Omaha, Nebraska

(402) 681 - 9458 | info (at) verdisgroup.com

Our home to share our thoughts and host an (e)discussion about the opportunities sustainability presents and how our world will be changing as a result. From savvy strategies for clients to our fleet of Schwinn 10-speeds and everything in between; we invite you to the conversation and hope that we can explore true.green. together.


We are now accepting applications for our 2014 summer internship program. Interested candidates should submit all necessary materials to me by April 18. This 2014 Summer Internship Overview provides all the details, including application material requirements, compensation, and the hiring timeline.

We work really hard to find projects that align with the successful candidate’s strengths and skills. Generally speaking, the job description falls into the following categories:

Data Analysis: Conducts a variety of different numerical and theoretical analyses at the direction of senior staff. Collecting, managing, tracking and summarizing data is an important component of the Intern’s job duties.

Writing: Preparing communications that are intended for a variety of different audiences, including both internal and external parties. Contributes technical writing to client reports. Write portions of client reports as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Principals. Other report editing and formatting as deemed necessary.

Strategy: Involved in organizational discussions intended to identify strategies that help clients be more sustainable.

Miscellaneous Project Work: Provide assistance as needed on client projects, to include but not limited to: research, report writing, data collection, meeting facilitation, taking minutes, disseminating information, preparing presentations, brainstorming recommendations, and general project management.

Administrative Duties: General administrative duties may include scheduling meetings, purchasing office supplies and equipment, data collection and entry, maintaining adequate electronic and hard copy filing systems, running errands, preparing correspondence, editing and formatting documents and presentations, arranging travel, and other duties as assigned.

We’re looking forward to our next summer intern!

Onward and upward.

 

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TINSTAFP

In high school economics I learned that There-is-no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch (TINSTAAFL)—basically that I can’t get something for nothing. Somewhere, someone pays for what I get for free.

This brings me to TINSTAFP: There-is-no-such-thing-as-free-parking. But I bet most people probably think there is free parking all around them, especially in Omaha. How many times a week do you park for “free”?

When you park at work?
How about at the grocery store?
Going out to eat?
At the kids’ soccer game?

Chances are if you live in Omaha, you park for free (nearly) all the time. Two exceptions may exist in downtown and midtown Omaha where there are more places to live, more entertainment, and more businesses within a few blocks of where you park. Because of higher demand for land use, a parking spot is more valuable and one way to recover part of the cost is to charge for parking.

But just because parking appears free doesn’t mean you aren’t somehow paying for it. Parking has real costs and someone somewhere is paying for it. When you park for “free” at the store, restaurant, or at the movies, you are still paying for parking in the form of slightly higher prices that the business uses to cover the cost of owning and maintaining the apparently “free” parking. When you park for “free” on a city street, you are still paying for parking in the form of taxes that fund road construction and maintenance. Like I said before TINSTAFP.

You’ve Got Questions

Between the widely held notion that parking is free and a desire to quantify the value of transit came the following questions:

  1. Do transit programs reduce parking in Omaha, Nebraska?
  2. How much does a transit program cost compared to parking?

These questions were answered by a study Verdis conducted to dig into the real costs of parking specific to Omaha and compare them to the cost of transit. A summary of the answers to these two questions is below. To dig into the data deeper, you can read the Executive Summary and the full report: Parking Problems? Transit as a Cost-Effective Solution.

The full study goes into details about:

  • Effectiveness of existing transit programs at colleges like Metropolitan Community College’s Pass to Class and UNO’s MavRide and at Omaha employers like Union Pacific and Pacific Life
  • Models for setting up a transit program at your organization
  • Tax advantages of transit programs
  • Details to nerd out on all the costs associated with building, operating, and maintaining parking lots
  • Along with all the supporting data behind the numbers

We’ve Got Answers

Existing Bus Pass Programs Reduce Parking Demand

In short, what we found is that yes, transit programs do reduce parking demand at the organization that provides the transit program. In the organizations surveyed:

  • Students participating in their college-provided bus pass program are reducing the number of parking spaces needed by 172 spaces each day.
  • Employees that participate in and employer-provided bus pass program are reducing the number of parking spaces needed by 67 spaces per day.

