Finding new use for what we no longer need is an important part of our commitment to being a good environmental steward. While it's easy to simply throw something away, we'd prefer to put that something to good use, particularly if it helps us decrease the company's overall waste.
In 2018, we donated, sold or recycled 658 tons (100%) of our excess furniture. Of that, 59.9% was recycled, 28.8% was donated, 9.5% was sold and 1.8% was relocated internally. By donating this furniture, which equated to $275,000 of in-kind charitable donations to 11 different organizations, we diverted it from landfills and subsequently reduced our carbon emissions by 1,361 metric tons.
Grounds to Grow On
In 2018, we began a pilot program with Grounds to Grow On, returning our used coffee pods to the vendor to recycle the plastic cup and foil lid and compost the used grounds and paper filter. The pilot has been successfully implemented for each coffee machine in The Tower at PNC Plaza at our Pittsburgh headquarters campus. In 2019 we plan to expand the pilot to our other major buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.
We have been composting at our Pittsburgh properties for a number of years, but ensuring that the collected compost is clean continues to be a challenge. In 2018, our composting audits showed that, though PNC employees did successfully compost many items, non-compostable items were also found in the compost bins. This information will inform more frequent audits and additional employee education campaigns.