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For Earth Day, Untours' Environmental Practices and Lessons From Europe

Andrea Szyper's picture
on Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:07
Untours is a B Corp that uses solar power

Untours is very concerned about the environment, but not in a lip-service, greenwashing kind of way. We honestly and truly care. We work to mitigate the environmental impact of travel and to minimize and offset our office carbon footprint. Our B Corp certification process screens us for environmental policies and practices, so our values are tested and lived, and certified as more than a slogan!

Here are some of the things we do to be a business that is good for the environment.

  • We have an 18.8 kW solar installation that provides a substantial portion of the electricity used in the building.
  • Carbon offsets are purchased for employee travel and commuting. 
  • 100% of the additional electricity purchased is from renewable sources.
  • Company recycling includes paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal. 
  • Recycling efforts also include in-office worm composting for food scraps and stations for employees to recycle batteries and plastic bags from work and home use.
  • Office paper products are sourced with the highest levels of post-consumer recycled content, and office furniture is salvage/reused.
  • The company uses non toxic cleaning supplies, organic and sustainable kitchen supplies, and reusable or compostable catering supplies.
  • Office measures to conserve energy include the use of Energy Star equipment when possible, programmable thermostats, and moderation in heating and cooling.
  • All electronics are donated or disposed of responsibly.
  • Consumer mailings are very limited and are printed on high post-consumer recycled content paper.
  • In-office printing defaults to double sided to save paper. And we try to minimize printing in general.

 
Brian Taussig-Lux, our president has a masters degree in business and environmental policy, and he oversaw our conversion to solar power. He and many of us have been inspired by the European cultures we visit, where conservation is part of the culture. Whether it is memories of WWII scarcity or the high price of heating fuel, most Europe are more deliberate and measured in their energy usage.
 
From Swiss composting to the Tuscans' many uses for stale bread to the elaborate sorting of recyclables and waste along the Amalfi Coast, we are delighted to watch our guests learn these best practices and perhaps bring some inspiration home with them.
 
Happy Earth Day!
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