Looking Forward To Sustainable Choices

Common Ground's Sustainability Committee has been very busy this past year. Since January, we've been tracking and reporting metrics to the National Cooperative Grocer's Co+Efficient program to see what our environmental impact performance actually is, and how it compares with similar sized co-ops across the country.

We also advised purchasing hand dryers for the bathrooms that have already paid for themselves in paper product cost savings. Committee members have attended University of Illinois-sponsored sustainability events on water resources and business greening initiatives, all the while gathering information we can use to develop and prioritize sustainability projects for the future.

As we look forward to 2016 and a second location in Champaign, the committee has begun investigating and evaluating opportunities and partners for the Champaign store build out, including incentive programs GreenChill and Ameren Illinois' ActOnEnergy that may help us pay for LED and natural lighting, backfill coolers with doors, energy star appliances and other sustainable options for both the Champaign, and later the Urbana, locations. We are excited to be a part of the growth of a community-owned organization that uses available resources responsibly and values the long view toward economic and environmental health.