By Andrew Wineke, communications manager, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program
This is Earth Month, so sustainability is the word of the hour.
At Ecology, we think of ourselves as environmental leaders, responsible for protecting and restoring the air, land and water of Washington. As we do that, however, we leave an environmental footprint of our own with the vehicles we drive, the electricity we consume and the waste we generate.
To improve our sustainability, we first need to track that footprint and evaluate how we’re doing and where the best opportunities to improve lie.
One of the ways we do that is through our Sustainability Report. In this report, you’ll find data on Ecology’s energy consumption, greenhouse gas generation, waste and water use. You’ll also find broader categories of sustainability, such as our employee mix, our commuting habits and our budget.
The goal of reporting is to not only improve Ecology’s sustainability but to advance sustainability across the state by providing the data that can inform our strategic planning. Our Sustainability Report uses a framework established by the Global Reporting Initiative, or GRI.
GRI is a nonprofit organization that has introduced standardized language and metrics for sustainability reporting. GRI’s framework is the widely used by companies and organizations across the world.
Using a standard yardstick to measure our performance allows us to set an example for others. Last fall, Ecology hosted a GRI workshop that 85 businesses, governments and organizations attended.
Ecology’s Sustainability Report also advances the charge given to all state agencies by Gov. Jay Inslee to track and improve performance through Results Washington.
Gov. Inslee’s goal is to ensure a faster, smarter and more accountable state government. Sustainability, environmental protection, and the health of our communities are key performance areas for Results Washington.
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