Establishing a Green Team
Are you looking to go green at work? Key to your success will be people. At the end of the day, it is the people in your organization that will need to be engaged to take green initiatives forward.
The best way to get green initiatives off the ground is through a Green Team – which is a small group of committed staff who want to make a difference at work. Members of a Green Team are integral to the success of a green work environment.
The pathway to creating a successful Green Team is:
1. Form a Green Team with Motivated Team Members
2. Focus on Targeted Initiatives
3. Monitor and Provide Feedback for the Whole Organization
The challenge is that getting an effective Green Team up and running is not an easy task. Moreover, maintaining the momentum of the Green Team over time is even more challenging.
Develop a strong Green Team to determine the core sustainability principals and then implementing those ideas as ongoing projects. The Green Team should be allowed to clearly communicate the objectives of each project to clients, employees and other interested parties.
3 Key Elements for Effective Green Teams
Forming the Green Team
Ensure participants are keen and motivated to drive initiatives. Participants do not need to have particular expertise in sustainability – Motivation is the most important criteria for selection. Consideration when putting together the team is to have each department that will be affected by the particular expertise in sustainability – Motivation is the most important criteria for selection. Consideration when putting together the team is to have each department that will be affected by the
program represented. Staff from all levels should be encouraged to join the team. Have one Green Team leader who is the single point of contact.
Delegate clear roles for each team member and define what is expected of each member. (i.e. role definition, objectives, time requirements)
Allow the team to meet on a regular basis, record minutes and be comfortable with presenting ideas, programs and analysis to management.
Focus on targeted initiatives
The most important factor to maintaining momentum and achieving results is to be target oriented.
Green Team initiatives should not be numerous; one initiative a quarter is a good benchmark. (ie recycling, car pooling, composting and turning lights off after hours within offices) Initiatives should be strategic with a long-term view on environmental performance at the organization.
Targets should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely).
Targets should sit within a clear initiative framework that is communicated to all staff. Define a clear vision with objectives, and specific strategic goals for the Green Team. Employee engagement and communication are keys to success.
Monitor and Provide Feedback for the Whole Organization
The goals of all initiatives should be monitored to track performance, identify further opportunities, flag areas of resistance or concern.
Develop a notice board for your green office program where you can post helpful hints, new policies, progress reports, and other notices. Chart your progress, making sure to emphasize your successes, energy and water saved, amount of waste diverted from the landfill via recycling, etc.
The results of an initiative should be reported to staff with clear facts and figures. Remember to thank staff and encourage their further involvement – without everyone’s support initiatives won’t be a complete success.
Follow this structure and you are bound to make a positive impact on your business.