Asheville Workplace Challenge Newsletter                                                            Volume 6 - Date 12/30/16

Simple Ways to Increase Sustainability at Work
This month's tip is: Pack Zero Waste Lunches
The best way to eat green, and also healthy, at work, is by packing your lunch in reusable containers. The typical waste-free lunch can include: sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and treats packed in a reusable container(s), cloth napkins, stainless-steel utensils, and reusable drink containers. 

Delivery and takeout can create miniature mountains of packaging waste. However, if delivery/takeout is a must, try placing bulk orders with your co-workers, as this usually amounts to less waste. Whether packing your lunch or ordering out, consider the use of reusable plates, bowls, utensils, and napkins. 

For ideas on how to create or purchase your own zero-waste lunch kit, try Googling: zero-waste, waste-free, eco-, and/or sustainable lunch kits or boxes. 
Create positive change for the environment that you can taste!

Upcoming Events

There are some great events coming up that will not only provide your workplace with sustainability related education, but attending can also earn your organization AWC points for your Green Scorecard. 

Energy Innovation Task Force

Come out and accompany us to discuss the future of energy in Asheville.

Date: Friday, January 13th
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: Buncombe County First Floor Conference Room (200 College Street)

Buncombe County, the City of Asheville and Duke Energy Progress have established this joint task force to research, recommend and implement energy efficiency and demand-side management programs and projects and distributed energy technology in Buncombe County. These are free meetings, open to the public, and they seek input and engagement with the public as an integral part of their work. 

For more information visit the Energy Innovation Task Force website or contact Melissa VanSickle at or call: (828) 232-4555.

Asheville Green Drinks

A good way to network, socialize and discuss ecologically conscious topics.

Date: Third Wednesday of every month
Time: 5:30pm
Location: The Block Off Biltmore (39 S. Market St.)

For more information visit the Green Drinks Website or contact Joseph Malki at
Asheville-Buncombe GreenWorks Hard 2 Recycle Event
This is THE EVENT to deal with your hard to recycle items. 
Date: Saturday, January 14th
Time: 10am-2pm (Main Collection) 10am-1pm (Satellite Collection)
Location: West Asheville - Aaron's Rent to Own Parking Lot - 1298 Patton Ave. (Main Collection)
Candler - Enka AB Tech Campus - 1461 Sand Hill Road (Satellite Collection)

Founded in 2011 by Rainbow Recycling, Hard 2 Recycle events are free to the public collections aimed to bring awareness to other modes of recycling in our area. The main goal of these events are to collect and divert items that would normally end up in our landfill (e.g. Styrofoam, electronics, books, batteries, cooking oil, etc.). 

For more information and a list of hard to recycle items visit the GreenWorks Hard 2 Recycle Events Page or contact GreenWorks at (828) 254-1776.

  Featured Participant:

Highland Brewing Company
Highland Brewing Company does not only make delicious beer, they are also a model for sustainability in Asheville and the brewing industry. Their company’s sustainability has been a gradual adventure, and their journey is still underway. They are always keeping their eyes open for new ways to further their sustainability efforts.  As Highland Brewing has grown, their use of resources has become greater, but they’ve also increased their ability to implement better practices. Highland Brewing takes a focused look at all of their systems, and creates designs to mitigate or eliminate waste everywhere possible.
For example, Highland Brewing Company has implemented such sustainable practices as: crushing and reusing old concrete on-site, using heat exchangers to capture heat from the brewing process to heat water, sending spent grain out to become cattle feed, recycling all packaging materials pre-fill and post-fill, reusing old buildings/machines to avoid new construction, and installing solar panels on their roof. In fact, their solar array is the 3rd largest of any craft brewery in the U.S., and is the 13th largest of any brewery in the world! They are even further engaged in sustainability through community efforts.
Highland’s employees are excited about sustainability, and the Company shows this through their “love for beer and mountains.” Highland works with their employees and local organizations to show this love by: naming their seasonal beers after elements of the surrounding mountains, supporting local conservation, inviting staff on partner hikes (one for each seasonal beer), helping to clean up Gashes Creek, and through their adoption of a section of the Swannanoa River. Additionally, they have separated waste containers (compost, recycling, trash) located throughout the entire brewery so employees and guests can participate in being actively sustainable.
Highland Brewing Company is excited about the Asheville Workplace Challenge, because it provides an opportunity to help them quantify where they are with sustainability, and to see how they improve over time. One area they know they want to work on is reducing their water consumption through the re-use of water throughout the facility. For example, they have plans to capture rainwater from their expansive roof for use in bathrooms and for irrigation. Highland Brewing has an open-door policy regarding their facilities. Tours of the Brewery are free, and you can
book online. Do not just read about it from here, go and check this awesome stuff out for yourself!

Thank you Highland for the delicious beer you brew, and for all your sustainable contributions to our beautiful city!


Show Asheville your workplace is a proud participant!

Here is an example of the window cling signage the AWC can provide your workplace with to highlight participation.

Contact to get participant window clings for your workplace.

Earn Green Scorecard points for your workplace and encourage sustainable behavior through signage!

The Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition has provided the City with "no-idling" signs (see image to the right) for AWC participants. If your workplace hangs one or more of these signs in their parking lot or out front of their building, then you can earn 4 points for your Green Scorecard.

Asheville Workplace Challenge Progress

The Asheville Workplace Challenge (AWC) is gaining momentum! We really appreciate your workplace being part of this sustainability adventure. Our goal is to reach at least 100 participating businesses and organizations by the end of the Challenge. So far, we are almost up to 50 participating workplaces with over half having competed a Green Scorecard. 

As we move into a new year, the Challenge is getting close to the end of its first year! Keep up the good work, everyone, and if you have not updated your Scorecards recently, you may want to check in. 

Update Your Scorecard

Please Spread the Word

In order to make the AWC as successful as possible it is important that we have as many participants as possible. Did you know you get points on your Green Scorecard for referring other businesses to join?

The AWC would greatly appreciate your workplace's help spreading the AWC word and getting other organizations to join. Whether it's by word of mouth, hanging a sign, including us in a newsletter, or some other way of sharing the Challenge, every little bit of promotion helps. If you would like some signage for your workplace to show off their AWC efforts, please contact us at Also, do not forget to earn points by updating your Scorecard if you get another workplace to join.

On another note, if your workplace has any feedback on how we can improve and/promote the AWC, we want to hear it! Even if you do not have specific suggestions, please feel free to contact us and share your Challenge thoughts. 

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City of Asheville - Office of Sustainability · 70 Court Plaza · Asheville, NC 28801 · USA

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