Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Kirsten Blackburn and Chris Enlow of KEEN Footwear

Hey guys! Holly Moynahan here, Zappos’ summer sustainability apprentice. Today I’m posting a fabulously unique interview with two awesome sustainability rockstars, Chris Enlow and Kirsten Blackburn of KEEN Footwear. Please read, watch, share, & enjoy! 

CHRIS ENLOW, corporate responsibility at KEEN and

KIRSTEN BLACKBURN, marketing specialist & corporate giving at KEEN

So we asked Chris & Kirsten :

  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
  • What do you do to stay motivated and energized?
  • If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Here’s what Chris & Kirsten had to say—check it out below!

A little bit more about social & environmental responsibility at KEEN

KEEN is a company rooted in the outdoors, creating and innovating product that takes you on adventures any place without a ceiling. KEEN believes that responsible businesses must act immediately to help solve the social and environmental crises now facing the world. Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with two of the company’s employees—Kirsten Blackburn and Chris Enlow—who dedicate their working hours to the community, the environment and the supply chain. Stay tuned until the end for a sneak peek into the company’s new campaign to Live Monumental.   

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

Sustainability partnership with KEEN at Zappos.com

Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Laura Schaffer of Mountain Hardwear

Greetings! Today, I am showcasing another sustainability rockstar from one of Zappos’ favorite brands. Below is my interview with Laura Schaffer from Mountain Hardwear. Please read, share, & enjoy!

LAURA SCHAFFER

Social & Environmental Responsibility Manager at Mountain Hardwear

 Zappos LEAF, Mountain Hardware, Sustainable workplaces, outdoor, outdoor brands, LEED Certified workplaces

 

What's your favorite thing about your job?

 

LS: I love the importance of collaboration and the huge opportunity for potential. How many positions really get to work across the business and multiple industries for that matter? To be successful in a sustainability role, collaboration is absolutely imperative. Knowing that the work that we’re doing will be far more powerful if we work as a team rather than individuals is a gift and a hugely important part of this job.

 

The other piece of this job I’m really driven by is potential – the potential for change, the potential for discovery, the potential to bring out the best in people and the business. It’s hard not to wake up charged when we have the opportunity to design the trail map and we’re the ones setting the route. I get to find challenges and then build solutions through a lens that brings a different dimension to the brand. By doing this, we’re moving the business forward by giving people the opportunity to do the work they want to do.

 

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration? 

LS: I am so inspired by people who are 100% themselves. People who don’t bend because society tells them to, but instead introduce new ideas and concepts because they aren’t afraid to think differently. Family has embodied a lot of that for me – my parents introduced me to the joy of learning and that the idea that challenging the norm is the norm. My sister has taught me what real friendship is, and my husband’s sticky notes around the house that say, “limits are negotiable” are a constant reminder that there is no reason to be stuck.

And kids. There’s no group out there as honest and open as kids, right? Watching my nearly one-year-old daughter discover life is the coolest thing. It is a constant reminder of just how amazing and special this world is, and it really helps me appreciate the simple things in life like leaves fluttering in the wind.

 

What do you do to stay motivated and energized?

LS: Mountains, mountains, mountains. Run, climb, bike, ski, take deep breaths, scare myself, laugh out loud, discover new, share with others…the mountains are definitely my happy place. Mountains are the ultimate source of energy for me. It’s where my mind is the clearest and I can think in ways that are hard to when stuck in a bubble. There is also great value to seeing the way other people interact with the mountains. There is so much to learn from each other.

On that note, people keep me motivated and energized. Specifically, talking to people. We are in a world where it is very easy to put your head down and forget to look up. Progress won’t come from staring at your computer, instead the solutions will come from ideas that come out of real live conversations with other people, whether it’s someone you talk to every day or the random person on the street corner. That’s where the real power comes from.

Both mountains and people make me keep my eyes open and pay attention, and that’s what keeps me going for more.

 

 If you could be an animal, what would you be?

LS: Monkeys seem like they have a good deal of fun swinging through trees and throwing coconuts in beautiful places, I could be into that.

__________________________________________________________________________

A little bit more about social & environmental responsibility at Mountain Hardwear:

Since Mountain Hardwear was born in 1993, they have focused on building reliable, long-lasting products that people can build memories with. The gear they make is built to be the adventurer’s best friend. It’s reliable, it performs, and it lasts. With that foundation, four key values drive Mountain Hardwear’s sustainability strategy – Social & Environmental Consideration, Outdoor Conservation, Community and Empowerment.

 

They use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index to help measure, track and improve the social and environmental performance of their products.  They work with suppliers that share their values of fair and ethical treatment of workers and sustainable manufacturing practices, and they have teams of local specialists who work with manufacturing partners toward continuous improvement.

