Congratulations to the Wylie Independent School District for completing their first Cool Choices sustainability engagement program! Wylie ISD is a public school district northeast of Dallas that serves more than 15,800 students from Wylie, Texas and neighboring communities. Over 300 staff across 23 schools and administrative buildings participated in the month-long Cool Choices program in April.
Over the course of the sustainability programs we implement with our corporate partners we always solicit employee suggestions—ideas for reducing waste and increasing efficiency at these companies.
We get a lot of ideas; in a typical program, participants submit hundreds of suggestions associated with saving energy, water and fuel while also reducing landfill waste.
Recently we analyzed the ideas we received from all of our 2016 programs to look for patterns and lessons learned as a resource for sustainability leaders. The full results are available in our “Employee Perspectives on Sustainability” white paper.
Cool Choices is excited to announce that this fall we will be leading a county-wide sustainability program in Waukesha County. Thousands of Waukesha County residents will have the opportunity to join teams with colleagues and friends to show off their smart habits and compete for prizes—all while saving money at home and at work by adopting sustainable practices.
Congratulations to Kohler Co. on their first Cool Choices employee engagement program!
Kohler is an industry leader in kitchen and bathroom products, engines and generators, decorative products and hospitality services. Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, the innovative company is a household name with more than 50 manufacturing locations on six continents, and more than 35,000 associates dedicated to providing a sense of gracious living to every corner of the world.
In July 2017 more than 500 Kohler associates across multiple divisions in Wisconsin participated in a six-week Cool Choices program where associates earned points for their sustainable practices at work and home.
Congratulations to Miron Construction Co., Inc., who just wrapped up their second Cool Choices employee engagement program around sustainability in June, 2017! Miron, a construction firm headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, has a longstanding commitment to sustainability.
We extend our congratulations to UW Health employees on completing their customized Cool Choices employee engagement program!
Check out how employees boosted sustainability efforts at UW Health!
In their game, UW Health employees achieved estimated savings of $253,365. The participants logged actions that will save 3,498,037 gallons (5 Olympic sized swimming pools) of water annually and avoid 2,613,589 lbs (1,034 car trips from LA to NYC) of CO2.
During the game UW Health employees shared 1,725 sustainable ideas. These suggestions can be implemented to save money and energy.
“By adopting sustainable practices UW Health employees save money at work and at home while improving their personal wellness and reducing environmental impacts,” noted Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director at Cool Choices.
Thanks UW Health employees, your engagement and dedication are very inspiring!
Cool Choices alumni take their sustainable actions seriously, and that means they continue to inspire us with their sustainability stories even after the program is over. This month we were impressed with Monica’s story about how she has made cool choices within her community!
What green activities have you been up to since taking part in the Cool Choices program?
The 4th grade boy next door, Matthew, and I are going to plant a tree together. His family’s landlord doesn’t want a tree planted on his lot, so Matthew and I will decide on a spot in my yard that is lonely for a tree. Temporarily the sapling is in a pot filled with dirt and compost from my compost maker (which I share with his family for their vegetable garden).
Talk about inspiring community engagement around sustainability! Monica took part in the Cool Choices online sustainability game in 2016 with Outpost Natural Foods.
This summer 15,000+ employees at UW Health will be invited to take a unique approach to being green and staying well. Staff will participate in a customized Cool Choices 8-week sustainability and wellness program by forming teams and competing daily to log their sustainable actions online.
Participants can expect to save money and reduce their energy use, while also learning new ways to be green. The online game-based platform also collects great ideas from employees on greening the workplace; this means front-line employees can help identify specific and creative saving opportunities.
“We’re excited to try this new way of getting staff at UW Health engaged in sustainability and thinking about what it means in the context of healthcare. Cool Choices will give us an opportunity to build social capital around shared sustainability experiences and ideas,” said Shannon Bunsen, Sustainability Specialist, at UW Health.
“Our Green STEPS and Wellness programs are very focused on the impact of individual behavior change, building teams and creating social norms with healthy, sustainable actions,” said Ellen Houston, Clinical Exercise Physiologist, UW Health. UW Health is customizing their Cool Choices implementation to highlight the link between wellness and sustainability. UW Health staff will be encouraged to adopt practices that are both good for the planet and good for employee wellbeing.
“Folks recognize that a number of sustainable practices—biking, taking the stairs vs. the elevator, and eating less red meat—also have very clear health benefits. Broader practices—like reducing energy and water use, managing waste streams, etc.—also affect our overall wellbeing,” noted Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director of Cool Choices, “so it’s terrific that UW Health is engaging its employees around these practices that affect wellness both directly and indirectly. A leader in healthcare, UW Health is also taking leadership on environmental responsibility. Cool Choices is delighted to be able to help them experiment with a fun and social model.”
UW Health has a dedicated history of environmental responsibility that includes a focus on patient and employee wellness. Recent initiatives include blue sterile wrap and plastic film recycling, new BCycle docking stations and the addition of a Farmers Market at the University Hospital. Learn more about UW Health’s deep commitment to a healthy environment here.
The Cool Choices team welcomes UW Health employees! We’re looking forward to seeing the momentum you’ll achieve and impact you’ll make during your 8-week program.
Curious about how our program could work for you? Watch our fun 40-second video to learn more!
If you eat lots of fruits and veggies, you could even have more! With the right information, composting can be a simple, yet important, step you can take to be more green.
Check out these links for more composting information: