Beneficial State Bank in Oakland Wins 2017 StopWaste Award
Beneficial State Bank in Oakland was honored with a 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Recycling & Composting. Beneficial State is among five Alameda County businesses that were recognized for outstanding environmental performance and business efficiency this year by StopWaste.
Founded in 2007, Beneficial State is headquartered in Oakland, with 12 branches in California, Oregon, and Washington. Their mission is to produce meaningful social and environmental benefits while being financially sustainable. Consistent with that “triple bottom-line,” Beneficial State has integrated sustainability into their Social and Environmental Operations Policy, including a zero-waste goal. Their waste reduction efforts go well beyond the requirements under Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance.
In 2015, the Green Team at Beneficial State’s Oakland branch conducted a comprehensive waste assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of their existing recycling and composting efforts. The results informed a waste campaign to build awareness among employees through ongoing education and waste-reduction activities. The program has since expanded to all five original Beneficial State branches, including bi-annual waste stream audits, improved signage, educational brochures and “waste-less” lunch conversations, among other activities. To help reduce waste in the first place, Beneficial State’s purchasing policy promotes reusable food service ware and recycled content products.
Annie Claybaugh, Director of Operations for Beneficial State Foundation, credited volunteers on the Oakland branch’s “Green Team” as well as management for Beneficial State’s success in reducing waste sent to the landfill. “Having a dedicated Green Team supported by Executive Leadership at the Bank and Foundation has been our key to success,” said Annie. “There is a strong commitment to zero waste at Beneficial State Bank.”
Although recycling has been mandatory for many businesses and institutions in Alameda County since 2012, proactive and innovative waste reduction practices like those championed by Beneficial State are important. During the awards ceremony, StopWaste Executive Director Wendy Sommer stated: “Laws only get you so far. It is businesses like the ones we are honoring today that give Alameda County an edge by going beyond requirements in their daily operations.”
Beneficial State’s Social and Environmental Operations Policy goes beyond waste reduction and sustainable product purchasing to energy and water conservation, greenhouse gas and pollutant emission reduction, and worker and community safety. The Bank’s clean energy loan portfolio has produced more than 210 million kilowatts of clean energy as of January 2016 and will reduce CO2 emissions by over 145,000 metric tons during the life of the loans.
For more information about the 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards visit www.StopWaste.org/2017awards.