Potential for Further Parking Demand Reduction:

The study also found that bus pass programs are not reaching their full potential at colleges and businesses. There are still students and employees who would use a transit program, or would be willing to try it out, if they knew it existed or if the program was expanded.

  • At local Omaha employers, there is potential that over 45% of trips to work by employees wouldn’t need a parking space if transit programs met full program potential (chart 12).
  • At employers participating in the study, for every 100 additional participants, parking demand could be reduced by as much at 54 spaces per day.
  • At UNO, for every 1% increase in MavRide program participation, one could see a reduced need for parking by up to 25 spaces per day.

The nice thing about transit is that you don’t have to use it every day. Some people ride the bus a couple days a week and drive the others. It is about finding what works for you and the people at your organization. Remember, for every person who rides the bus even one day a week, that is a parking spot is freed up for that day.

So you may be thinking this is no big deal, transit programs get more people on the bus and fewer driving their cars to school or work. The big deal is that each parking space saved means real dollars saved. For every parking spot that isn’t built, the organization saves over $20,000 for a single garage space and over $3,500 for a space in a surface lot. And when the monthly cost over the life of a parking space is compared to the monthly cost of transit, transit wins out nearly every time.

How Much Does A Transit Program Cost Compared to Parking?

Through research of parking costs at several Omaha locations and the cost of existing transit programs, the study was able to pinpoint an apples to apples comparison of the cost per space per month to compare to a 30-day unlimited transit pass.

Bus Pass Program Costs: Regardless of who pays, a 30-day unlimited ride pass will cost between $42-$55 per pass. Organizations who become Metro Partners can receive bulk discounts reducing the cost of the 30-day unlimited ride pass to $42. Tax advantages can bring this cost even lower.

Parking Costs: Parking costs vary based on several factors. Is parking provided by the employer or leased? Is it a garage or surface lot? Is there a shuttle provided between the parking lot and the college or business? Regardless of who pays, the following are the costs of parking in Omaha:

  • Employer Leased + Provided Parking: Monthly leased parking ranges between $48 per space for surface parking and $70 for garage parking.
  • Employer Provided Surface Parking: The cost for providing surface parking, including land, design and construction, and operations and maintenance, ranges between $73 – $163 per space per month. (20 years at 4% interest)
  • Employer Provided Garage Parking: The cost for providing garage parking, including land, design and construction, and operations and maintenance, ranges between $119 – $224 per space per month. (35 years at 4% interest)
  • Parking Shuttles: When needed, parking shuttles can cost on average between $13 – $28 per space per month.

Conclusion

Simply put, transit programs reduce parking demand and transit programs cost less than providing parking for employees.

Transit programs work for some employees and students, it never will be used by everyone, nor should it be expected to be. The point here it to provide better transportation options so those who choose to enjoy their commute on the bus can do so, making it more pleasant for them and for those who choose to drive on a now less congested road.

So what are you waiting for, get a transit program set up at your organization today! Feel free to contact Daniel or Metro if you are interested in setting up a transit program.

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As we approach our five-year anniversary this summer, we have been spending time reflecting on all that is good with Team Verdis. There are many reasons life is pretty exceptional here: wicked-smart and passionate colleagues, forward-thinking clients, organizational core values that resonate, and work that we love are all huge parts of the picture. But another reason we’re all pretty darn happy is because of our digs.

We’ve been an Alley Poyner Machietto Creative Collaborator (CO-LAB partner) since October 2010, which means, in a nutshell, we rent a few workstations in APM’s studio and they give us the run of the place. OK, that might be a bit of a stretch, but we do enjoy amenities – a kitchenette, conference rooms, projectors, fitness room, showers, indoor bike storage, great art, rooftop deck – that we would never be privy to were we renting 1,000 SF in some random office building.

But it’s more than the amenities. We love the open floor plan that spurs creativity. We love the informal interactions with people that aren’t on Team Verdis. We love our location in North Downtown. We love the copious amounts of natural light that flood the studio every day. We love being on a bus line. We love APM’s family-like culture and are working hard to emulate many of their idiosyncrasies. We love the crazy stuff that happens on 16th Street, just outside our windows. And we love the leftover food when APM has firm-wide meetings or lunch ‘n’ learns.

The view of APM's studio from Verdis HQ. We dig the open-office environment.

I especially love the open floor plan, but not everyone is a huge fan. A recent article in the New Yorker highlighted a few bodies of research that, when compared to a traditional, enclosed-office setting, suggest that open-office settings inhibit creativity, decrease employee satisfaction, are bad for your health, and decrease productivity. Yikes! When digging into many of those studies, however, researchers are comparing an open-office setting to one wherein everyone has an office, which is completely unreasonable for a firm like ours and an architectural studio that values collaboration and teamwork. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. The better comparison would be open-office settings to cubicles. Having worked in a cubicle previously, I can safely say that they result in nothing other than misery and despair, and an open-office environment wins out every time.

The Harvard Business Review blog recently suggested that when it comes to an office environment, one major factor that impacts employee satisfaction is an employee’s ability to control their work environment. Companies that allow their workers to help decide where, when, and how they work often have workforces that perform better, are more satisfied, and view the organization as more innovative than their competitors. I think this autonomy and flexibility is a huge component of why it’s great to be in the CO-LAB, and why we allow our team to work pretty much whenever and wherever they want – from the standing workstations in the studio at 7am to their favorite coffee shop at midnight.

APM is actually expanding their space so as to take on more CO-LAB partners. There are currently three (Verdis, Omaha Creative Institute, and Steve Jensen Consulting) with four more (SecretPenguin, Revolve Fine Art [note the showcased piece from the artist featured on the website!], Live Well Omaha, and artist Mary Zicafoose) committed once the new space is built out.

We consider ourselves pretty lucky to be in the CO-LAB and have no intention of leaving (voluntarily) anytime soon. If your team is interested in joining the fun, there’s more room in the CO-LAB. Come on down; it’s a great place to call home.

Onward and upward.

 

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Over 1,700 sustainability coordinators, faculty, students, and staff descended into Nashville, TN this week for Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) 8th Annual Conference & Expo. This year the theme was Resiliency and Adaptation, taking a hard look at how we can be resilient in the face of climate change and how we can adapt to the changes that are already being observed across the country, from increased numbers of severe weather events to animals moving their habitats north. There are even impacts that include where I live in the Midwest.

If attendance is an indicator of the importance of a topic, then behavior change is definitely one of the more important conversations that happened this week as adaptation and resiliency were discussed in depth. The sessions where employee and student engagement were connected with behavior change were overflowing with attendees. In the past there has been a big emphasis on technological and an organization’s structural solutions, but now more than ever the sustainability profession is talking about the importance of each individual’s choices – that is, their behavior. There are currently gaps in the industry around how to effectively create a culture of sustainability among an organization’s faculty, students, and staff. People are hungry for this information.

There are many questions, studies, and pilots of new products and programs. By trying new programs with proper monitoring and evaluation, people are beginning to get a better understanding of how best to engage in the creation of sustainable culture. Colleges across the country such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Minnesota, and American University in D.C. are engaging students in a variety of ways.

One great example of innovation occurring in creating a culture of sustainability comes from the University of Minnesota. They developed five key green measures that help organizations inventory existing sustainability behaviors and identify motivations and barriers to sustainable behaviors. After an initial assessment, the GreenFive are used to help identify the best combination of programs and outreach that will help foster a culture of sustainability.

One of the questions I asked over and over of the speakers and product developers was “How long is this behavior sustained after the program is over, or after participants sign on once to create an account?” At this time, no one could say for certain. However, in programs that ask participants to track individual behaviors such as recycling a can or making a trip by bike instead of car, speakers were sharing that it is relatively easy to get people to sign up initially, but to get them to sign back on more than once to continue to track behaviors was a challenge.

Since we work with organizations specifically on behavior change, we were honored to have been selected to co-present with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) on their very successful Live Green Pledge program. The room was packed with 75 attendees eager to hear how the UNMC pledge program was helping people “Make it Stick”–to actually change their habits for the long term. The way this pledge program is structured is not just as a tool that gets people to change one behavior once, but as a tool that helps foster long-term sustained positive behavior change.

Over 1,700 total students, faculty and staff have participated in UNMC’s Live Green Pledge. This is a simple to deploy, yet sophisticatedly designed tool using the best environmental behavior-change psychology to help increase the success rate of participants. Our research has shown that between 70%-85% of pledge participants are still engaging in the positive behavior one full year after they took the pledge. No one else at the conference had evidence of sustained behavior change a year after participating in a green competition or other pledge program.

Fortunately so many bright people from across the country are working to find the best ways to foster sustainable and thriving organizations through culture and behavior programs. As Verdis continues to use our pledge, we will continuously improve it as new research comes out about behavior change programs

The AASHE Conference and Expo provides a great forum every year to advance best practices, research, and ideas that are helping create a brighter future for everyone.

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It’s budget season for the City of Omaha, and the 2014 budget for the Planning Department excludes funding for the City’s Office of Sustainable Development, also known as ECO-Omaha. It’s a short-sighted move, to say the least, and we’re incredibly disappointed.

First, a little history.

ECO-Omaha was formed in 2009 with a grant from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Its primary purpose is to strategically implement the Environmental Element, a planning tool created in 2008 that establishes a comprehensive new environmental vision for the city. (Daniel and I were both involved in the creation of the Environmental Element; it was a lot of work, involved stakeholders from across the community, and maps an excellent path forward for the City.)

Since its formation in 2009, ECO-Omaha has been working on and achieved the following (list not all-inclusive):

  • Implementation of several energy efficiency projects, which reduced municipal energy consumption by 16% (from 2009–2012) and resulted in roughly $775,000 per year in avoided costs. These projects also reduced the City’s municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 13%, equivalent to removing 3,125 cars from the road.
  • Earned and implemented a Department of Energy grant to build an energy upgrade market in Omaha through a program called reEnergize*. The result: over 1,300 energy upgrades for Omaha residents, which should result in collective savings approaching $1 million. Yup, you read that right…$1 million.
  • Led the completion of the City’s first Comprehensive Energy Management Plan**, which provides the framework and implementation strategy for effectively managing the City’s use and supply of energy.

So, what’s next.

The office has been grant-funded since it was created. Grant funding is expiring at the end of this year, which means it’s time for the City to chip in. Unfortunately times are tough (aren’t they always?), and cuts are being made across all City departments. ECO-Omaha falls under the purview of the Planning Department, which is an early focus for reform by the Stothert administration, and the Planning Department’s budget cuts will result in the complete elimination of the ECO-Omaha office. Not good.

Does it matter?

Yes, it does. the case for retaining the Office of Sustainable Development is very strong. Ready for more bullets? No? Alright, let’s use numbers this time.
  1. In a 2011 City Practice Brief, the National League of Cities highlighted four cities that have leveraged sustainability into economic development. The first sentence of the brief read, “Sustainability is a fundamental component of building a strong community, not only in terms of the physical environment, but also for economic prosperity.” Does anyone know a politician that doesn’t like economic prosperity?
  2. Investments in these kinds of positions pay for themselves. To date, Omaha’s team has brought in $15 million in grants. As mentioned earlier, annual avoided costs are in the $750,000 range, and Omahans across the city are benefitting from recent upgrades through reEnergize. Seems like a reasonable Return on Investment to me.
  3. The City of Omaha’s budget and operations are huge (2014 budget = $800 million in revenue), and far smaller businesses have dedicated – no, invested – in sustainability FTEs. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with Omaha’s municipal operations are nearly 100,000 metric tons of CO2e. That’s the equivalent to the annual emissions of 20,800 passenger vehicles. There is simply a lot to manage, and if an entity as big as the City doesn’t have someone dedicated to limiting its environmental impact in a strategic way, that spells trouble.
  4. The vast majority of Fortune 500 firms invest resources (time, money and people) into sustainability programs. These firms typically don’t make hasty decisions. Sustainability is good for business. Could it be the case that it’s also good for cities?
  5. Sticking with the “everyone else is doing it” theme; a quick survey of Omaha’s peer cities shows that most do have sustainability coordinators of some sort, although we were unable to determine how many are grant funded versus paid for via general fund dollars.
  6. If the Office is successful, emissions go down. When emissions go down, the air is cleaner. When people breathe cleaner air, they’re healthier. Omaha is currently ranked 142nd out of 182 on a healthy city index; a little clean air couldn’t hurt.

We might also be a bit myopic in thinking that the only way to fund the office is via grant funding or through the general fund. There are plenty of other cities that have tied their sustainability office’s existence to the savings they produce. Cleveland set up such a program and has fared quite well. Such an arrangement holds the Office accountable for its achievements, something not often seen today in City Hall, and has a nice little “out clause” if things don’t work out. Voila!

Do people care? 

One question a nay-sayer might ask is whether Omahan’s are supportive of sustainable energy in general. A fair question. Fortunately in February 2011, a statistically significant survey was conducted to ascertain Omahan’s views on energy. The findings clearly show widespread support for renewables and energy efficiency programs. Here are the highlights:
  • Omahans prefer increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy
  • In ten years, Omahans say the most significant sources of energy should be natural gas, wind power and solar energy
  • There is broad agreement that increasing the use of renewable sources and measures to conserve energy will create jobs
  • More than nine-in-ten are willing to pay higher energy prices per month to increase the amount of energy needs met by renewables

Action Jackson

We recently submitted a letter to the Mayor and City Council Members supporting the retention of the office, and I’m hoping to get to the public hearing on the City’s Recommended Budget for 2014, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13, at 7:00 pm in the City’s Legislative Chambers (just in case you looooove public meetings like I do). And if you’re inclined to send a note to your representatives, here’s a little contact information:

  • Mayor Jean Stothert, jean.stothert@@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5000
  • District 1: Pete Festersen, pete.festersen@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5527
  • District 2: Ben Gray ben.gray@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5524
  • District 3: Chris Jerram, chris.jerram@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5525
  • District 4: Garry Gernandt, garry.gernandt@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5522
  • District 5: Rich Pahls, rich.pahls@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5528
  • District 6: Franklin Thompson, franklin.thompson@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5523
  • District 7: Aimee Melton, aimee.melton@ci.omaha.ne.us and 402-444-5526

Omaha: Soon to be Without a Sustainability Coordinator?

Onward and upward.

C

* Disclaimer #1: I participated in the reEnergize program, both as a resident and as a business owner. Both were mostly good experiences.

** Disclaimer #2: We partnered with the Rocky Mountain Institute to bid on the CEMP work. We didn’t get it, and I still hold a little grudge for squashing my dream of working with RMI.  

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Last night Verdis hit the town. We didn’t hit it hard, but we got out of the office for dinner and drinks so we could gather and recognize the upcoming fourth birthday of the company, the birthday of one of my coworkers, and the fact that Daniel will soon be at Verdis HQ full time. It was also an early send off for me, as my last day in the office is this Friday.

After I returned home and reflected on the evening, I realized (once again) how special a company Verdis Group has been and will be in the future. It isn’t special just because Verdis is the only sustainability consulting company in the region, or the fact that Verdis has had tremendous success creating positive and sustainable change among its clients. It is the people who work at Verdis that make it special. We are a small barbershop choir and each person contributes a unique voice and timbre to the harmony.

I am personally grateful for having had the chance to apply my own skills, talents, and strengths at Verdis over the past few years (none of which includes actual singing). Because Verdis is small—for now—I’ve had the opportunity to learn new things about running a company and apply myself to tasks I never thought I would face, such as developing an analysis of competitors in the sustainability consulting landscape or creating case studies for urban sustainability centers. Verdis allowed me to do things that were both productive and fun, like designing graphics and presenting visual information. I’ve also enjoyed the freedom of writing some pretty crazy blogs from time to time, with the full support of company leadership and my colleagues.

Working at a small company has also provided the chance to interact with my colleagues more often and more intensely than one would in larger companies. My experience has been more satisfying because I have been able to develop professional and personal relationships with Craig, Daniel, Chris, Kay, and Sally. We don’t always agree, but we get along. So I shouldn’t be surprised when it is so much fun to hang out at dinner and catch up on what is going on outside of work, discuss musical interests, share riddles, continue debating the Oxford/serial comma, or just generally give each other a hard time. While I am looking forward to my next professional step, I expect a long interval before I find myself in a professional environment like Verdis.

The core reason is that Verdis is a small group of passionate individuals who are also fantastic, fun, and interesting people. Although it might not be the right fit for everyone, I have loved working at Verdis and know that I will miss everyone on the team. Verdis is poised for continued and greater success in the future, so even though I am done clocking in, I will still be checking in. I’m proud to have been a figurative voice in this choir and a literal part of this company.

Signing off.

 

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Last August I noticed that Metro Transit was on pace to reach several milestones in 2012, and I wrote about it on this blog. One of those milestones was providing more than 4 million passenger trips in 2012. With 2012 now behind us, I am excited to share that Metro Transit provided 4,225,612 rides in 2012. This is a significant achievement for several reasons:

  • It is the first year Metro has provided more than 4 million rides since 1991 (4,098,497 rides). At that time, gasoline hovered near $1.00 per gallon, automakers were ushering in the era of the SUV, suburban expansion continued to be the dominant paradigm, and Metro ridership was on the decline. Now, gasoline prices are relatively high, automakers are focusing on fuel efficiency, suburban development is giving way to urban redevelopment, and Metro ridership is on the rise. Check out the trend in the graph:
(Download the graph as a .pdf: Metro Transit Ridership by Year 1973–2012)
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  • Metro ridership in 2012 matches (exceeds?) the number of passengers through Eppley Airfield in 2011: 4.2 million.
  • The previous one-month record ridership in at least the past decade was in October 2008 (381,678 rides) after the economy crashed. The current peak is now October 2012 (406,566 rides) with August 2012 (377,731 rides) a close third.
  • Seven of the ten months with the highest ridership in the last decade occurred between June 2011 and October 2012. Eight months in 2012 rank in the top twenty for ridership.

The ridership data paints a picture that is consistent with external indicators: gasoline prices; lifestyle preferences of Generations X, Y, and baby boomers; growing awareness of the environmental and health consequences of driving; and economic pressures making it more difficult to own and operate a private vehicle.

In addition, Metro has rebranded itself and continues to make improvements to its services (e.g., bike racks), facilities (e.g., the North Omaha Transit Center renovations), and programs (e.g., Metro Partners) while it awaits the results of the Central Omaha Transit Alternatives Analysis, the Regional Transit Vision Study, and the implementation of the Omaha Transportation Master Plan.

The external factors, the continuous improvement, and the ridership numbers clearly show that Metro Transit is becoming an increasingly important transportation option in the Omaha area.

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VERDIS GROUP SEEKS SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Verdis Group, LLC is seeking qualified individuals for a Senior Associate position. Ideal candidates will have a passion for and knowledge of sustainability, excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), be adept at managing multiple responsibilities simultaneously, and have wizard-like data analysis capabilities. The ideal candidate will have two years of professional experience in a sustainability-related field and be ready to hit the ground running.

SUMMARY                    

The skills and abilities necessary to sufficiently perform the duties are varied and require the individual to be adept at many tasks. The position requires flexibility, attention to detail, and enthusiasm for the work. Generally speaking, the successful candidate will lead projects, effortlessly advise clients on how to be more sustainable, and effectively communicate with colleagues and clients.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The successful candidate may perform the following tasks:

  1. Sustainability Knowledge & Strategies: It is our job to consult organizations on how they can be more sustainable; having in-depth knowledge of the industry and the sustainability strategies organizations can and should pursue is imperative. We are particularly interested in candidates that have good knowledge of building energy conservation measures.
  2. Communication: Effectively communicating, in verbal, written, and in some cases visual/graphical form, is a major component of the job, and we take it seriously. The ideal candidate will be able to communicate technical information in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. Report editing and layout capabilities are desired.
  3. Data Analysis: Conducting a variety of different numerical and theoretical analyses. Collecting, managing, tracking, analyzing, and summarizing data are important components of the job.
  4. Project Management & Planning: Leading client-delivery efforts and managing large projects, which require the ability to prepare and oversee the implementation of project plans, facilitate meetings, delegate to colleagues, effectively communicate with all involved, and prepare exceptional sustainability master plans and other written deliverables.
  5. Other duties as assigned: We’re a small business, which often requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. New responsibilities will pop up, and the ideal candidate will be able to effortlessly handle many of them.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:

  1. Thorough and accurate in all duties and responsibilities. Attention to detail is a key component of the position.
  2. Ability to think critically, problem solve, and trouble-shoot issues.
  3. Excellent planning and organizational skills and an ability to prioritize and manage multiple duties and tasks simultaneously.
  4. Ability to collect, organize, input, and analyze data in an extremely accurate and efficient manner, and an ability to effectively communicate the information.
  5. Knowledge of sustainable best practices as they pertain to businesses, organizations, and communities.
  6. Skilled in using Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Apple software. Proficiency with Adobe’s Creative Suite would be great.
  7. Have we mentioned how important communication is?
  8. Skilled in demonstrating cooperation and professionalism.
  9. Ability to work well with minimal supervision in a team-oriented environment.
  10. Ability to effectively work and interact with various cultures and ethnicities.

SCHEDULE

Our current expectation is for this position to be full-time.

COMPENSATION

Compensation is $18–22/hour commensurate with experience. The firm also offers several benefits, both monetary and otherwise, that the successful candidate will be eligible for. They include but are not limited to a health reimbursement account, bike and bus benefits, extremely generous paid time off, professional development stipends, and flexible work schedule arrangements. 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All individuals interested in being considered for this position should submit the following information:

  1. A letter of interest not to exceed one page
  2. Resume
  3. List of three references, at least one of which must be from a previous relevant employer

Interested parties should send the requested information to Craig Moody via email at craig@verdisgroup.com. Submittals will be accepted until the position is filled.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Craig Moody, Principal

Verdis Group, LLC

1516 Cuming Street

Omaha, NE 68102 

ABOUT VERDIS GROUP (read this. it’s important.)

Our mission: we integrate sustainable strategies that help organizations flourish. Our work commonly falls into two categories: 1) sustainability master plans and 2) ongoing advisory services to assist clients with implementation of operational and behavioral strategies. In both cases, it’s important for us to be extremely knowledgeable of the subject matter at hand. We dig into the data, find trends and opportunities, crunch the numbers, and then effectively communicate the relevant information. Once the plan is in place, we work hand-in-hand (yes, we literally hold their hands sometimes) with our clients to get things done. The implementation can and does take many forms: helping to facilitate green teams and their projects, leading lighting retrofits, studying institutional-scale composting programs, overhauling a waste and recycling process, identifying ongoing energy conservation measures, and then tracking all of the progress.

Our culture is extremely important to the work we do. We love the work and it shows in how we approach it. We involve the entire team in decision-making, and we expect everyone to work hard, but not too much.

Our culture guides our ship and ensures we are focused on our mission. To that end, we work hard to adhere to the following Verdis values:

Passion. We believe we have the power to transform business as usual and make our world ‘green by default’.

Integrity. We’re not going to greenwash, and we won’t let our clients either.  Seriously, it’s not an option.

Balance. We recognize the interdependence of the world’s economic, ecological and social systems and believe every decision made should reflect consideration of all three systems.

Collaboration. We believe we’re not in this alone and rely on our friends, clients, business partners and colleagues to help us create a resilient future.

Innovation. We believe it’s no coincidence that the edge of ecosystems is exceptionally innovative, creative, resilient and dynamic.  We’re not going over the edge, but we’ll hang out there for a spell; it’s a great place to be.

Continuous Improvement. We have a thirst for learning and are always searching for ways to do our work better.

 

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