in one area
  • Park and walk to accounts that are close together
  • Don’t leave your car running while you’re on the phone
  • Ride with a driver this week or team up with another rep for joint calls
  • Think before you print or print on the back side of paper that has already been used
  • Recycle all paper and plastics
  •  Turn the lights off where you can
  •  Discuss sustainability with all your customers this week
  •  Choose reusable containers for water instead of plastic bottles

Try some of the above activities and think about implementing more sustainable practices on the job and in your daily life.

What are you and your property doing to celebrate Earth Day? Do you have any suggestions for activities HD Supply can participate in next year?

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