Headshot of Laura Soma

Laura Soma

Sustainability Manager

Meet Laura

If there is one universal take-away from the historic events of 2020, it is the need to put words into ACTION. Many of us hold values that promote diversity, health, and sustainability. But intention and results are two very different things. Earlier this month, we announced our corporate pledge to the BuildingGreen Contractor’s Commitment, to measure and track GLY’s sustainable intentions and efforts. In celebration of Earth Day 2021, we invite you to join us and take ACTION for a better future for our planet and the coming generations.

How it Works

In simplest terms, the BuildingGreen Contractor’s Commitment is a construction industry-specific roadmap to build in-house sustainability programs, set goals, and measure progress and impacts. Categorized into five themes, the Commitment provides General Contractors with a variety of Best Management Practices [ranked Good, Better, and Best] for each theme: carbon emissions, water, waste, wellness and materials.

Use this roadmap to take inventory of your firm’s goods and recognize impacts of firm practices. This is the first step in any improvement journey – recognition and understanding. Today, building owners and city/state governments require contractors to be better stewards of the environment. Regardless of these requirements, being a responsible steward is simply the right thing to do.

Sample of Best Management Practices at GLY

  • Develop and enforce an Anti-Idling policy.
  • Request EPDs [Environmental Product Declarations] from suppliers and subcontractors.
  • Track firm’s Green House Gas Emissions.
  • Develop an indoor air quality program for job trailers and field offices.
  • Identify weather exposure risks for field crews.
  • Improve waste management practices to help keep construction waste out of landfills.
  • Identify and mitigate water pollution risks.
  • Manage and monitor onsite water use.
  • Improve material selections for the health and safety of craftspeople.
  • Replace commonly used caustic materials with healthier more sustainable options.

Taking Action at GLY

This week, we made significant progress in calculating the entire company’s carbon footprint [per year] in order to make a strategic effort to reduce travel and off-set our emissions. This is a simple measurement when looking specifically at GLY’s Corporate Office in Bellevue, but more challenging when looking at many jobsites and temporary offices. To calculate carbon footprint, we take the following into account: fossil fuels, electrical heat and power, employee commutes, material deliveries, site travel, and more. We’re close to wrapping up this critical measurement and look forward to reducing the number going forward!

If you’re curious about your personal carbon footprint, try one of the following carbon calculators: