SOLAR PRODUCTION117.9MWh OF CLEAN ENERGY
EQUIVALENT TO 91.4 TONS OF CARBON OFFSET
EQUIVALENT TO $12,620 DOLLARS SAVED
EQUIVALENT TO 198,140 MILES NOT DRIVEN
When Macy’s intern Alex Veder entered The Ohio State University and declared his major, there were only two other students with the same major. Now, as he enters his senior year, there are 250. Veder is an Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major focusing on sustainability in business.
As a participant of Macy’s nationally recognized internship program, Veder put his knowledge into practice as a sustainability specialist. Working under the overarching vision of making Macy’s more sustainable, Veder focused on two specific areas.
In partnership with the Go Green Employee Resource Group (ERG), Veder first worked to enhance recycling and composting at Progress Place, the Cincinnati Central Offices newest facility, raising awareness and “making recycling more fun,” he said. Recycling at Progress Place includes items that aren’t often recyclable, including batteries, bottle caps, e-cartridges, K-cups, chip bags, candy wrappers and cigarette butts.
A concentration on sustainability in business has hammered home the economic realities of going green: Alex recognizes that if a measure isn’t economically feasible, it won’t be implemented. With that in mind, he worked with buyers in Purchasing to revise the specifications for trash can liners, making them more sustainable – and also less expensive. “The new bags use less material, so we’re increasing sustainability and reducing costs, which boosts profits,” said Veder.
Veder has a lifelong passion for recycling, recalling it as an integral part of his life. His parents recycled everything they could, he joined the Sierra Club in high school, and did research on his own, as well – reading articles and watching documentaries. He chose EEDS as his major because of his interest and commitment, but also because he recognized it as a growing area. “These are issues that just need to be solved,” Veder said. “With our global population growth, everything affects everyone. We need to balance the resources we use. It’s just the right thing to do.”
Veder is back at OSU now, but his work at Macy’s leaves behind a lasting legacy. In addition to his sustainability achievements with the Go Green ERG, he developed the “It’s Easy to Be Green” campaign, with easy home and office sustainability practices and tips in three key areas: energy, waste and water. (You can download it here.)
As he looks back on his internship at Macy’s and considers what he’d tell other students considering an internship here, he said, “It’s a great experience. It’s a corporate job, but it’s really not a corporate environment. Everyone’s friendly – very welcoming and very supportive. It’s definitely an environment where you can achieve and succeed – I’d highly recommend it.”
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