Their employees are inspired by a 100% solar powered workplace on the San Francisco Bay, LEED certified retail stores, industry partnerships with groups like Conservation Alliance and OIWC, 40 volunteer hours and the GO Program that rewards people for being active in the community. These are only a few examples of the work Mountain Hardwear is currently engaged in, check out the full picture at http://www.mountainhardwear.com/sustainability.html. 

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Derek Sabori of Volcom

Hi everyone! My name is Holly Moynahan and I am Zappos’ Sustainability Apprentice (intern) for summer 2015! As part of my sustainability apprenticeship, I got the opportunity to interview a few sustainability rockstars from some of Zappos’ favorite brands. This will be blogged as a series and below is my first interview with Derek Sabori at Volcom. Please read, share, & enjoy!

 

Volcom, Zappos Culture, Zappos Sustainability, global sustainability, LEED Certified workplaceWhat's your favorite thing about your job? 

DS: Besides working for a brand that is committed to the sports and lifestyle I love!? Working with all the different aspects of the business has got to be a close second. I get to have the unique role of working smack-dab in the middle of the action. I report to the CEO, interact with most all the teams here at Volcom, and act as our brand sustainability liaison to Kering’s sustainability team in Paris, France. It’s not too bad…I mean, where else does the sustainability guy get to sit in the commentator’s booth next to a surf legend (a-hem Gerry Lopez) and talk shop during the worldwide webcast of a major surf contest?

 

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

DS: More and more I’m inspired by what’s left to do. I think sustainability is sort of a never-ending pursuit, and if you’ve got a competitive drive, you’re constantly trying to tackle as much as possible and are always aware that the finish line is this elusive target that feels within reach, but is always just slightly, out of it. So I’m inspired by that challenge. I’m also inspired by the fact that there are people in the company that are passionate about sustainability, changing their own personal lifestyles, and are committed to seeing us through with the sustainability vision we’ve created for ourselves.

 

What do you do to stay motivated and energized?

DS: I make time for my personal well-being; It’s a priority for me. I surf as often as my schedule will allow it, and do yoga (thanks to some inspiration from our Volcom Wellness Committee) and other strengthening programs all throughout the week. My family life keeps me energized as well – love that crew!

 

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

DS: A whale shark.

 

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A little bit more about sustainability at Volcom

Volcom has an Environmental Sustainability program and a Product and Social Safety Program (P.A.S.S.). Volcom is also a part of the Kering Group and follows in suit with their robust sustainability program.

A couple of things to note about sustainability at Volcom:

  • Volcom measures its impacts by way of the EP&L (Environmental Profit & Loss)
  • Volcom continues to increase the amount of recycled fiber it uses in its products, mostly through the use of Repreve branded fibers.
  • Volcom is a Fair Labor Association member (and possibly the first in its industry)
  • Thanks to Kering, Volcom’s Scope 1-2 emissions are offset with REDD+ credits, through Wildlife works. The same goes for Volcom’s Sustainable by Design/Deep Blue Surf Events.
  • You can almost always find a current community event, or Give Back initiative happening at Volcom.
  • Volcom has a strong wellness program at its offices and offers an incentive each month for sustainable living (fun raffle).

You can see much of what Volcom does/has done here at http://newfuture.volcom.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/volcomnewfuture

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

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Zappos 4th Annual Earth Day Party

On April 20th Zappos hosted its 4th Annual Earth Day Celebration in the plaza of our LEED Gold-certified campus. We had twenty new and returning vendors join the Zappos LEAF Team to create an awesome event highlighting how easy it is to be earth friendly.

Earth Day 2015, Zappos Culture, Earth Day Celebration, LEED Certification, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, Zappos Campus,

Earth Day 2015, Zappos Culture, Earth Day Celebration, LEED Certification, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, Zappos Campus,

Tons of Zapponians hung out with us, enjoyed the sunshine, and learned about sustainable initiatives. Similar to years past, our metric for success is to teach each Zapponian at least one new eco-friendly habit that makes a real difference. Whether it’s to buy brands that use recycled content in their apparel, or use a reusable shopping bag at the grocery store; every little habit or lifestyle change helps keep the planet a wonderful place to live.

Earth Day 2015, Zappos Culture, Earth Day Celebration, LEED Certification, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, Zappos Campus,

 

Earth Day 2015, Zappos Culture, Earth Day Celebration, LEED Certification, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, Zappos Campus,

We had all sorts of educational activities and giveaways for our employees. Back by popular demand was the raffle for two beach cruisers. Employees earned raffle tickets by visiting each of the Earth Day participants. Congratulations to Holly O. and Erik L. for winning the 2015 #ZapposEarthDay beach cruisers!

