SUSTAINABILITY @ GAI, U.S. Green Chamber

The Sustainability Committee at GAI was formed on Earth Day in 2009. However, this was not the beginning of GAI’s sustainable business practices. Our employees have promoted the firm’s awareness of environmentally friendly office products and recycling options for years, and each office handled sustainability differently.

In 2009, GAI’s executive staff determined that a coordinated approach to sustainability would be in the best interest of the firm. The Sustainability Program was launched to the entire staff on Earth Day of 2009. The vision statement for the Sustainability Committee is:

An employee driven, coordinated approach to sustainable business practices. And to ensure a responsible approach to internal business processes that have long-lasting, positive effects on the environment, our employees, and our clients.

I am very fortunate to work for a company such as GAI. Not only do we have passionate and dedicated engineers, a terrific support staff, but also an executive staff that listens to each employee for their thoughts and opinions about how this company operates. While our internal Sustainability Committee is employee-ran, it is overseen by our Executive Staff. Each year, our Executives continue to push and challenge our internal committee to do more with our Sustainability goals. We are excited about the upcoming projects for continued Sustainability at GAI.

The purpose of the Committee is to discuss, analyze and review all internal sustainability initiatives, make recommendations to the Executive Staff through regular communication, and once approved, act on those recommendations. At GAI, sustainability for us means establishing business operations protocol that benefit our employees, the planet, and our communities. All members of our Sustainability Committee volunteer their time to our efforts and we are grateful for their service.

Various activities are happening at GAI.

  • Our Information Technology department is continuing to virtualize servers, which is reducing our power consumption.
  • Our new videoconferencing systems continue to have a significant impact on our travel requirements.
  • More paper forms are being switched over to electronic workflows.
  • There are energy and water reduction programs actively being researched.
  • Recycling cell phones, computer equipment, ink & toner cartridges, plastic, glass, aluminum, and batteries in several offices
  • Established GAI’s first internal blog on Sustainability
  • GAI Building in Orlando is the first privately developed Silver LEED-Certified green office building in downtown Orlando

Statistics from our Sustainability Committee

The sustainability statistics are impressive over our 4 year history. Through our various programs with the Arbor Day Foundation, Staples, and Iron Mountain, we have achieved:

  • 3,114 Trees Saved
  • 987,103 Gallons of Water Saved
  • 46,100 Gallons of Oil Saved
  • 302 Cubic Yards of Landfill Reduction
  • 66,097 Pounds of GHG Emissions Reduced
  • 101 tons of Paper Recycled & Securely Shredded
  • 35% minimum post-consumer waste content on all office paper
  • 31% of all office supplies purchased are made from recycled materials

In 2014, our Sustainability Committee in Pittsburgh has entered the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge. This is a yearlong competition for organizations to save money and gain recognition for energy savings and other green initiatives. Participants’ track and measure improvements in the areas of energy, water, waste, and transportation. Points are earned based on actions taken. We are currently in 2nd place in the observer category.

 

For more information on sustainability at GAI, please contact Alan Gilman, Sustainability Chairman, at 412.476.2000.

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