Green Washington Awards 2013: Retail
The brainchild of Gonzaga University graduates Josh Neblett and Sarah Wollnick and their former adjunct professor, Tom Simpson, GreenCupboards is an online retailer of sustainable merchandise. It’s a one-stop destination for green-minded shoppers in search of food, household products, electronics, baby clothing and thousands of other items. GreenCupboards stocks more than 25,000 distinct products.
Shopping has never been so eco-conscious. The company’s Green Compliance Team reviews potential inventory items weekly, and GreenCupboards’ proprietary Eco-Trait system allows customers to browse products according to their manufacturing standards. For example, one might search exclusively for cruelty-free, BPA-free or nontoxic products, or for a product that fits all three Eco-Traits simultaneously.
So far, it pays to be the online-only, sustainable incarnation of a big-box retailer. GreenCupboards, which employs 75 people, expects 2013 revenues to exceed $25 million, up from $7.2 million in 2011.
SILVER: T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile may be fourth in the race among America’s cellular giants, but its retail and corporate operations are clearly greener than the rest. The company’s PC Power Management project automatically powers down all of its retail computers overnight and has saved almost 2 million pounds of CO₂ in its first year of operation. An ambitious overhaul of product packaging will eliminate plastic inserts, VOC finishes, petroleum-based inks and adhesives by the end of 2014. T-Mobile has recycled more than one million handsets at its retail stores and all of the company’s buildings at its Factoria headquarters are being retrofitted to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.