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December 2013
Looking Back, Looking Ahead, and Making a Difference

'Tis the season for looking back at accomplishments, and setting goals for next year. So we thought we would give you a little of both in this year-end newsletter, plus a look at an interesting life-changing project in Senegal.

Thank you for another great year.  We have enjoyed working with you, and look forward to more rewarding greening. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
MakingMaking a Difference: Training Women in Senegal

Great Forest is a proud supporter of the Blacksmith Institute, a nonprofit that works to clean up some of the world's worst polluted communities, where children are poisoned every day. 
Thank you to all our clients who have joined us over the years to support Blacksmith's work. How did our support make a difference this year? Here is one example - a project to train women in Senegal to provide them with a safe and sustainable way to earn an income and feed their family.  
This woman was one of over 100 women who attended the training sessions in the village of Ngagne Diaw, where over 32 children died in 2008 from lead poisoning caused by the dangerous job of backyard battery recycling. Now, these women will no longer have to recycle batteries. They will no longer be forced to choose between making a living wage and the safety of their children. 
Blacksmith grew from Great Forest's success and both continue to be steered by Richard Fuller. 
Today, Blacksmith is a four-star charity, working with governments and partners around the world to solve pollution problems and save lives. Join us to support life-changing projects like this
BackLooking Back:  Two Examples of Success

ENERGY:  Five Steps in Five Years

Energy efficiency is one of the biggest keys to sustainability. If you want to green your company and save money, you cannot avoid dealing with energy.  

One of our clients, a major institution, has spent the past five years on various efforts to trim their energy use and costs. The result, a year-over-year improvement, can be seen in the graph below, with the 2011/12 and 2012/13 fiscal years showing the biggest drop in energy use.  The amount of energy reduced from the first year baseline is represented by the bars below the graph. 

So what did they do? See the five steps they took.

 (Click here to see larger graph)


WASTE: Pushing the Final Frontier with Composting


Waste is the other big portion of any sustainability plan and composting is emerging as the final frontier of waste and recycling. Many organizations that already have waste reduction programs in place are realizing that composting may be one of the few ways left to improve corporate sustainability goals.

Great Forest worked with a major commercial-residential complex in midtown Manhattan to develop and monitor a back-of-house composting program, which has diverted nearly 1,000 tons of organic waste from the landfill since the program's inception, and 500 tons in 2013 so far. 

In the five-year chart below, you can see that the complex's trash totals were on the rise in 2009 and 2010 before starting to drop steadily over the next three years following the implementation of the composting program in 2011.
AheadLooking Ahead: Five Things Business Should Do To Start The Year With Sustainability in Mind 
Image courtesy of
This time of year lends itself to reflection, re-evaluation, and goal setting. Look through the lens of sustainability with the following five tips and your business will jump start 2014 with an eco-advantage.

1. Consider your accomplishments in 2013. What sustainability strategies did your company implement this past year? Were they successful? Are your employees and customers aware of your efforts? Don't keep your accomplishments all to yourself! Ensure all sustainability strategies are being documented, and analyzed for improvement. Communicate tangible results of your efforts to all stakeholders, and to the media where appropriate.

2. Re-evaluate your business' vision and mission. Does your company mission statement include sustainability at its core? What is the vision for the future of your business? When looking at your business from 30,000 feet you will find that it is easy to incorporate sustainability. After all, you probably want to continue to be relevant and offer a useful product/service in 5, 20, and 50 years, right? How can sustainability be incorporated into these central aspects of your business, if they are not already?
Great Forest Inc.
2014 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10035

A pioneer in the industry with over 20 years of experience, Great Forest is one of the leading sustainability consultancies in the country. We improve environmental performance and reduce costs for clients nationwide ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to property management companies, hotels, retailers, financial and educational institutions, and municipalities. 


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