Special thanks to all of our friends who participated this year and a giant high five to the Zappos Bistro team for grilling corn on the cob. We’ll see you next year!

Thanks to these very special friends who helped make our 4th Annual Earth Day Celebration a success!

KEEN

prAna

Merrell

Klean Kanteen

Whole Foods

BluMarble

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Renu Oil of America

Republic Services

Clean the World

NV Energy

Sierra Club

Vegas Roots

Las Vegas Cyclery

Springs Preserve

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Zerorez

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)

Fat Daddy’s Ice Cream

Taylored Photo Memories

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

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Zappos launches employee bike share program

Happy Earth Day! Cue the music! “Bicycle! Bicycle!! Bicycle!!! I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…” (Queen: Bicycle Race. 1978)

The LEAF Team is excited to announce a new employee bike-sharing program at the Zappos corporate HQ! We purchased ten Electra Townie cruisers for employees to ride around and explore downtown Las Vegas. Employees are encouraged to go for a solo-ride, group-ride or team-meeting-ride during normal business hours. All they need to do is sign out a bike at our Z-Concierge desk in the main lobby and then they’ll be on their way with a helmet, lock and an awesome custom Classic Messenger Bag from Timuk2.

Zappos LEAF, Zappos LEAF Team, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, bike share, Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, bike share program, Earth Day,

There’s no better time to ride a bike in downtown Las Vegas than right now. It’s booming thanks in part to the Downtown Project’s revitalization efforts. There are many new shops, restaurants, bars and cultural projects popping up every month. Additionally, the City of Las Vegas painted a generous amount of bike lanes and installed more than 40 bike racks on the flat streets of downtown.

Conversations about a Zappos employee bike-sharing program started after hanging out with Timbuk2 in San Francisco and chatting about their successful public bike-sharing programs inside their retail stores. After a few more discussions, (and a few more beers) the kinks were worked out and the bikes were ordered!

bike share, bike share program, earth day, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, Zappos LEAF team

Special thanks to Timbuk2 for their involvement in our program and the sweet custom Classic Messenger Bags.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Two New Toyota Hybrids join the Zappos Fleet!

Zappos is excited to announce the addition of two new Toyota Highlander Hybrids to our fleet of shuttle vehicles. Zappos has a fleet of six vehicles and one bus. We use the vehicles to “WOW” our brand reps from Nike, Adidas, Frye, UGG, etc. with rides to and from the airport when they come to visit our Las Vegas HQ for meetings. We also extend the “WOW” to our employees who travel for work or need a ride to the doctor’s office. If you are a job candidate, then it’s most likely we’ll be picking you up from the airport, too!

hybrid vehicles, Zappos Sustainability, Zappos HQ, Zappos Downtown, Zapponians, Zappos Sustainability, sustainable workplaces,

Zappos pledged to always give replacement priority to electric, hybrid, or CNG vehicles as the fleet vehicles reach their life expectancy. We’re conscious of the miles we drive and the more MPG we gain, the less emissions we produce. The two new Toyota Highlander Hybrids are replacing a Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon. In the fall of 2012, Zappos purchased its first alternative fuel vehicle, a compressed natural gas (CNG) Dodge Caravan.  The new Toyotas have a fancy vinyl wrap that turns heads constantly. The wraps prominently feature the word “hybrid” to demonstrate our commitment to cleaner driving to our customers, brand reps, employees, and fellow Las Vegas residents.

hybrid vehicles, Zappos Sustainability, Zappos HQ, Zappos Downtown, Zapponians, Zappos Sustainability, sustainable workplaces,

Zappos has an awesome team of six drivers. Zack, a nine-year Zapponian, and Dennis, a seven-year Zapponian, were responsible for researching and procuring the Toyota hybrids. “It’s a better vehicle. It’s better for the environment. Employees are asking about the benefits of the hybrid engine and how it drives. They feel special riding in them. The hybrids were a great choice”, said Zack. Dennis commented, “Zappos leads by example and it was the right thing to do. In the long run, the extra cost of the hybrids will pay off for us because of the miles we drive. They’re by far the most efficient vehicles we’ve ever had.”

hybrid vehicles, Zappos Sustainability, Zappos HQ, Zappos Downtown, Zapponians, Zappos Sustainability, sustainable workplaces,

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Zappos LEAF Team Treks to Timbuk2

In mid-January, the Zappos LEAF team traveled to the Mission District of San Francisco to spend an exciting day at the Timbuk2 headquarters. Since 1989, Timbuk2 has been making some of the finest messenger bags, luggage and laptop bags on the market. The Zappos LEAF team was invited to visit the Timbuk2 office and factory to see first hand what makes these bags so unique and eco-friendly.

