Leaf-earning Contest and Tree Planting Initiative with Habitat for Humanity

The Program

In an effort to recognize the “green” acts that the members of Boardman Clark perform every day, and to encourage additional green activities, the Sustainability Committee at Boardman Clark created a method for tracking and rewarding a wide variety of sustainable initiatives. In addition to promoting individual green acts, the rewards themselves are part of a larger sustainability initiative that first came to fruition on Earth Day 2011, and will continue on an annual basis.

In order to track the firm’s green efforts, the committee first designed a matrix of topics intended to cover the full range of activities that could fall under the heading of “sustainable”—from resource conservation and waste reduction to health and wellness, and even office culture. Then the committee posted the matrix to an internal webpage. Members of the firm can report a sustainable act they’ve performed by visiting the page and selecting the activity from the matrix.

Each completed act earns a reward in the form of leaves or branches, with the ultimate goal being to earn a full tree. The simple formula is ten leaves equals a branch, and ten branches equals a tree. The number of leaves or branches rewarded for an act is determined by the act’s sustainable significance. Turning off your computer for the night, for example, would earn you a leaf, while implementing a paperless filing system would earn you an entire branch.

For each whole tree that is earned before Earth Day 2011, Boardman will plant an actual tree native to Southern Wisconsin. In its first year alone, the firm accumulated 1,400 leaves, which would equate to 14 new trees being planted.

The Results

To execute the planting of the earned trees, Boardman Clark teamed up with Habitat for Humanity. Nine members of the firm teamed up with the organization to plant 20 trees on property along Northport Drive.

“With their tree donation, valued at nearly $3,000, and the value of their time planting these trees, this is a tremendous help to Habitat and our mission of building simple, decent and affordable homes with low to moderate income families,” said Perry Ecton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. “Our families will appreciate their generosity for many years to come.”

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County provides simple, decent, affordable housing for families who might not otherwise become homeowners. Eligible families pay monthly mortgage payments on a 0% interest loan, and contribute from 325 to 375 hours of sweat equity in the building of their homes and an additional 25 hours helping other Habitat homeowners build their homes. For more information on Habitat for Humanity of Dane County and homeownership opportunities, call 255-1549 or visit www.habitatdane.org.

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