We've seen time and time again that it only takes a few committed individuals to grow the compost movement. Sometimes, it only takes one person to make a difference. We wanted to share a story about how one employee at Enviva helped make her workplace compostable! Here's Gwyn's story:
"I met the CompostNow team at the Raleigh Farmers Market in spring of 2018. I was there to brainstorm ideas for how our Raleigh office could celebrate Enviva’s first company-wide Sustainability Week. Enviva has a very public commitment to sustainability that is core to our mission. We strive to improve environmental conditions in the communities in which we operate. Thinking about how we could make the office greener and use local resources, I started a conversation with Stefano, CompostNow’s Commercial Growth Manager, to see what kind of things could go to an industrial composting site. My only experience with composting had been in my own backyard, which is very different from the commercial process.
Our Raleigh office started out with one step can in the beginning of May 2018. I wasn’t sure how quickly our associates would embrace composting, and we were still putting a few recyclables in the regular garbage. Thanks to the monthly impact reports provided by CompostNow, by December 2018, we were regularly overfilling our step can. We added a second to handle the enthusiastic participation. As the pounds of diverted trash and donated soil increased, we began to engage beyond our associates—visitors understood the different waste streams and regularly offered help to make sure it was being done correctly. To add to the effort, we purchased serviceware products through CompostNow that could be 100% composted. We also encouraged area restaurants to leave plastics out of our catering orders because of our dedication to reducing our overall waste stream. We have become known by local caterers as the company that refuses to use serviceware that is not compatible with our mission.
As of April 2019, Enviva has diverted over 600 lbs. of compostables and has created over 160 lbs. of compost that has been shared with local community gardens in Raleigh. Last month, our executive committee acknowledged our efforts during our company-wide town hall event. Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, Enviva’s Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer and John Keppler, Enviva’s Chairman and CEO, presented me with the 2018 Enviva Achievement Award for Forests, which recognizes an associate’s commitment to stewardship of the forest and sustainability. It was an incredible honor, and it illustrates that all of us can do something, no matter how small, to make a difference when it comes to keeping our planet healthy, clean, and sustainable!"
We want to thank Gwyn for her efforts in this movement! Interested in taking a chapter from her book and bring composting to your workplace? Learn more here!