Six Steps to Forming a Green Team at Your Company
I thought I would write more over the past few months but I have been quite busy laying the groundwork for Alegria Partners. I forgot how much there is to do to get a business off the ground!
Throughout the month I have the opportunity to talk to dozens of professionals throughout and many of them seem to share a similar dilemma. They are excited about the possibility of getting their company to implement sustainability programs that will save money, but they just don’t know where to start. This task can feel daunting for one individual with great intentions!
Here are a few tips to get a Green Team off the ground and creating results that key executives will like. These tips can be used in companies large and small.
- Step 1 – Attain Executive Support. At least one person from the Executive team needs to be a part of the Green Team in order for decisions to be made swiftly and to ensure that all actions are in alignment with the company’s values and ethics. This team member can take the Green Team ideas back to the other Execs and enroll them into the energy-saving ideas. Having as much executive “buy-in” as possible makes the entire Green Team formation more efficient.
- Step 2 – Enroll “Sustainability Champions”. These champions can be from each department and will attend the meetings. Diversity in this area is key and successful teams have either volunteer or appointed champions who come from all different levels. Find people who are personally connected to and care about sustainability.
- Step 3 – Write a Green Team Mission Statement. A mission statement will support the team in staying true to its established goals and can help the team stay in alignment when facing tough situations. This statement can be posted in visible areas so that people are consistently reminded that they can be part of this group.
- Step 4 – Measure Your Current Baselines. The most simple areas to measure are 1) waste output, 2) paper use, 3) HVAC & lighting and 4) resource procurement & purchasing. Go through old bills to track spending, do a “dumpster dive,” analyze how long the lights are used each day and assess your cleaning supply purchasing trends (and there’s so much more!). This will provide a clear starting point for all future actions.
- Step 5 – Set Goals and Develop An Action Plan. Once the team has measured the company’s baselines, figure out how much these numbers can be reduced. Is the team reaching for a 10% reduction? A 25% reduction? More? Use these numbers as targets and then develop a course of action that the company can take to reach them. The Green Team leaders will be responsible for implementing different aspects of these initiatives and will report challenges and triumphs during the monthly meetings.
- Step 6 – Enroll & Publicize! Create short workshops to “train” those on the Green Team about all of the initiatives so that they can share them with their individual departments. Write blog posts on the company website or create a sustainability-specific monthly newsletter to share the successes of the Green Team throughout the year. Create programs and events that will hold people’s interests and generate excitement about getting involved with the Green Team. Also, find out how employees implement sustainability into their personal lives or find out if they have ideas that can be executed at the office. A great way to find out is to develop contests where participants win prizes for sharing their ideas on how to save carbon, reduce waste and energy (for example). It’s incredible how many fantastic, time, energy and money saving ideas come from employees who don’t know how or when to share them!
Now it’s time to share the fruits of these successes with the world!
We’d love to help you get your company’s Green Team off the ground or support you in achieving your almost-completed sustainability initiatives. For a free 30 minute consultation, please contact me directly. We look forward to working with you!
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