Rikki Keenan Schmeeckle
Green Team Coordinator Digital Marketing Manager,
Membership Services & IT Administrator
1. Forming your Green Team:
•Start discussing issues of environmental sustainability with your colleagues to gauge interest.
•As a group, seek buy-in from executive-level leadership to validate the time and energy spent on green team meetings and initiatives.
•Assemble a team of people for your green team – regardless of whether environmental sustainability is relevant to his or her job title and ensuring that representatives are sought from a variety of business areas and leadership levels of your company.
2. Investigating interests and establishing purpose:
•What are your team’s strengths and passions?
•What issues are unique to your local office or market?
•What does your community already do for sustainability and community involvement?
•What are the areas of opportunity? Barriers to success?
•What have you focused on in the past? Versus what you would like to focus on in the future?
•How much capacity does your team have?
3. Setting Goals:
•When you set goals, make sure to create “SMART” goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted
•Establish goals early and review often whether the primary objective is to further environmental sustainability or to cut costs. Purposes and goals may be established or highlighted with in a CSR or sustainability plan.
•Set environmental goals, policies, timelines, activities, and actions– Set up a timeline complete with benchmarks to ensure that ideas are followed through to implementation.
•Choose a first project that is straightforward and tangible, a topic that all company employees can understand and support, such as setting up a basic recycling program.
•If possible, integrate Green Team goals into job goals, so quarterly goals promote sustainability initiatives and employee development.
4. Building Awareness:
•Tell stories to further creativity. Many of your team’s best ideas are likely to come from internal inspiration from employees who have already implemented impressive practices
•Socialize your successes – Don’t hesitate to celebrate success, both internally and externally. Socialization of sustainability will work to increase buy-in, adoption of responsible practices and a value-driven workplace. A few places where the green team can be featured to continue momentum: blogs, brown bag lunches, all-staff meetings, company intranet news, external newsletter.
•Remember to have fun—the most impact is typically made by changing employee behavior, and positive reinforcement is most likely to make behavior shifts permanent.