Intuit Employee Passion Leads to Freecycle@Work

Intuit is well known for Quicken, TurboTax, and its recent acquisition of Mint.com, and is generally a darling of the personal finance crowd. Sustainability fans may also be familiar with their environmental initiatives- groundbreaking stuff like Intuit Green Snapshot which shows users how much money they could save with environmental improvements.

Overall, Intuit has also done a great job combining the human side of sustainability (it’s employees) with environmental and business wins, in a manner that truly demonstrates the triple bottom line.

We covered Freecycle@Work when the initiative was first launched last Earth Day.

Rupesh Shah, Director of Corporate Sustainability at Intuit took the stage at GreenBiz’s State of Green Business Forum to give an update on the project and highlight some of the big wins from the campaign.

For folks who didn’t catch the article the first time around, here’s a recap:
Freecycle@Work is an initiative started by a member of the Intuit procurement team and a member of the green team. He was a Freecycle user in his personal life, but he realized that that there was an untapped market of potential Freecyclers he could access at work. Freecycle is great for people who have a lot of time and do not suffer from stranger fear (the reluctance to have strangers over to your home to pick up free things), but what about the rest of us? If the Freecycle model could be applied to the workplace, busy professionals with trust issues would be more likely to participate.

Enter Freecycle@Work, built on the QuickBase platform (another Intuit product), which allowed Intuit employees to giveaway there no-more-needables within their trusted work network, without any strange visitors or visits to unfamiliar parts of town.

The concept proved so successful that Intuit officially licensed the Freecycle name and made the Freecycle@Work program one of the free offerings for basic users of QuickBase. There are currently 1400 companies using Freecycle@Work, including NASA. Sign me up for a reused rocket launcher.

Jen Boynton

Jen Boynton has been the editor in chief of TriplePundit for 8 years. With over 6 million annual readers, TriplePundit is the leading publication on sustainable business and the Triple Bottom Line. Prior to TriplePundit, Jen received an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and a degree in Sociology from Pitzer College. She spent a few years in the non-profit policy sector as well, but we won't talk about that. In her work with TriplePundit she's helped clients from SAP to PwC with their sustainability communications messaging. When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA -- court appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with her toddler overlord and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.

One response

  1. This is an excellent model and shows the potential for employee engagement in an internal sustainability plan. Organizations and businesses routinely struggle with engaging their employees in their efforts (our organization is no exception), and it is innovative ideas like this that help to move the ball forward in that work. Providing a platform through which employees can interact with one another to reuse and repurpose materials – keeping them out of the landfill – is an excellent way to bring them into sustainability and connect with one another. Kudos to Intuit.

    – Tim Kovach,
    Product Coordinator, Energy Programs at COSE
    http://www.cose.org/blog
    http://www.twitter.com/COSEenergy

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