Net Impact has announced the winners of the 2016 Impact at Work Challenge: Climate Disruptors: Annie’s, Inc. and Baxter International; with honorable mention, Aspen Global Change Institute. Teams were asked to share their projects that made an impact on climate change over the past year with a panel of expert judges evaluating their efforts.
Annie’s Inc., an organic and natural foods company based in Berkeley, CA, took home the prize for the Existing Team Track after decreasing their building's electricity and gas usage, equating to a reduction of 13.8 metric tons of CO2. Team members, Tiffany Tran; Judea Eden, Molly Janis, and Shauna Sadowski worked to create the company's first Facilities Energy Management Plan after Tran noticed ceiling and HVAC systems were being left on during weekends. They subsequently implemented four energy efficiency projects at their Berkeley office including replacing and re-programming thermostats, installing time clocks for ceiling fans, and raising the cooling temperature in the server room.
“It takes time to encourage behavioral change, and communication regarding change is essential… It took some time for employees to understand the changes and the new process, however employees quickly caught on,” said the Annies, Inc. team.
The New Team Track was awarded to Baxter International, a leader in the healthcare industry for more than 80 years, located in Deerfield, IL. Team members included; Avinash Ayyalasomayajula, Emily Combs, Karen Pana, Wafa Aouainia, Siya Jiang Singhal, Reina Kalish, and Ron Meisson. The Baxter team was inspired to take a grassroots approach to sustainability and employee engagement by launching a Reuse-A-Shoe-Drive pilot project to encourage employees to recycle old and worn out athletic shoes to be transported to NIKE store locations and transformed into playground surfaces throughout the nation, saving embedded energy in the shoe production process.
Next, the Baxter team plans to establish a more formalized employee business resource group around sustainability with executive sponsorships and a governance structure.
The honorable mention went to the Aspen Global Change Institute from Aspen, CO. After the company launched an energy table filled with data on energy sources in 2015, team members John Katzenberger, Emily Jack-Scott, Elise Osenga, Ellie Barber, James Arnott, and Alyson Wright found the Getting Near Zero Energy Tool allowing users to bring that data to life. Users can create their own global energy scenarios and create an energy future to see the impacts of their scenario on primary energy supply, carbon emissions, energy costs, and carbon budget.
“It’s important in the pursuit to combat climate change to channel energies towards productive solutions and opportunities rather than perpetual bad news and despair.”
Launched in April 2016 with the support of the Moxie Foundation and bobble, the competition required teams consisting of three or more co-workers to identify a need for sustainable change within their company, initiate a project, and collaboratively work towards a solution. As a part of their final submission, teams were asked to summarize their project; describe how they engaged other stakeholders in the company; and discuss what team members learned about driving sustainability forward with their employer.
Net Impact supported these teams of next generation intrapreneurs by sharing resources including interactive webinars and toolkits.
Winning teams received a donation to the environmental nonprofit of their choice.
About Net Impact
Net Impact mobilizes the next generation to use their skills and careers to make a positive impact on the world. One hundred thousand strong, with 300 global chapters, our members take on social challenges, protect the environment, and orient businesses and products toward the greater good. In short, we help turn passions in a lifetime of world-changing action.