Research shows that employers who implement corporate wellness programs consistently see a positive return on investment. - Alastair Greer, founder of LocalSqr
New York, NY (PRWEB) April 02, 2013
LocalSqr has partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store on a pilot Go Local program that supports local farmers and producers while engaging and educating employees on how to maintain healthy lifestyles with information on healthy nutrition, recipes and cooking tips. The eight-week program, which includes the addition of healthier recipes in the employee cafeteria, was a success and Saks has announced plans to take Go Local national this year to more than 11,000 employees in 115 locations including corporate offices and other non-store locations.
“Research shows that employers who implement corporate wellness programs consistently see a positive return on investment,” said Alastair Greer, founder of LocalSqr. “Additionally, Go Local hits The Triple Bottom Line by fitting into most Corporate Social Responsibility models while encouraging sustainability and promoting local business. I designed LocalSqr to better connect local farmers, producers and artisans with new and existing consumers while delivering a platform for engagement through rewards and social media sharing. We elaborated the concept to develop Go Local and I’m thrilled with the results.”
A test group of 165 employees participated in the program, and of those who completed a survey, 52% cooked at home more, 57% purchased food from local markets and 93% found Go Local useful and helpful.
“We’ve had a long tradition of encouraging healthy living here at Saks Fifth Avenue,” said Joell Grey, Director of Preventive Health and Wellness for Saks Fifth Avenue. “But, after meeting with Alastair we were excited to do even more. If your company relies on people, then their health is crucial to the success of your company. This program brings a level of social engagement and is a nice compliment to the corporate wellness initiative we have in place.”
The eight-week program steadily delivers actionable advice and insight into creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Each week employees receive an email with nutrition tips and recipes and they are encouraged to shop for ingredients at their local farmers market using the LocalSqr app. Go Local urges employees to take their nutrition into their own hands with exercises like “The Breakfast Experiment” where they make a different meal every day and keep a diary on energy level, moods and physical symptoms – all things that are significantly affected by the foods we eat. “This is not a one-size-fits-all program where we tell you what to eat,” said Greer. “To produce the most successful results, we provide all the tools necessary and that means developing a program that works for everyone and every lifestyle. Our nation is in a food crisis and every employer can learn something from what Saks is doing with Go Local.” LocalSqr and Saks also have plans to incorporate pop-up artisanal food carts in the stores where local producers will have the opportunity to sell their products while incorporating them into the menus in the restaurants and employee cafeterias.
“This is just the beginning,” said Terron Schaefer, Saks Fifth Avenue Chief Creative Officer. “Of course we’re in the business of helping everyone to look and feel their best, including our employees, but these days, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to encourage healthy living.”
Developed and launched in open beta by wellness expert Alastair Greer in 2011, LocalSqr is a free app that connects local farmers and producers with new and existing consumers. The app allows consumers to find local markets, discover vendors, share information on social networks, and offers rewards for loyalty. Greer designed the technology with the strong belief that supporting the increased use of local food, combined with the practice of cooking from scratch more frequently, will directly lead to significant changes in the health of this country, benefit local economies and aid in a clean environment. Go Local from LocalSqr is an eight-week corporate initiative that utilizes healthy programming to connect employees with their local markets and producers while delivering the necessary tools to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Go Local is not a diet that micro-manages nutrition or counts calories, rather it helps employees reclaim the skills for selecting and preparing healthy, nutritious food. Businesses who participate in the Go Local program can significantly contribute to their Triple Bottom Line by promoting healthy and sustainable practices by their employees while supporting local farmers and producers.
About Alastair Greer
Alastair Greer is one of the top fitness experts in the country and has made it his mission in life to help as many people as possible be healthy, energetic and productive. He is a certified personal trainer, qualified health chef from the Natural Gourmet Institute and a two-time USA Rugby Super League champion. He is the President and CEO of WellBe Solutions, which installs and executes strategically devised health solutions, campaigns and initiatives for corporations, and also founded City Athlete, which offers dynamic athletic training programs for adults and after school programs for adolescents in major cities. Alastair has his Bachelor's Degree in Sports Coaching from a London University and currently resides in Manhattan.
About Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s preeminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. Today, Saks operates 45 full-line stores in 20 states, 2 licensed stores in the Middle East and two licensed stores in Mexico City, 64 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and saks.com, the company’s online store. Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.