blue sky over a prairie
Dunn Ranch Prairie Rolling hills of Dunn Ranch Prairie. © Hilary Haley/TNC

Stories in Missouri

St. Louis Office Goes Virtual

We're adopting an innovative office model to reduce energy use, save money, and improve staff efficiency.

With projects in every state and over 70 countries and territories, The Nature Conservancy staffers are experts at working effectively—sometimes across great distances—to achieve large-scale conservation results. In Missouri, our staff is using sophisticated communication technologies and an innovative approach to adapt to evolving needs: a “virtual” office model.

St. Louis-based staff began working from home offices most days, allowing for a move to a smaller, more energy-efficient office space and reduced commute times. The move is part of TNC's 50 State Climate Change Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected to yield a myriad of social, economic, and conservation benefits, such as a reduction in energy use, a broadened talent pool, and seamless collaboration across the state.

Economic Benefits

  • Proceeds from the sale of our previous office building offset rental costs on our new space for the next 10-15 years, ensuring that more of every charitable dollar will go towards important conservation work.
  • Flexible work locations will aid with staff retention, reducing job search and training costs.
  • The new space, conducive for hosting trustee and partner meetings, reduces the need to rent event space in the future.

Social Benefits

  • State-of-the-art communication technology, such as video conferencing, and flexibility in work locations position staff to work seamlessly across the state and beyond. Staff are able to:
    • Choose work sites that are the most convenient and productive for them.
    • Easily work and communicate regardless of physical locations, more effectively reaching donors, partners, and project sites as needed.
    • Be extremely accessible and responsive, even when traveling.
    • Better connect with coworkers, partners, and donors across the state and around the globe, eliminating disruptions caused by travel or other events.
  • Reduced commute times and costs support a healthy work-life balance for staff.
  • Alternative work locations allow increased visibility and presence within the communities we live in throughout the St. Louis region and beyond: Kirkwood, Brentwood, Webster Groves, Chesterfield, Wildwood, the City of St. Louis, St. Charles, Washington, and more.
  • Our three office locations outside of St. Louis (Springfield, lower Ozarks, and northwest Missouri) will remain as visible sites for our on-the-ground work in those communities.

Environmental Benefits

  • Searches for new employees will be less limited by geography, greatly expanding candidate pools and ensuring we secure the best talent for the job – no matter where they live. Greater talent leads to improved efficiency and more successful strategies in all departments.
  • The transition to a “virtual” office will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are generated by staff commutes and by operating a large, inefficient office building.
  • The move is one component of the Conservancy’s 50 State Climate Change Strategy, which promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a prosperous clean energy future through a variety of approaches, including outreach and education, policy engagement, and nature-based climate solutions.

At The Nature Conservancy, we strive to achieve the biggest impacts at the largest scale. This new working model will increase our effectiveness and efficiency, allowing us to continue our vital work to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.