Moving your company towards sustainability needs to come from both the top down as well as the bottom up. Once an executive decision is made to support sustainability, there needs to be ongoing support to establish and implement a green action plan and strategy. Creating that plan and keeping it on track are jobs for the green team.
A green team is a committee made up of people from your company. These employees collectively have insights into all aspects of your organization and can bring ideas from their departments or roles, to improve the company’s sustainability performance. Usually the team is made up of people that self-select to be part of the green team. Their job is to be creative and identify actions to meet goals and targets within a sustainability plan, or to help develop goals, targets or a plan if these things don’t already exist.
Benefits of having a Green Team
Attract top talent: Having a green team will help you attract and engage top talent, by aligning with the values of potential employees. According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, 71% of Canadians want to work for an employer that has commitments to improve their company’s sustainability performance.
Boost employee engagement and morale: Usually the people who volunteer have a strong connection to social and environmental sustainability and a strong desire to do what’s right and make change for the better within the organization. Engagement can spike if employees are feeling positive about the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (according to GreenBiz). By harnessing their passion, you will be able to get green things done by people who love doing them, reducing turn over and boosting morale among all staff who want to see “green” on the company agenda.
Realize ROI: Green Teams can actually help save your company money. Green teams often work to find and implement ways to improve efficiencies, which often have a great return on investment. For example, if a green team decides that setting a target to reduce paper printed by 50% will help meet their waste reduction goals, then that is 50% less paper your company needs to purchase, and less that you need to spend on hauling recycling away. Another example is recommending that the company invest in energy-saving technology such as LED lighting, sensors and controls or EnergyStar equipment. Less energy consumed will reduce operating costs, improving your company’s bottom line. These investments can pay you back in both the short and long term.
Free Download: How to Establish a Green Team
If you’re ready to start off the New Year on the right foot by getting a green team up-and-running, download our handy guide: How to Establish A Green Team in Your Business.
Getting started on this now will ensure that you have your priorities in the right place for 2017, the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Is your company already doing some great things and do you have a certification behind them? Find out how to Effectively Market your Company’s Green Business Credentials.
Written by Lindsay Eason
Lindsay is the Program Manager for Green Tourism Canada and Co-Founder of GreenStep Solutions Inc. She writes blogs and articles about green business practices and sustainable tourism. Lindsay lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island with her family.