Innovative Actions

In the GWC 3.0, participants identified and implemented measurable and impactful initiatives to increase the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of their operational practices.

A number of participating companies and organizations demonstrated their creativity by suggesting “innovative actions” – actions that reflect the implementable, measurable and impactful activities that we seek to promote but were not captured within the GWC 3.0 Competition Guidebook released in September 2014.

View the full list of actions submitted in prior years to spark your own creativity. Some of these action have been added as permanent actions in GWC 4.0 (often with different titles, or as a component of an existing action). Be sure to submit your own innovative actions in the 2016-2017 GWC for points from action IN1!

The following innovative actions have been submitted and approved during the 2014-2015 Green Workplace Challenge.

General Actions:

Partner with community entities to upgrade transportation infrastructure

Install electric car charging stations in parking lots, provided free of charge to drivers 

Install BigBelly Solar trash/recycling compactors with dashboard monitoring capabilities 

Manage turf and green spaces naturally using “compost tea” 

Install “steam trap jackets” to improve leaking steam systems and increase energy conservation 

Offer a product that has environmental benefits (e.g. green bond financing, low-impact banking tools, prepared food derived from organic or local products)

Offer discounts to those who use reusable containers when purchasing drinks 

Use reusable hand towels in restrooms 

Maintain a food garden on-site 

Sponsor a community food garden 

Collect coffee grounds and tea bags for composting 

Donate surplus building materials or office furniture to a reuse retailer/organization 

Conduct a sustainability survey of your employees to better understand their perspectives and behaviors 

Addenda to Established Actions:

Appoint an Environmental and Social Risk Officer (addendum to “LE2: Dedicate a staff member as the primary contact for sustainability in your organization”) 

Earn “Bicycle Friendly Business” certification (addendum to “TF13: Become a bike-friendly employer”) 

Install indoor daylight sensors (addendum to “IE4: Install motion sensors or programmable light switches”)

Replace lighting ballasts as part of LED retrofit (addendum to “IE1/IE2: Replace light bulbs with CFLs/LEDs”)

Replace inefficient toilet fixtures with low-flow options (addendum to “WR11: Install toilet displacement devices”) 

Establish a long-term contract for re-use of cooking oil (addendum to “WA1: Donate cooking oil”) 

University-Specific Actions:

Earn certification from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)