Black Soil: Our Better Nature

The mission of Black Soil: Our Better Nature is to reconnect black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture. By bringing together urban families with rural and urban based black farmers/growers/producers across the state, we help introduce opportunities in agriculture that promote self-sufficiency, encourage healthy living, and activate cooperative economics. Our vision is to help foster a greater marketshare for black farmers and producers as they provide healthy food options to a larger consumer base.

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Current Sustainable Practices

Sustainability Management and the Green Team

  • Designate a Sustainability Coordinator or Green Team responsible for managing sustainability initiatives.
  • Hold quarterly Green Team meetings.
  • Provide time for quarterly updates from Sustainability Coordinator in upper management meetings.

Awareness, Education, and Outreach

  • Provide a sustainability information board in a common area such as a break room or kitchen.
  • Include a sustainability statement and training in all new hire materials.
  • Include a sustainability statement and training in all new hire materials.
  • Host annual trainings or workshops to educate employees about sustainability issues, policies and procedures
  • Promote sustainability accomplishments in external marketing materials (website, social media, newsletter, press releases, TV/radio ads).
  • Provide volunteers for community environmental projects annually.
  • Host an environmental event at your location
  • Participate in a presentation or attend sustainability workshop.

Energy Efficiency

  • Establish a power-down policy and checklist that includes items such as shutting off lights at night.
  • Establish a regular filter maintenance policy for your HVAC system.
  • Have your HVAC system evaluated every 2 years by a certified service provider.
  • Establish a policy for purchasing that requires Energy Star rated appliances and electronics.
  • Establish a dress code that encourages employees to dress for thermal comfort.
  • Install power strips for computers and equipment to power down during non-business hours.
  • Install programmable thermostats and use them to adjust temperature during unoccupied hours.
  • Install occupancy sensors in bathrooms, meeting room, and other infrequently used areas.
  • Conduct an energy audit or assessment (within the last three years).
  • Insulate roof to control energy loss.
  • Install efficiency-rated HVAC of minimum standard SEER rating of 14.0.
  • Take measures to insulate HVAC system and ductwork to minimize heat loss.
  • Perform external lighting audit.
  • Daylight work spaces wherever possible.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

  • Implement a basic recycling program.
  • Provide clearly marked recycling bins at work stations and/or in common areas. Recycling bins must be paired with a waste bin.
  • Train and require janitorial service or staff responsible for cleaning to segregate waste and recyclable materials.
  • Use reusable mugs and dishware instead of disposable plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Establish a policy for environmentally friendly printing such as two-sided printing, reusing copy paper, and electronic document sharing.
  • Replace at least 50% of paper stock with post-consumer recycled paper.

Water Conservation

  • Conduct a water audit within the last three years. Monitor and record water usage, check indoor and outdoor pipes and fixtures for drips and leaks.
  • Establish a policy for purchase of high efficiency (i.e. WaterSense) rated fixtures and appliances.
  • Install water efficient faucets in all of the restrooms.
  • Install water efficient toilets in all of the restrooms.

Water Quality

  • Establish a policy for proper hazardous waste and chemical disposal.
  • Establish a policy for proper disposal of fats, oils, and grease, distribute to staff, and post in key areas.
  • Harvest rainwater through rain barrel system.
  • Post information in restrooms about proper disposal of flushable wipes and other items
  • Install outdoor ash trays to prevent cigarette litter, and make pocket ash trays available to staff who smoke.

Urban Forestry and Landscapes

  • Participate in a community reforestation project.

Sustainable Purchasing

  • Establish a policy to purchase non-Styrofoam cups and plates for use at the workplace or at events.
  • Establish a policy for purchasing locally, if available.
  • Establish a policy for purchasing environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Transportation Efficiency

  • Establish an incentives or recognition program to encourage employees to use alternative transportation, such as carpooling, bicycling, or use of public transit.
  • Establish and implement a no-idling policy
  • Adopt a telecommuting option and make it available to employees.
  • Install a bike rack with sufficient space for at least 10% of your employees.
  • Install weather-protected bike storage (indoor or outdoor).
  • Place bicycle storage closer than any other designated parking spot.

Pending Certification