What’s Green About This Workplace?

“Goodwill has been “green” for over 100 years and Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona (GISA) is proud to carry on that tradition by keeping close to 19 million pounds of goods out of Arizona landfills from July of 2009 thru June of 2010.

When a person makes a donation, whether it is a piece of furniture or a pair of shoes, GISA makes every effort to keep that item out of area landfills. First, the item is placed on the retail floor at one of the ten area stores. After three weeks, the item is discounted to 50% off. If the item is not sold after four weeks, it is sent to the Outlet store on Irvington Rd. At the Outlet, items are sold by the pound ($1.29 for the first two pounds and .33 a pound for every pound thereafter). Once the item has cycled through the Outlet store, it is sent to Auction at the Silverlake location. During the auction, items are sold in bulk and customers bid on large bundles of goods. Upon completion of the auction, any leftover items are sold on the salvage market. Textiles (clothing, linens, etc.) are cut up and sold as rags, computers are recycled through a partnership with Dell, and all other items are either recycled or sold as salvage.

Throughout the entire process, GISA makes every effort to sell all donated items in order to support all of the programs and services that are offered to the community. However, by being able to keep such a large number of goods out of landfills, Goodwill is able to promote an environmentally friendly workplace while generating revenue to help those with barriers to employment.

GISA is currently the 7th fastest growing company in Pima County and from July 2009 thru June 2010, they added nearly 100 jobs to the community through three new store openings and continued company-wide growth. With the current economic downfall and an unemployment rate in Pima County hovering near 10%, these are needed jobs and jobs that GISA feels proud to provide to the community.”

“We saved almost 19,000,000 of goods from going to Southern Arizona landfills in the last FY because of our donated goods life cycle. Donations go from stores to outlet to auction to salvage in order to ensure very few things get thrown away.”

“In 2008-2009 fiscal year, 10,445,760 pounds of goods were recycled and diverted from landfills.

In 2009-2010 fiscal year, 18,847,890 pounds of goods were recycled and diverted from landfills.

Small steps towards being green are also taken daily by employees such as printing copies on both sides of the paper to reduce paper usage; turning computers off at night; and turning thermostats to 80 degrees after hours to reduce energy usage.”

“Goodwill accepts donations of clothing and other household items. Goodwill then sells them and the profits are used to help people find jobs!”