By Grey Lee
USGBCMA: What is your current job and how does it differ from past jobs in regards to Sustainability?
Samantha: I have worked in the Real Estate Services Industry for over 5 years. Since 2013, I have focused on commercial janitorial services for the United Services of America located at One Beacon Street where I have been working as Director of Account Services focusing on business development and account management. My specialties include implementing Green Cleaning programs and helping companies achieve their LEED certification. Before I joined my current employer, I worked at Capital Paper Recycling/Mass Hauling managing recycling programs in over 25 million SF of office space! I was able to save 75 accounts a total of $3.5 million through various recycling programs and marketing efforts by diverting over 40,000 tons from the waste stream between 2009-12. In addition, I worked on 2 dozen LEED certification projects in Boston assisting clients with their MR, EA and EQ credits, as well as conducting LEED compliant waste audits for everyone (WOW Sam really puts her money where her waste is! – editor)
USGBCMA: When did you first become interested in Sustainability?
Samantha: While working at Capital Paper Recycling/Mass Hauling, I became an expert in commercial recycling and waste disposal services in the downtown Boston market. Helping buildings increase their recycling rates and promoting building sustainability efforts. Organic/food waste recycling has become another passion of mine, in which I worked with both retail and office tenants to develop and implement programs which resulted in decrease disposal costs; Green Restaurant Certifications is complying with the state and local regulations on the upcoming food waste ban ( eg. City of Boston's enacting a mandatory composting program for facilities producing a certain amount of food waste – editor )
USGBCMA: Why are you a member of the Chapter and how did you get there?
Samantha: In 2012, I achieved my LEED O+M accreditation by maintaining my credentials through LEED projects and seminars. At the Chapter, I've had the opportunity to meet interesting people and attend informative events on green building regulations.
USGBCMA: How are you an environmental steward?
Samantha: Professionally, I help businesses reduce their environmental impact by replacing conventional cleaning product with those that can be naturally derived, safe and non-toxic. Along with improving indoor air quality, green cleaning products can also increase work productivity. On a personal note, I try to recycle as much as possible both in my office and at home. When I go grocery shopping, I concentrate on buying in bulk and look for products with as little packaging as possible. Community Service is important to me. In the past, I've volunteered through Building Impact to help clean Pope John Paul II Park Reservation on National Service Day. I've also volunteered with one of my former clients, Fidelity, at the Mario Umana Middle School Academy for their site “transformation day” where I leveraged painting and planting skills to create site improvements.
USGBCMA: How do you help raise environmental awareness?
Samantha: While I am not one for shaming my friends for buying numerous packs of bottle water or for not recycling them afterwards (let's face it, no one is perfect and there are times that plastic water bottles are convenient and no recycling bins are around), I do like to educate them on the benefits of being green. Being green isn't just about recycling. I think it's less about 'stuff', more about supporting local businesses and farms, reusing 'stuff' when possible and being a green advocate.
USGBCMA: If I needed to find you on a Saturday afternoon, where would it be?
Samantha: Training for my upcoming marathon in Savannah, GA.