Sustainability at Bridges to Change

Our all-star Sustainability Committee is working hard to get us certified in THREE counties!

Community Gardens

Thanks to the great work of our housing team, we now have 6 community gardens at our different housing sites! Gardens are a great way to make use of the natural environment and provide fresh vegetables and fruit to residents.

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Give Back

We value volunteerism and giving back to the communities in which we live.  At Bridges to Change we offer two paid days to volunteer in the community as well as coordinate community clean ups throughout the year!  Check back for some updates on who we have helped.

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Employee Sustainability

Sustainability is important for employee wellness, at Bridges to Change we offer  benefits including a 403 (b) Retirement Planning, Life Insurance, Health Insurance and Employee Assistance Program. We also encourage employees to take paid, Self-Care days and wellness breaks with coworkers throughout the month.

Diversity Team

Our newly formed Diversity Team is committed to critically reviewing hiring practices and organizational policy to ensure we doing our best to meet the diverse needs of our participants and employees. Check back for updates on how we are doing!

Sustainability Policy

Sustainability

Our mission for sustainability is to reduce waste, better the environment and help promote responsible use of resources. By incorporating sustainable business practices on economic, environmental and social levels, Bridges to Change hopes to reduce its global impact while increasing awareness of employees, participants and partners. Bridges to Change has developed a policy to address the three areas of the triple bottom line to ensure that all possibilities for sustainability are used. By reviewing our practices annually and continuously developing ways to better implement strategies, BTC strives to show leadership in economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Economic Sustainability Principles

* Explore all available options for already existing items before purchasing new products

* Purchase only goods that are necessary and least wasteful

* Take into consideration life cycle of products, performance and quality of products and life span of products before making purchases

* Reduce waste and impact on individuals and environment whenever possible through conservation, efficiency and recycling

Environmental Sustainability Principles

* Conserve water by using water efficient fixtures, monitoring annual performance and educating staff and participants on water conservation measures

* Conserve energy by using energy efficient appliances, turning off all appliances when not in use or leaving for the day and monitoring progress on energy reduction

* Assess use of resources and identify areas for improvement through programs specializing in conservation (ie: Energy Star, Recycle at Work) and submit progress annually to Board of Directors

* Encourage and promote alternative travel including biking, walking, public transportation and carpooling

* Purchase products made from recycled and/or environmentally sustainable materials whenever possible

* Use cleaning products that are certified green and contract with janitorial company that supports this practice

* Reduce waste by using electronic copies instead of paper and printing double sided when print copies are necessary

* Recycle products when available including paper, plastics, metals, electronics, compostable material, etc.

* Reduce the use of plastics, styrofoam and other disposables by using dishes and silverware when possible.

Social Sustainability Principles

* Contract with certified Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses whenever possible to decrease economic disparities

* Contract with local businesses when possible

* Purchase goods and services from businesses that implement responsible practices and safe, humane work environments

* Compensate employees with livable wages including cost of living pay increases annually

* Promote engagement of staff and participants in the community through volunteerism and neighborhood clean up through BTC’s Give Back program

* Educate staff and participants on environmental impact on individuals and ecological mental health practices through eco-psychology groups

* Make use of landscape around facility to grow food and implement gardening program for participants and staff

Participants Responsibilities

* Dispose of waste, recycling and composting in marked receptacles. If you are uncertain on which to use, please refer to posters above receptacles or ask a staff member

* Conserve water: Use only what is needed and be sure to turn off faucet, keep showers short

* Conserve energy: Turn off lights and appliances when not in use and when you leave the house

* Use dishes and silverware at your leisure to reduce the use of plastics and disposables, please be sure to wash your dishes when you are done