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Catching Up with Our Cincinnati Go Green ERG

POSTED UNDER Go Green Employee Resource Groups

Our Cincinnati Go Green Employee Resource Group (ERG) has been working since 2008 on a combination of awareness activities and volunteer events to shed light on what its Macy’s colleagues can do inside and outside of work to be more environmentally friendly, and this team has seen momentum build in the past few years.

Learn how to start your own Go Green ERG

The ERG has a core group of about a dozen committed contributors, but can also have 50 to 60 people help during volunteer activities – a true grassroots effort. This ERG is all-inclusive, meaning anyone in the company with a passion can join, regardless of function. In fact, diverse viewpoints on sustainability from different functions throughout the company are preferred; there’s more to learn with this type of collaboration. 

Its Most Recent Initiative  

Our Cincinnati Go Green ERG recently piloted a Go Green Challenge that removed office trash cans for two weeks (voluntary participation, of course). The idea behind this challenge was to create mindfulness when throwing things away. What are we throwing out? What can we reuse? What can we reduce? Use less, recycle more!

The team anticipated about 20 to 30 volunteers for this pilot, but ended up with 50 participants!

Even though this pilot has already seen success in its participation rate alone, the ERG is still testing to see how this challenge can be expanded. Keep in mind, the team isn’t expecting to go waste-free; it’s about enlightenment and education.

This recent challenge illustrates what Go Green ERGs are all about – spreading the word on sustainability, encouraging people to pause and think about their environment, and tirelessly assessing new opportunities  we can all utilize to improve our impact on the environment.

The ERG has accomplished a lot over the years. Before this ERG, there were no focused recycling efforts within the Corporate Office. Since that time, it has championed a robust recycling program, which includes bottles, cans, cardboard, and office paper, and implemented a composting program in the dining room and break room areas. The ERG also helped install an Eco-Center, which is an area for employees to recycle items from home such as plastic shopping bags, eye glasses, rechargeable batteries, and more. For close to a decade this group has driven significant cultural change in the building and beyond.

Check out our NEW New York City Go Green ERG

Meet the Co-Chairs  

Brittany Giroux, Store Planner II, Space

Some descriptionWhere does your passion for sustainability come from?

It all started with volunteering at a summer camp my senior year of high school for students entering middle school. I learned a lot about outdoor education and how much plant life contributes to each and every one of us. It became a passion to give back to the planet for our younger generations to enjoy.

What activity do you do in your everyday life that you consider “green”?

I recycle; carpool to and from work; have Energy Star-rated appliances; use reusable water bottles; wash laundry in cold water instead of hot; and turn my computer off at night.

What is your favorite way to go green?

I think carpooling to and from work is my favorite way to go green. It is great for the environment as I have a longer commute, and it is a great way to get a break from driving every day and just relax during the car ride.


Melissa Olberding, Senior Manager, Environmental Services

Some descriptionWhere does your passion for sustainability come from?

My parents and grandparents. My grandparents on both sides were farmers who grew up during the Depression, and they taught me that there is value in everything, you just have to figure out what that value is. My parents carried those values, as well, and also taught me how to appreciate nature and what we have been given.

Why do you go green?

I prefer to think that I am conscientious and considerate of what I have and would like to preserve that for future generations.   

What do you see as the next big innovation in sustainability?

I’d like to think we will get better with creating manmade materials that are eco-friendly, both less toxic and biodegradable, so that things that we can’t reuse will degrade quickly and without harm to the environment (both plants and animals).

Thanks to all the hard work our Cincinnati Go Green ERG does to bring environmental awareness and engagement to those around them. Want to learn more about our ERGs? Visit our new Go Green ERG landing page to see all coverage.

Interested in joining? Head over to My Macy’s Portal to see how you can get involved in Go Green ERGs. The team is always looking for new members to join.