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When green is more than the color of money

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08-21

Green. It’s the color of money and probably the most common color associated with banks. But what if we associated green with a bank because it supports sustainability, providing its customers and associates with an eco-friendly environment? What if green was a way of doing business rather than just the color of our currency?

Since 2007, “being green” has become a fundamental philosophy at UMB. And while doing the right thing is the main reason behind our green initiatives, we also save money and increase efficiencies by investing in this area. It’s a philosophy every company can participate in because there are so many different sustainability programs you can put into practice in your organization. We often encourage our clients to embrace as many green business practices as they can.

If your company is interested in “going green” or increasing your sustainability efforts, here are a few tips:

  • Consider installing solar panels. In case you missed last month’s post, read more about solar energy here: UMB Goes Solar.
  • Make a commitment to green building, including any new offices or locations your company builds. This can include everything from design to construction, and even the products used to construct the building. Once construction is complete, you can apply for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, along with other sustainable building distinctions.
  • Set up a waste reduction and recycling program, including batteries, cell phones, ink cartridges and paper. Depending on your business and locations, you can make this available to both associates and clients.
  • Provide eco-friendly services to your clients, such as online billing or e-statements
  • Organize associate volunteer groups to work at local green organizations, such as Adopt-a-Highway.
  • Join a community-sponsored agriculture program where local fresh fruit, produce, dairy and bread are delivered to your office weekly.
  • Facilitate a bike to work week or other eco-friendly commute programs.
  • Plan a “Wear Your Jeans for Green Day” where associates can donate a certain dollar amount to a non-profit that supports sustainability in exchange for the chance wearing jeans to work.
  • Engage your associates with green themed events, contests and educational programs such as lunch and learns.
  • Create a “Green Team” in your company that is responsible for leading the charge on all internal and external sustainability activities.

With so many options, your company can start by implementing one or two of the smaller programs. Eventually you can work your way up to the more large-scale initiatives. Learn more about corporate sustainability ideas at GreenBiz.com. We also encourage you to come up with your own ideas that are specific to your company or industry. Be creative!

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Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.