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Credit Human Making Large Strides with Waste Management

One of Credit Human’s Strategic Objectives commits to a 50% environmental footprint reduction through all operations by 2025, which includes GHG mitigation strategies, renewable energy adoption and procurement, and the implementation of sustainability programs portfolio wide. The primary goal is to reduce solid waste across all properties and to begin recycling and composting efforts at locations that do not currently have any in place. Credit Human has customized a recycling program that best complements these goals through the active participation of employees and a newly redesigned internal operation. Key components of this program include educational and behavioral change, source reduction, waste diversion, and green building practices and certifications. These are described in more detail in the tables below:

Education and Behavioral Change

Credit Human has prioritized providing solid waste management materials, training, and guidelines to introduce staff to the recycling program. These resources work to inform and engage staff with the best waste management practices at hand. To account for all areas of waste management, Credit Human also provides guidance and materials for onsite recycling and food waste. Stickers and signage are placed on all recycling cabinets throughout the buildings to match cities' colors (ex. blue for co-mingled recycling, green for compost, and brown for solid waste). Additional signage will be created with QR codes linked to videos on proper recycling and composting practices to provide supplemental education on waste diversion.

Credit Human recognized that the success of the waste reduction goals will require supplementing education and outreach with behavioral change. Staff members are encouraged to participate in activities such as raffles and lunch-and-learns relating to waste management. If an employee is seen composting or recycling, they will receive a raffle ticket. Raffle drawings occur monthly with prizes ranging from gift cards, locally grown produce, and items to promote zero waste beyond the office space.

Education and Behavioral ChangeTask
Communication and Support StructureOn a bi-yearly  basis, a specific person or group is responsible for providing support and informing employees on the progress of the recycle & compost program.
Employee Training Program and CertificationsKey employees are trained or have current certifications directly relating to waste management (including remote locations). Vendors, janitors, and additional cleaning staff are trained in energy conservation practices and green cleaning methods.
Addressing Abundant Waste StreamsExplanation of how to reduce, reuse, or recycle four of the most abundant wastes.
Signage and Bin PlacementEasily identifiable and consistent signage is provided on recycling and compost bins throughout all areas of the facility.

 

Source Reduction and Waste Diversion

Source reduction and waste diversion play an essential role in this program. Reduction efforts include purchasing from suppliers who reuse packaging materials and eliminating disposable products. Credit Human has implemented a bulky material diversion policy to ensure furniture is reused or donated to charitable organizations. Clothing and food donation policies are in the works so gently used uniforms and excess food are not disposed. Sustainability Programs Manager will report progress quarterly to team members.

 

Source Reduction and Waste DiversionTask
Providing Appropriate ReceptaclesCredit Human provides receptacles by priority: addressing compost, shredding (sensitive materials only), recycle, and landfill.

Create and Implement Recycling and Composting Programs

 

A program should define goals (metrics, milestones and potential outcomes) and standard operating procedures.

 

Eliminate Single-use Plastic and Avoid Disposables Credit Human does not provide disposable cups, dishware, or tableware. Instead, reusable tableware or dishware and cleaning materials are provided.
Bulky and Durable Materials DiversionCreate & implement policies that ensure unused equipment or furniture is refurbished, reused, or donated to charitable organizations.
Food and Clothing DonationsCreate & implement guidance ensuring excess food or unused uniforms are donated rather than being disposed.

 

Green Building Practices and Certifications

As a Better Buildings partner, Credit Human has committed to strengthening their green building practices and certifications. The Credit Human headquarters, located in San Antonio, TX has an Energy Star score of 94 and is LEED Platinum certified. This was the first building in San Antonio to receive the Build San Antonio Green Resilient Building certification. Additionally, a 1 Megawatt  solar array was installed that produces close to 40% of the energy needed for the building.

To complement the key vendor training (see “education and behavior change” table), Environmental Purchasing Guidance (EPG) was put into practice in 2023. EPG focuses on market standards and ecolabels to identify and procure environmentally preferable products and services.

Green Building Practices and Certifications

 

Task
Property Management Recycling and Compost ProgramsCredit Human provides recycling and compost services to tenants. A batteries recycling program is also offered.
Environmental Purchasing GuidanceCreate & implement an Environmental Purchasing Guidance (EPG).
Building CertificationsEnergy Star certified, LEED Platinum Building, Build San Antonio Green Resilient Building Reward.

 

Rollout Timeline, 2023: 

January Update comingled signage, rollout recycling/composting bins at Financial Health Centers (FHC) and Branches, ensure vendors and facilities staff are trained on protocols, begin staff training for proper recycling, start raffle, email blast about recycling/composting opportunities 
February  Schedule first lunch and learn for staff at headquarters (meeting will be recorded), begin recycling/composting audit with new standards rolled out, continue raffle 
March Continue raffle, rollout learning opportunities (if possible), check on FHCs and Branches for additional training or to address vendor issues 
April Travel to company locations to train staff on recycling/ composting, audit recycling and composting efforts, work with vendor if any issues arise, second lunch and learn 
May Continue raffle 
June End of raffle (grand prize winner will be drawn), third lunch and learn 
July Email blast for recycling/compost efforts 
August Fourth lunch and learn 
September Travel to company locations and audit recycling/composting efforts 
October Fifth lunch and learn 
November Email blast for recycling/composting efforts 
December Sixth lunch and learn, collect all logbook data, and calculate greenhouse gas emissions for the entire portfolio to include recycling, compost, and solid waste, create new goals or redo education and training as needed 

Credit Humans waste reduction goes well beyond just the internal scope of the company. Credit Human has partnered with a local composting organization in San Antonio, TX for onsite program support. The compost is processed at a local Talking Tree Farm using a combination of bokashi and hot composting to process the food scraps. When the process is complete, the composting company works to distribute it to their clients, sell it locally, or donate to community gardens.

To track progress, Credit Human will be measuring the program through annual data collections. The first year of the program will serve as a baseline for each location. Annual waste tonnage is calculated and then shared with Sustainability Program Managers who will work to analyze and evaluate progress throughout the year. Categories they will be analyzing include landfill waste, recycling, and composting. A internal dashboard will be created to track data and metrics from a spreadsheet. This will show all baselines for the three areas of focus: buildings, transportation, and solid waste. The dashboard will be updated annually with new metrics to show how close Credit Human is to the 50% operational reduction goal by 2025. 

In 2021 Credit Human gathered baseline data for their headquarters, 1703 Broadway, located in San Antonio, TX after initial efforts including the elimination of plastic and paperless operations. 1703 Broadway diverted 55% (shown as 42% recycling and 13% compost, below) of solid waste from landfill.

NamePoundsBaseline GHG metric tonsCurrent Percentages
Solid Waste40,511 lbs. of waste63.3845%
Recycling37,199 lbs. of recycling58.242%
Compost11,501 lbs. of compost4.5913%

This baseline data serves as an example for other locations as they collect waste data on a quarterly and annual basis in conjunction with the Sustainability Programs Manager.

In 2022, Credit Human worked to solidify a plan for waste reduction initiatives portfolio-wide, engaging employees through training and introducing sustainable operations. Their 2023 goal is to increase recycling by 20% at headquarters and to begin recycling and composting programs at all other locations.