When you work at a sustainable bank, what better annual event is there to celebrate than Earth Day?
We kicked off the event early by spending a day at Ocean Beach in San Francisco cleaning up trash. The beach looks clean at first glance, but we were all surprised by the amount of trash we found, especially small plastics. We had fun and even got our families involved.
We ushered in Earth Day with a fun skit over breakfast that announced the launch of our new Sustainability Engagement Program. This is an internal initiative designed to deepen our knowledge of sustainability through educational activities while allowing us to earn points for our year-end performance reviews.
In addition, each year we commit ourselves to one sustainability challenge goal. At the entrance to our lobby, you’ll notice a tree on the wall that displays employees’ personal sustainability commitments. Come have a look what our employees will be doing this year next time you come into our office.
For our Earth Day lunch, we invited Paula Kehoe, director of water resources at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, to talk to us about water conservation. We learned about many interesting initiatives underway in the city to conserve water resources, including recycling graywater (water from showers, bath tubs, washing machines and bathroom sinks) and even blackwater (water containing waste) in some buildings in San Francisco.
The afternoon was all fun and games. We competed against each other in a trash-sorting competition to see who could sort their landfill, compost and recycling most accurately in 30 seconds. We also played water jeopardy.
The winners of each game won a place on a San Francisco Baykeeper patrol boat in June. Baykeeper, the self-described “watchdog of the water quality of San Francisco Bay,” monitors the bay for sources of pollution in an effort to keep our bay clean.
Overall it was a great day of learning and fun at the bank!