Sustainable Georgia Roundup
New Bees-ness: Eight of Atlanta’s largest companies recently welcomed thousands of new workers, but instead of being on the payroll, the newcomers are helping to increase the businesses’ sustainability initiatives. AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Power, the Georgia World Congress Center, Intercontinental Exchange and Invesco worked with Durham, N.C.-based startup Bee Downtown to install more than 40 beehives and pollinator gardens on their corporate campuses. In addition to furthering the participants’ commitment to environmental stewardship, the project helps combat the rising rate of decline among U.S. honeybee populations.
According to Bee Downtown, honeybees pollinate within a three-mile radius, which means the corporate campus hives will have a positive impact on local gardens and agriculture. Each of these hives is expected to produce 40 to 70 pounds of honey per year. First harvest could take a year. Bee Downtown chose Atlanta as its first expansion city after being accepted last year by the Engage venture fund, which has its headquarters there.
Better Management: Insurance giant Aflac has received International Organization on Standardization (ISO) certification for environmental management at its headquarters facilities in Columbus. This recognition was awarded based on Aflac’s environmental planning for support services, strategic sourcing and procurement, information technology, facilities, transportation and corporate aviation. ISO certifications recognize companies that have proven practices in environmental responsibility and resource conservation in their business processes.
The most recent certification is a complement to the company’s ISO accreditation for outstanding energy efficiency planning, which Aflac has maintained since 2012. Plans include efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support for an employee recycling program and implementation of renewable energy solutions. Over the last 10 years, Aflac has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.