"People want to work for companies that have strong values and care about sustainability," Ms. Turnock says.
People also want to work for companies that solicit their green ideas. "Anytime employees make a suggestion and vote on it, and the company acts on it, that's really powerful in terms of building pride in the workplace," says Patricia Bjerrisgaard, a senior director at Business Objects, a software firm in Vancouver, British Columbia.
At Business Objects, green teams focus on one initiative each quarter. The first one established a "no bottled water" policy. "They took out bottled water in the vending machines and added filtered-water stations," Ms. Bjerrisgaard says.
At LPA, green initiatives go far beyond worms and compost. The firm saves about $5,000 a year just by using recycled toner in the copiers. And it recently installed a system that monitors the power usage of computers. Breckenridge hopes this will cut the "plug load" by 6 percent.
Other innovative measures include giving individual workers control of lighting and underfloor air systems. "Creating a healthy environment can increase productivity," says Breckenridge.
Because staff members travel frequently for clients and projects, the firm rents hybrid cars for them.
Workers in shades of green