Why it's good to be green

February 13, 2015 | Lisa Chappell

Mission Federal Credit Union has always been dedicated to the well-being of its members, employees, and community at large. We have demonstrated our commitment by providing exceptional service, employing staff with high-levels of engagement, and through the many philanthropic outreach programs that we support throughout San Diego. The increasing focus on the Sustainability Movement has provided us with another opportunity to validate our dedication to our membership, employees and community.

For the past 5 to 10 years, there has been a growing global focus on sustainability, but the spotlight on the environment started way back in 1970. At that time, there was an increasing public demand for cleaner water, air and land, and so the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created to address environmental concerns. Mission Fed has always been cognizant of environmental impact, but it’s been a growing focus for us for the past several years.

We began our green journey by conducting a great deal of research, followed by implementing practices that allowed us to save valuable resources and reduce our carbon footprint as an organization. We started by installing LED lighting in all new construction projects and retrofitted a number of our older facilities; designing landscaping with water-wise plantings and reducing turf by 75% or more; replacing our high water use reverse osmosis dispensers with carbon filter units; establishing recycling programs for all 29 facilities; partnering with schools and not-for-profit organizations to recycle electronics, furniture and supplies…and this short list represents just a few of the many initiatives that we’ve executed to date!

In 2014, we decided that it was time to take Green to a new level! Key members of the Mission Fed team attended a rigorous six-month sustainability program which guided us through the creation of our first Sustainability Action Plan. This plan is intended to guide Mission Fed’s sustainability efforts over the course of several years. Although we’ve been very successful in implementing sustainable initiatives, we recognized that it was time get the employees on board and active. As a result, the Mission Fed Green Team was created in July 2014.

The Mission Fed Green Team is a cross-functional group of 12 employees representing the entire organization. The team’s mission is to “Provide leadership through education and support for eco-friendly solutions, and inspire others to think ‘planet first’ in their day-to-day actions.” Although the team has only been together seven months, we’ve already made a big impact on the organization. We post monthly educational pieces on our intranet and in communal areas to inform staff about available opportunities and educational events. We are seeing ever-increasing participation in the Green Team hosted monthly sustainable activities and events, such as the Lighting Fair, Recyclable Cup Exchange, and BYOB reusable shopping bag give away. And we have many more exciting educational events planned for the future!

One of the initiatives that the Green Team will be rolling out this spring is a Sustainable Workplace Certification program for employees. This multi-phase program will help guide and recognize Mission Fed employees, branches and departments that are taking a sustainability leadership role in their day-to-day lives. The heart of the program is the sustainable checklist: Actions that participating employees and workplaces can implement to improve sustainability and reduce related expenses. Participants self-report their actions and, upon certification, earn a Sustainable Employee/Workplace Program award and recognition for each level completed.

Environmental sustainability is at the core of everything that we do—from the design and construction of our branches, to the products used to clean our facilities, to the efficient and respectful use of natural resources. But the key to our success is the 450+ environmental ambassadors who are our employees.

Are you and your family doing anything to go green? Feel free to share!

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.

Lisa Chappell

Lisa Chappell

Lisa Chappell is Mission Federal Credit Union’s Vice President Corporate Facilities. She has too many years of banking and facilities management experience on her resume to count! Lisa thoroughly enjoys her job and Mission Fed, and is also very active in the Facilities Management, Corporate Real Estate, Leadership and Banking communities. Together with her team of dynamic and enthusiastic employees, and the newly formed Green Team, Lisa is dedicated to guiding Mission Fed and its employees to new levels of greenness.

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