Every day, millions of people clean out their closets, attics and basements. Instead of throwing out the things you no longer need, give them to Goodwill, and we will sell or recycle them. It’s a cycle that extends the life of usable clothing and other goods and earns revenue for Goodwill programs that benefit thousands of people right here in West Michigan.

The Goodwill Going Green initiative is intended to take Goodwill Founder Dr. Edgar J. Helms’ commitment to “save the waste in men and things” to the next level.

What is the initiative?

The going green initiative builds on Goodwill’s value of environmental stewardship and takes a leading role among not-for-profit organizations in applying the principles of sustainable design and operations.

We will reduce Goodwill’s environmental
footprint by:

  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Minimizing waste
  • Lessening water usage
  • Improving procurement

We will create more opportunities to serve:

  • Green-collar jobs comprise the fifth-largest sector in the U.S. economy
  • Legislation is increasing opportunities to help more people gain meaningful employment

What can be expected from this effort?

  • A set of standards to strive toward for continuous improvement
  • Case studies of current successful activities from Goodwill members nationwide
  • A set of tools that include tips on going green and techniques for measuring success
  • Definitions and criteria to assess the greenness of an initiative and avoid “green washing”

Who is leading the initiative?

The initiative is led by a national Going Green Taskforce, which engages, assists and positively reinforces Goodwill agencies in green practices. Projects have been identified and are underway in the following fields:

  • Green collar jobs
  • E-cycling
  • Green retail
  • Green operations
  • Green contracts and businesses