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The SOLE® Paperless Trees Project and Your Corporate Social Responsibility

From SOLE Financial Marketing Director, Lindsay Wilson:

Since 2004, we’ve helped businesses of all sizes eliminate paper payroll checks by empowering the unbanked workforce with direct deposit. Utilizing a combination of direct deposit to traditional bank accounts and our innovative paycard solution, companies are able to reach 100% direct deposit participation, saving abundant time and money for payroll managers and employees. This reduces the paper waste of payroll checks, saves trees and reduces the carbon footprint of companies in the process. Since paperless payroll is in the DNA of SOLE it seemed natural to add a tree planting incentive to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.

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Much like making sure everyone in your organization gets paid on time and accurately, achieving 100% participation is no small feat. Organizations are constantly hiring and churning employees. Many people who receive a paper check have an emotional or cultural attachment to the tangible nature of paper checks, despite the high cost and inconvenience of check-cashing services. To recognize this achievement, we wanted to do something significant. That’s where SOLE’s Paperless Trees Project comes in.

Originally scheduled to launch in Q3 of this year, the recent decision by our elected officials to exit the Paris Agreement has made it abundantly clear that businesses need to step up to address climate change. With the launch of our Paperless Trees Project (PTP), we join communities, local governments, and businesses like Gap, Facebook, Google, Morgan Stanley, Adobe, etc. to combat climate change and remain aligned with the goals of the cause. When clients reach 100% direct deposit, we will plant a grove of trees in their name and work towards clean air; one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen, enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.* To further commemorate their accomplishment, they’ll receive our limited edition PTP water bottle. By using a reusable water bottle you can eliminate (on average) 167 disposable water bottles per year.**

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to roll out a Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative. At SOLE, we started small, building from employee benefits to community service days, to our official Paperless Trees Program. Look at everything your company does and there is probably an obvious opportunity to insert a CSR initiative. Planning a team-building event? Why not work together on a community project related to one of your customers’ or your organization’s passion points? Do you award or incentivize any stakeholders? Maybe there is an opportunity to match their efforts with something beneficial, i.e. plant trees to honor all of the work they do to save them. Don’t be afraid to use the power of business, whether big or small, for good. It is a win-win and pays for itself.

*    “The Benefits of Trees.” The Arbor Day Foundation

**    Fishman, Charles. “Message in a Bottle.” Fast Company Magazine July 2007: 110.

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