Every new employee for the Appleton-based construction company is invited to read the book and participate in a one-on-one discussion with CEO Tom Boldt on it as part of his or her onboarding process.
“We started this program as a springboard to discuss each person’s definition of business ethics,” he says. “One of my jobs is to create a culture where people aren’t afraid to speak up about things that are important to them, and the book is a tool that helps us define individual and organizational values.”
The relationship between the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Boldt began in 2015 when the Appleton construction company built the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, which was named the greenest building in the world at that time, garnering more LEED points than any other building.
When Boldt shared his idea to have new employees read the book, he reached out to the foundation who created a private website for company employees, access to a documentary about Leopold and a study guide to use with the book.
Boldt employees are guided through the book by going beyond the land conservation message to discuss topics of community, connection to resources, decisions made on personal values, the impact people make on land and an ethical discussion of how our individual actions relate to larger social values.
Since beginning the program, hundreds of Boldt employees from 14 offices across the country have read the book.
“Leopold teaches that we need to make good choices and use no more than we need. That is applicable for all of our team members, so we are good stewards of our customers’ resources from a financial and materials point of view,” Boldt says.