Having a Green Team in your organisation is an important step along the path towards the objective of becoming more environmentally sustainable – and it also increases employee engagement. A Green Team is a small group of employees whose combined goal is to educate, empower and inspire colleagues to establish and promote environmentally sustainable practices within their organisation and at home.
The first step in forming the Team is to recruit the members. The most popular approach is to ask for volunteers but there are organisations that prefer to assign employees. Any Green Team should be diverse, comprising representatives from different divisions within the organisation and from different levels of management. It is vitally important that all green Team members are passionate about, and committed to, the principles of sustainability.
Your first meeting. Make sure that the initial meeting is both productive and meaningful. This will set a positive tone for subsequent meetings.
- Create a welcoming environment, best achieved by providing snacks
- Prepare an agenda that includes the reasons for creating the Green Team and why environmental sustainability is a priority of the organisation
- Set expectations by letting each member share their thoughts on what the Team’s focus should be
- Find out how familiar the members are on the principles of sustainability. Watching sustainability videos together can help start this conversation (click here for 9 Useful Sustainability Videos to Share with Your Team)
Encourage brainstorming on potential projects such as:
- Conducting sustainability training for the entire organisation
- Drafting green policies by gathering suggestions from all employees
- Organising company activities, such as participating in environmental events (e.g. Earth Day and International Coastal Clean-up Day)
- Proposing organisation initiatives such as reducing plastic waste at work and employee car-pooling
Creating a Green Team takes a considerable amount of time and effort. But it is rewarding and extremely worthwhile. With support from senior management and commitment from each Team member, the organisation will undoubtedly benefit from this endeavour.
Here are a few resources to help you create your dream Green Team:
- Green Teams: Engaging Employees in Sustainability, a report by GreenBiz and Green Impact
- The Small Business Guide to Sustainable Business Practices by Cultivating Capital
- Toolkits & Assessments for “greening” your business by Sustainability Learning Centre
Read more on the importance of Employee Engagement for sustainable businesses here.