Environmental Policy

Adopted by ING and the Board of Trustees on January 8, 2007

ING has initiated a variety of actions to make our workplace, publications, and activities as environmentally friendly and socially sound as possible. Additionally, all our employees and volunteer speakers have pledged to be more environmentally conscious in their homes and communities. The following are specific actions that we are currently implementing to ensure a more environmentally responsible workplace.

Paper Products and Publications

When designing our products and marketing and communication materials, ING:

  • Works with outside printing companies and vendors that are committed to using environmentally-friendly products and processes.
  • Uses paper with the highest possible post-consumer waste content (we aim for 30-50 percent) and that is always process chlorine free (PCF). Roughly half of the time, we exceed this standard and use 100 percent recycled paper.
  • Uses lighter weight paper. (For example, 60# uses 14 percent fewer paper resources than a 70# sheet).
  • Uses uncoated paper whenever possible, minimizing the use of varnishes and facilitating recycling.
  • Avoids heavy inking of paper. Where possible, we use inks with high vegetable oil content and reduced toxicity.
  • Targets mailings and design materials to use paper as efficiently as possible to achieve desired returns.
  • Avoids excessive packaging and environmentally questionable materials.
  • Offers all recent publications electronically on our website.

In the office, ING:

  • Uses paper with recycled content for letterhead, business cards, envelopes, notepads, and printer paper, as well as for all shipping materials.
  • Provides bins for recycling office paper.
  • Separates paper that is used on only one side for reuse. (Paper used on both sides is collected weekly for municipal recycling.)
  • Reuses large envelopes, file folders, and boxes.

IT and Office Equipment

  • All computers, printers, fax machines, and copiers in use are shut down at the end of the day.
  • Future purchases of office equipment will be Energy Star certified for energy efficiency, with “power-down” modes and other energy saving features.
  • All printer toner cartridges are returned to the manufacturer for recycling,
  • All electronics, including computers, monitors, printer, phones, CD’s and batteries are recycled.

Heating and AC Use in Office

  • The office thermostat is set at 68° in the winter and 76° in the summer.
  • The thermostat is turned off when there are no employees working in the office.

Catering and Kitchen

  • Compostable or disposable paper plates, bowls, or cups are used for our meetings hosted within or outside our office. When planning events, reusable utensils and crockery are used whenever possible.
  • Organic and locally produced foods are used at events whenever possible.
  • Staff brings in ceramic mugs for their use and paper cups are only used for guests.
  • All plastic, glass, and aluminum cans are recycled.
  • Cloth towels are provided for drying dishes and surfaces in an effort to prevent excess paper use.

Pest Management

Numerous live plants are housed in the office to improve the general environment and to boost air quality. ING minimizes the spraying of toxic chemicals. Pest management activities include:

  • Seeking to maintain good office hygiene, preventing pest outbreaks by eliminating anything that might attract or harbor pests.
  • Using organic pest control for office plants and spaces when necessary. A soap-water solution or a soap-chili pepper-water solution is used against most insects, including gnats, red mites, and aphids. Several applications over one week are usually sufficient.
  • A more powerful chemical is used only in the event that the office is so infested that stronger pest control methods are required. We aim to use the least toxic chemical available, informing staff members in advance and spraying only when the office is vacant and the exhaust system is on.


  • Currently, 67 percent of staff telecommute or work full-time off-site.
  • ING encourages speakers to present in organizations that are in their local communities to minimize long distance driving.
  • ING encourages its staff and volunteers to carpool to events and off-site meetings.

Employees and Speakers Pledge

ING employees and speakers pledge to adopt at least 10 and as many of the following steps as they can to do their part for the environment. They also pledge to learn more about the issue of global warming and educate friends and family members:

1. Keep my car in good condition – Get the engine tuned up regularly, change the oil, and keep my tires inflated properly; proper maintenance can increase a car’s fuel efficiency by 10 percent and reduce emissions

2. Cut driving miles – Cut driving by just five miles each day to contribute to keeping tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air. Avoid unnecessary driving.

3. Carpool – Carpool whenever possible.

4. Leave the car at home – For short distances, ride a bike or walk whenever possible.

5. Encourage streets for bikes and pedestrians – Encourage officials in my community to increase features such as bike lanes and pedestrian malls, and push for traffic-calming techniques like speed bumps, raised crosswalks and extended and widened sidewalks.

6. Buy energy-efficient products – When buying new appliances or electronics, shop for the highest energy-efficiency rating. Look for a yellow and black Energy Guide label on the product. The most energy-efficient models carry the Energy Star label, which identifies products that use 20-40 percent less energy than standard new products. According to the EPA, the typical American household can save about $400 per year in energy bills with products that carry the Energy Star.

7. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs – Change the three bulbs used most in the house to compact fluorescents. Each compact fluorescent bulb will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air over its lifetime and can save $30 per year in electricity costs.

8. Set heating and cooling temperatures correctly – Check thermostats in my home to make sure they are set at a level that doesn’t waste energy. In the winter, set my thermostat at 68° in the daytime and 55° at night. In the summer, keep it at 76°. Set the water heater to between 120° and 140°. In my refrigerator, set the temperature at about 37°and adjust the freezer to operate at about 3°.

9. Use my appliances more efficiently -Resist the urge to open the oven door to peek, as each opening can reduce the oven temperature 25°. Preheat oven only as much as needed, and avoid placing foil on racks. Clear the lint filter in the dryer after each load, and dry only full loads. Try to hang clothing outside in the sun and air dry as much as possible, as it is the most energy-efficient method of all. Unplug chargers or appliances that are not in use. Turn off computers and other equipment at night.

10. Turn off the lights – Turn off lights and other electrical appliances such as televisions and radios when I’m not using them. Use dimmers where I can.

11. Check my utility’s energy-efficiency incentives – Check with the utility company to find out if it offers free home energy audits, cash rebates for using energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and lower electric rates for households meeting certain energy-efficiency criteria.

12. Weatherize my home or apartment – Drafty homes and apartments allow energy dollars to leak away. Seal and caulk around windows and doors. Make sure my home has adequate insulation.

13. Let the sun shine in – The cheapest and most energy-efficient light and heat source is often right outside the window. On bright days, open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let the sun light my home for free.

14. Recycle materials – Make an effort to participate fully in my town’s or my building’s recycling program. Reuse or recycle bags.

15. Buy recycled products – Look on the label for the products or packaging with the greatest percentage of post-consumer recycled content, which ensures that the materials have been used before. I will try to buy paper products that have more than 50 percent post-consumer content.

16. Use durable goods – Bring my own cloth bags to local stores. Use a cloth dishrag instead of paper towels at home, and reusable food containers instead of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

17. Install a low-flow showerhead – Showers account for 32 percent of home water use. A family of four using low-flow showerheads can save about 20,000 gallons of water per year.

18. Repair leaks – Fix those leaking and dripping faucets as soon as possible. A dripping faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons every day.

19. Use water wisely in everyday activities – In the kitchen, run the dishwasher only when it’s full. Wash dishes by hand in a sink or dishpan containing water, rather than running the tap continuously. Run the clothes washer only when full as well. Take a shorter shower (turn off the showerhead while soaping). Sweep sidewalks and driveways instead of hosing them down — washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 50 gallons of water every 5 minutes.

20. Ask for organic produce – At local supermarkets and greengrocers ask for organic food. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables at my local farmer’s markets.