We've been delivering organic fruit to Ceres since 2016, and we just love what they do. Located near Boston's Chinatown, the advocacy group works to transform the economy to promote sustainability. Among other things, they work with companies and investors on solutions to climate change, water scarcity and human rights issues.
Ceres asks the corporations in its Company Network to take steps be more sustainable, and each of these companies publishes a sustainability report documenting their success. But Ceres also "walks the talk," according to Brian Sant, Ceres' director of digital communications and marketing.
"We publish our own sustainability report," he says, "and we work hard to minimize our carbon footprint and promote employee wellness."
Ceres takes the following steps to reduce its environmental footprint:
- Bootstrap Compost collects the company's organic waste.
- Ceres uses a system called PaperCut, which tracks how much paper each person prints and how much those prints cost. The company only started using the system a month ago, but Sant says all signs point to decreased paper usage.
- Speaking of printing, Ceres does all of its off-site printing at a union-run print shop that prints on recycled paper with soy ink.
- Ceres tells caterers to avoid paper or plastic products when preparing food for the office or its events. The company also does its best to ensure that catered meals always feature vegetarian options.
- Ceres provides monthly subway and bus passes for employees to encourage use of public transportation and reduce employee carbon emissions from commuting to work. Ceres also provides reimbursements for employees who choose emissions-free commuting by walking or biking to work.
WELLNESS AND TEAM-BUILDING
Ceres has been growing fast over the last few years, and Sant says the company has been working hard to make sure that as it grows, its employees are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
One step the organization took was to engage its employees to develop a policy to set healthy expectations about sending and replying to email after work hours and on weekends. After hearing from staff, the organization realized that employees had different work schedules and wanted to make sure that the policy developed both promoted work-life balance while allowing people flexibility to catch up on email when it was convenient for them to do so. The organization created a policy that staff were not expected to respond to emails outside of work hours, but that it was ok to send emails, if needed.
Another step Ceres took to promote employee health: a year ago, after they renovated their office, they moved to an open concept office space and supplied standing desks for every employee, giving them the option to sit or stand at their work places.
“I used to stack boxes and books on my old desk so that I could stand at work, and so did many of my colleagues,” said Hannah Saltman, a senior associate working on corporate governance issues. "I'm grateful that the organization took notice and decided to provide standing desk options for everyone on staff. Now more and more people stand at their desk. It’s great to have the option and I’m glad that Ceres takes people’s health and wellness seriously."
And lest you think the Ceres staff is all about work (and standing), there's also a "fun committee" that plans monthly events that encourage staff to interact with one another, including making crafts together, sharing travel stories and pictures, and playing softball on the Boston Common in the summer.
“The Fun Committee is a great way to get to know colleagues on other teams and build relationships that go beyond just the work place," says, Brianna Esteves, a senior associate working on climate and energy policy. "The activities that the Fun Committee plans offer great opportunities to be social and add variety to the workday. It makes a real difference, and makes work more fun!”
Thank you to Ceres for your support, and for making Boston Organics part of your wellness offerings. Keep up the great work!
Are you proud of your company's wellness program? Have you seen positive impacts on employee health and engagement? We'd love to hear about it! Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.