Working Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow
“We have an opportunity,” says Marketing Specialist Phoebe Hodina. “Sustainable practices are not only critical for our planet and our communities, they are also good for business.”
Phoebe is the project champion for a new initiative to encourage sustainable practices across the Atlas enterprise. She says it’s the right thing to do.
“The Atlas mission statement supports cultivation and a commitment to the well-being of our people, company, communities, and planet,” says Phoebe. “As a company built on family ownership, we realize we aren’t passing down the planet to our kids, we are borrowing it from them.”
Phoebe points out that sustainability also supports efficiency and the bottom line.
• Agents can put money back into their pockets by selling used stretch-wrap (low density polyethylene) to recyclers.
• Reusable plastic crates are helping Atlas Agents keep cardboard out of landfills and save dollars on every move.
• If every Atlas Agent complied with the technology standard (see AtlasNet Technology Standards p. 9), Atlas could save over 3,000,000 sheets of paper a year, the equivalent of 360 trees. Further, complying with the standards reduce deadheading and partial loads, thus saving fuel.
These are but a few ways Atlas Agents are seeing economic and environmental savings. Atlas will be furthering the adoption of such practices as the company continues to strengthen its commitment to sustainability.
“We want to create opportunities and encourage improvement. Nature is about balance: with the right mix of sustainable goals and business changes, we can accomplish great things.”
Becoming “Certifiably Sustainable”
The green initiative defines standards in five areas of agency operations. Attainment of these standards earns the Atlas credential of “Certified Sustainable Agent.” The standards are practical and attainable—starting with options that most businesses can implement right away, and will show quick returns on investment in terms of financial savings and reduced environmental impact. In time, additional standards will encourage Agents to incorporate more advanced practices for greater savings and recognition.
“Every standard carries a real business benefit,” says Phoebe. “So when we share best practices with our Agents, we’re also educating them on why this makes sense for them.”
Atlas is developing the program in cooperation with a nonprofit organization, Sustainable America, that specializes in sustainability, particularly in the conservation of fuel and food. It will be introduced to Agents at the Atlas Convention in November.
“Several months of planning and refining have set a strong foundation for this program,” says Phoebe. “Our goal is to get all Atlas Agents involved, help them see opportunities for success, and work together to keep our planet healthy. We want Agents to be excited to tell people about our green efforts.
To achieve certification and recognition, an Agent first completes a baseline of tasks in five areas, documenting their efforts. Subsequent tasks will provide additional opportunities for strengthening sustainability and earning corresponding recognition.
1. Materials Management
3. Business Administration