It’s all about the company culture. Timbuk2 was founded by a hardcore bike enthusiast, Rob Honeycutt, who started sewing his own bags in his garage. Twenty-five years later, the Timbuk2 crew is still making world-class bags inside a warehouse in the Mission District. Guided by their mission, To inspire urban mobility, enable individuality, and promote responsibility – we saw first hand that this company maintains the passion for quality and innovation by staying true to its roots and community.

 Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands,Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, cycling bags,

Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands,Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, cycling bags,

 Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands,Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, cycling bags,

The Timbuk2 office feels like a startup. The renovated warehouse has high loft ceilings, natural light and an open office floor plan. Teams sit in little clusters of desks across two floors. The employees on the upper floor need only to look over the handrail to see the teams below.  There are no offices or doors. CEO Patti Cazzato sits right next to everyone else. At times the office was eerily quiet while everyone was engrossed in his/her work, and at other times the office was vibrant, energetic and loud. The open office design was very familiar to the Zappos crew. At Zappos HQ in Las Vegas, our 1,500 employees sit in an open office as well. Read why we think open offices work for us here.

Timbuk2 has not forgotten its roots in the biking community. Just like the bike messengers of San Francisco, many of the Timbuk2 employees ride their bike to work each day. There is ample indoor bike parking inside the warehouse and a shower for sweaty commuters. Timbuk2 recently launched bike sharing in its San Francisco and Seattle retail stores. Customers can checkout a bike, bag, helmet and lock for the day by simply leaving their driver’s license and credit card with the store clerk. The bike-sharing program has been very successful and is a great fit for a company founded on bike transportation. The Zappos team took home lots of great ideas for starting our own employee and/or customer bike-sharing program in downtown Las Vegas.

 Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands,Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, cycling bags,

cycling bags, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands, timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, Zappos LEAF

What’s really cool is that 40% of Timbuk2 bags are made right in their San Francisco warehouse, including 100% of the custom bags that you can design and order on Timbuk2.com. Custom-design bags are made in just minutes!

I had the amazing opportunity to design a custom messenger bag and then watch it get made right before my eyes. But the coolest part is the zero-waste philosophy of “Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, Reimagine” First, the fabrics are cut perfectly to leave very little scrap material. The small amounts of scraps are recycled with Terracycle. Additionally, the Timbuk2 Lifecycle program encourages their customers to send the bags back to them for repair. If a bag cannot be repaired, Timbuk2 will recycle it AND send the customer a 20% coupon off his/her next bag. How cool!

Timbuk2, Timbuk2 bags, Zappos LEAF, eco-friendly companies, sustainable brands,Timbuk2 San Francisco headquarters, cycling bags,

After an amazing day in the warehouse, the LEAF team and Timbuk2 team went out to the local bar to unwind and recap the day’s events. We talked about how our two companies – one twenty-five years old, the other fifteen years old – felt as young, passionate and determined as ever. We found so many similarities between the Zappos and Timbuk2 cultures – it’s like our companies were cut from the same cloth!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

SHOP TIMBUK2 >>

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How to dispose of fats, oils, and grease the Earth-friendly way!

The garbage disposal is a wonderful invention, but did you know some food waste is not meant to go down your kitchen drain?  Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) should all be kept out of drains and disposed of properly. Although FOG starts off as a liquid, it doesn’t necessarily stay that way.  Once they cool they often thicken and this has a number of side effects, from causing clogs in pipes and sewer systems to contaminating our water source. 

Most cities have water reclamation guidelines to help residents dispose of FOG properly.  Many of them request that all fat, oil, and grease be thrown away instead of washed down the sink.  After cooking, simply pour the excess FOG into a jar and toss it into the trash. Don’t have an empty jar?  A tin can filled with paper towels or newspaper works just as well. 

If you’re feeling super resourceful, try reusing the oil! Most fats and oils are reusable at least once more as long as they are kept refrigerated between uses. Reusing your oil may sound strange, but many chefs reuse oils at home. In fact, my grandma did this with bacon fat. Not only was it a money and time saver, it was also delicious!

Simply use cheesecloth to strain grits in the fat and then store the rest in the fridge. The grease can then be used in place of oil when frying or sautéing dishes and a quick search online will yield lots of yummy recipes posted by resourceful cooks.

 Zappos LEAF, Zappos LEAF team, las vegas sustainability, disposing of fats oils and grease, Zappos Campus, Zappos HQ, Zappos LEED Gold Certification, environmentally-friendly workplace,

Here at Zappos HQ, the cooks in our Zappos Bistro keep the fryer oil out of the drain by recycling it with a local Las Vegas company. In 2014, our kitchen recycled more than 5,500 pounds of yellow grease and fryer oil. That’s 2.75 tons!

So, the next time you find yourself with any excess FOG, remember, save it in the fridge or toss it in the trash, but please don’t pour it down the drain!

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf