Jul 22, 2010

Sustainability Means...

Peter Jacques's picture
Peter Jacques
Office Manager / Video Producer

...Making a Better World through the Office and the Community

At Hot Studio, our dedication to being kinder to the planet and improving our society is reflected in our practices, in our services, and with whom we partner. How we operate in our physical and social environments matter. It’s as important to our clients and partners as it is to us that we work in these spheres in a sustainable manner. That means treating our employees and interacting with our community with the greater good in mind. Fair practices, reaching one’s full potential and, in particular, live-work balance are critical to us. As a woman-owned business, the integration of family and workplace has been a top priority since our inception. (We’ve been acknowledged for our approach in articles and publications such as Babies in the Workplace.) Our dedication to being kinder to the planet is reflected in how we operate our offices, and our commitment to improving our society is shown in our roster of clients—many of whom are non-profits looking to better the lives of large segments of society. The way we see it, employee happiness + meaningful projects = better work = client happiness. We believe it’s a truly sustainable cycle. It begins on Howard Street and Broadway, and with being conscious of the environment. So we’ve embraced the three “R”s:


  • We replaced tungsten light bulbs with CFL bulbs
  • Employees are directed to turn off monitors and power strips at night
  • We discontinued bottled water and installed a tap filter
  • We order fewer but larger deliveries of office supplies
  • Auto light shut-off sensors are in all our restrooms and conference rooms
  • We encourage using public transit through the Commuter Checks incentive program
  • We use Zipcar for travel rather than employees’ vehicles


We reuse everything we can, as often as we can. We have dishes and flatware in our kitchen and we wash them ourselves. Printing mistakes go into a scrap paper tray, and we use a dedicated black-and-white printer for non-crucial prints.


  • We recycle 45% of our total waste
  • We compost 15% of our total waste
  • We recycle toner cartridges through Give Something Back, our office supplies vendor, and we regularly drop off our e-waste and used batteries and tech at Green Citizen.
  • Through ease-of-use collection, design and signage, we have channeled 60% (and climbing) of our waste OUT of the landfill.

Hot closes the loop by purchasing products and materials containing the highest post-consumer recycled content possible. Our 12-foot-long conference table is made of Richlite, a product made from super-compacted recycled paper. Our carpets are by FLOR, made of recycled materials, sustainable and reusable. All detergents and cleaning products used at Hot Studio are biodegradable. We purchase locally produced fruit and by fair-trade coffee, locally roasted and delivered on bicycle.

Doing Social Good

We’re also members of the Designers Accord, a global coalition of designers, educators, researchers, engineers, and corporate leaders working together to create positive environmental and social impact. Three recent clients embody organizations striving for positive changes in our world:

United Religions Initiative
URI is a nonprofit peace-building and interfaith organization dedicated to promoting enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to ending religiously motivated violence, and to creating cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings. We redesigned their website so the public can easily discover all the different activist movements the organization is fostering, globally, though their Cooperation Circles.

Independent Television Service
ITVS is a publicly funded corporation tasked with championing independently produced programs—ones that take creative risks and spark public dialogue. We designed an immersive experience for their website so users can easily find video and film content and program show times for local stations, producers can get the help they need for their projects, and broadcasters can find the socially important programming they’re looking for.

Your Garden Show
YGS is an interactive gardening experience that connects hobbyists and enthusiast gardeners with personalized information, community resources, and creative inspiration. Its ultimate goal is to build stronger local communities and fellowship through gardening. With them, we designed a social media website where gardeners can upload photos and videos of their work, write profiles and logs of their garden activities, and leave comments about other users’ gardens, which they’re free to explore. By walking the walk, we believe we’re spreading ideas of sustainability to our homes, families, friends, neighbors, clients, and business partners. It’s a modest but vital step in making the world a better place.

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Daniel Truran's picture

I was first brought to your site following your work redesigning Kiva.org's website. Supporting that magic poverty reduction, entrepreneurial project in itself is a strong statement about who you are and builds a strong "love-brand" effect.
So when I read of these very practical yet important steps you are taking to also green your offices I am even more impressed and appreciative of companies like yours who think differently (or in the right way) but also act that new way.

Great to get to know you
All the best

Kevin O'Malley's picture

Always a pleasure to come into your office -- the ambiance has a feeling of sustainability and concern. And love that guy at the front desk:-)

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