Sometimes green isn’t good. The Wicked Witch of the East is an evil biddy, the Incredible Hulk has rage issues, and raw green tomatoes can be poisonous. But the kind of green we are talking about is related to the environment, and what a ripe time it is to be green!
At Pagliacci, we are proud of the relationships that we have built over the years to create a green culture. Whether it’s working with public utilities on a commercial composting program or using compostable or recyclable items for packaging, we find these partnerships key to our sustainability. One of those partnerships is with the Eastside Sustainable Business Alliance, a coalition of seven Eastside cities and businesses that are working towards “sustainable operations and positive community impacts” by providing resources and incentives like the Eastside Green Business Challenge (EGBC).
Our green efforts have grown over the years. In 2006, we were one of the first restaurants to help develop a commercial composting program with Cedar Grove and local public utilities. Since then, we have continued to promote sustainability within the company and our communities, from our pizza boxes to our cleaning chemicals, our LEED-certified Madison Valley location and energy conservation standards, just to name a few.
But there’s always room for growth. Last year, co-owner, Matt Galvin accepted the Alliance’s Challenge, and joined 31 Eastside businesses, public agencies, and non-profits committed to reducing their carbon footprint. Throughout 2012, we set benchmarks and tracked our green practices, including reducing waste and water usage, purchasing renewable energy, and using recyclable and compostable materials at our locations and for delivery. Employee buy-in was a key component of our participation in the EGBC. With the leadership of John Clifford, Director of Operations, the company formed the Green Team, made up of employees from the corporate office and pizzerias. Due to the combined efforts of our crew, we finished in the top 10 and were honored with the EGBC’s “So Fresh and So Green Award”.
Green tomatoes may not be fully ripened, but when fried up with seasonings, they make a great dish. That’s how we view our green efforts; they may not be fully-matured, but with key ingredients (employees and community partnerships) we have something better than what we started with. The changes we’ve made as part of the EGBC continue to be a daily aspect of business, and most importantly, have helped us focus our green efforts and improve communication with employees about our new practices. With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd, isn’t it a ripe time to be green?