People

Working for a pioneering brand that is transforming an industry is not for the faint of heart. It requires exceptional talent, extreme passion and perseverance. The character of our people and the culture of our workplace is what makes our brand the force for change that it is.

To realize our vision to be in the vanguard of a Zero Waste future, we must create and preserve an inclusive culture that stays true to our values, inspires innovation and provides meaning to our work. This requires ongoing collaboration, development, recognition for a job well done – and a healthy dose of fun.

Learning and Development

We invest in learning to stimulate employees' minds and improve our company's health. Continuing education also helps us attract and retain the best talent, and facilitates internal alignment on best practices to execute our business strategy. We offer trainings and workshops and reimburse employees when they attend conferences and seminars.

Participating in the B Corp. assessment helped us realize that we could be doing more to educate our staff on the value of having an inclusive and diverse workplace, so we intend to integrate those topics into our training program in 2017. We also plan tooffer three employee-led "lunch and learns" to help them develop presentation skills and strengthen cross-functional connection.

Diversity and Inclusion

Eco-Products is located in a community that is 90 percent Caucasian, which results in a limited pool of ethnically diverse candidates to employ. Knowing that hiring people of different backgrounds and experiences can only benefit our company, we are being more purposeful about recruiting employees from underrepresented communities.

We plan to participate in the B Corp. Inclusion Challenge, an initiative for B Lab-certified companies to improve their collective impact and move toward an inclusive economy. The challenge calls for us to reach three goals in 2017. The inclusion goals we've set for ourselves are to:

  • Develop a program for promoting Zero Waste in underserved communities.
  • Deliver diversity and inclusion training.
  • Develop relationships with associations for underrepresented groups and share job openings with them when available.

Engagement

Highly engaged and satisfied employees are better able to collaborate, are more loyal and productive, and are more likely to innovate – all of which are critical to our long-term growth.

We use various communication channels to engage our team on their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. We also seek to better understand our employees' perspective about the company and areas where they think we need to improve. One way we do this is by conducting an annual anonymous survey to gauge whether our values are meaningful to our staff or if they are simply words on a page.

Our results in 2016 were not bad, but we have room for improvement. For one thing, we admit we need to do more to promote our values to our employees. We have taken steps to better communicate our priorities to staff, such as installing banners with our values and displaying our mission and vision in our main hallway. We have asked each manager to meet with their teams to get additional feedback on how we can build a more engaged and inspired workforce.

Engaging Our Employees
To harness our employees' passions for environmental and social issues and deepen their connection with Eco-Products, we formed a Sustainability Squad.

“About 25 percent of our office is consistently active in our Sustainability Squad – a statistic we are very proud of.”
Led by our sustainability maven, the group gathers monthly to plan fun projects related to sustainability. They also take turns blogging about sustainability topics of their choice to build awareness of what people can do to reduce their impact.

In 2016, we extended the typical Earth Week activities for our employees into a month-long celebration that included:

  • Watching a screening of “Wall-E,” a Disney movie about a trash-cleaning robot.
  • Hosting group walks, bike rides and yoga during lunch.
  • Volunteering to remove invasive weeds in nearby wildlands and to move compost and plants at a local community farm.
  • Holding a Hard-to-Recycle Drive for employees to bring in old electronics/cords/cables, batteries, scrap metal, fluorescent bulbs, ink and toner cartridges, and old denim.
  • Giving away seedlings to help make our employees' gardens and yards a little greener.
  • Closing the office early to participate in an eco-themed scavenger hunt and happy hour.
  • Picking up neighborhood trash and enjoying breakfast on us for lending a hand.

Community Involvement

We believe that companies should feel honored to help their communities. We certainly do. We donate our products and our time, and organize donation drives to positively contribute to society beyond our environmentally friendly products.

Product Donations
We are proud to support nonprofits and civic organizations that are addressing environmental or social causes. By donating foodservice products for their fundraising dinners and events, these organizations can maximize the funding that directly supports their work. Given our Zero Waste mission and our desire to support our local community, we prioritize supporting organizations that are hosting Zero Waste events and are located in the Boulder area.

Donation Drives
Our employees enjoy helping people in need in various ways. We often collect donations of school supplies, shoes, toys, and food to help the underprivileged in our community. To add a little fun to the mix, we often have departments or teams compete against one another to see who can have the biggest positive impact on our community. Given the bragging rights that accrue to the winners, we are proving competition can be a healthy thing!

Giving Our Time
Building stronger and sustainable communities is our passion, which is why we encourage our employees to contribute their time and expertise to assist those who could use a helping hand. We offer employees one day (eight hours) of paid time off to support a cause of their choice each year.

To encourage employees to use this benefit, we set a goal to have 55 percent of our staff take a day to volunteer in 2016 – which we achieved. We are proud to see that our volunteerism significantly exceeded the average corporate rate of 31 percent.





Watcha think?
Write a comment or ask a question
We value your opinion and would love to answer any questions you may have!

Our executive and management teams meet three times a year to review employee feedback and make refinements where needed. Soliciting employee input reinforces that their opinions are valued and their contributions matter.

$135,000+
In-kind donations given to 125 organizations

55%
Employees who took paid time off to volunteer

~220 hours
Spent supporting our community