By Kyla Mrazek.
I am part of the Goodwill family, with over 6,000 employees working in 23 different counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. Working for Goodwill makes me proud each and every day, and for so many reasons.
We serve the mission of supporting individuals with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence. Our operations cover things you know – like our Goodwill Store & Donation Centers and our support programs for people with disabilities – and some you may not, like our packaging and assembly operations or our document destruction services.
In all that Goodwill does, we have a unique opportunity to be a leader in green. That commitment is another reason employees like me are proud to be a part of the Goodwill team. Our company is large and diverse, and with all the examples above, you can see how being green throughout our operations make a big impact. We are committed to being a green and environmentally friendly neighbor.
At Goodwill, we work hard to reduce our environmental footprint and find new ways to be green in all that we do. So let’s talk about the “GREEN” in Goodwill.
Goodwill is continually growing – so we work hard to incorporate green into our plans for that growth. When building new facilities, we separate construction waste and use regional and low-emitting materials to minimize our carbon footprint.
Recycling and Upcycling
You can imagine the items that Goodwill needs to recycle – from the cardboard boxes that donors use to bring items to our stores, to items like pallets and plastics from our Manufacturing operations. We have processes in place to handle all of those recyclables.
You may not realize it, but when you donate or shop at Goodwill, you set in motion a whole series of earth friendly activities. Every item that you donate or purchase at a Goodwill store is a one less item thrown away. You may have seen our upcycling contest, which encourages shoppers to enter their most creative upcycling projects. It’s instant recycling and upcycling.
The fact is, Goodwill was green before it became the trend that it is today, and we are proud of our commitment to preserving the environment. There are many ways that Goodwill is green, from recycling and upcycling efforts to the use of green principles in our facilities. Environmental impact are words that we use and put into motion each day. We partner with many national and local organizations on green initiatives like donation drives and computer recycling.
Goodwill works hard to make our locations as efficient as possible. For example, we use preventative maintenance designed to maximize the efficient operation of our equipment and facilities, and we use green refrigerants in our air conditioners and are upgrading lighting in our locations to more energy-efficient fixtures. Finally, we have installed motion sensors to cut down energy use and we have installed low flush toilets and use green landscaping practices. All of these steps make a big impact on the communities that we serve.
Together with the other 165 Goodwill organizations in North America, we kept 3 billion pounds of materials out of landfills last year. Our commitment here in Wisconsin and Illinois is echoed throughout the country, and the collective efforts of all of our organizations combined produce real impact.
So there it is – Goodwill is definitely green! For more information about Goodwill and how you can get involved in our efforts for greener communities, click here.
Kyla Mrazek, Marketing Projects Manager, focuses on supporting the business units that make up the Social Enterprise of Goodwill. For nearly nine years, Kyla has supported the growth of our Workforce and Business Development platforms, helping them to navigate unprecedented growth in those areas. Kyla has a Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.