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How to Form a Green Team

Categories: Green Tips
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Green Team green-team

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.

Tips:

  • 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)

Green Team

Photo: http://www.thirdpartners.com/greenteams)

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:

Read more on the importance of Employee Engagement for sustainable businesses here.

 

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Employee Volunteering

Categories: Green Tips
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Employee Volunteering  shutterstock_397428637

Have you heard about employee volunteering?  Have you considered initiating a volunteer program in your organization?

Employee volunteering is when companies let their people take on voluntary tasks in communities that result in leaving a positive and lasting impact. It is not a new concept, in fact, more and more companies are recognising the value of what their people can give back – as it is true that employees are what makes the company and are the ones who deliver what they stand for. Volunteering is also a very effective and powerful form for businesses to invest in their staff as well as local communities, since it can be credited to the company’s enacted social responsibility.

Benefits of Employee Volunteering include the development and enhancement of employees’ professional and leadership skills. In bullet points this means:

  • Employee development
  • Encouraging teamwork
  • Improved communication
  • Building brand awareness
  • Improved employee retention
  • Providing subject matter for corporate content creation

The three core benefits to a company with employees who volunteer are (1) Improved Employee Engagement, (2) Strong Recruitment of Younger Employees, and (3) Improved Corporate Visibility. Learn more about each benefit on Fronstream’s blog.

Visit employee volunteering for more information and see some examples here.

 

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Upcycling furniture when its lifetime seems to be over

Categories: Green Tips
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Have you ever thought about what you can do with that chair, desk or drawer in your office once its lifetime seems to be over?

Surely you have heard, seen or even done some DIY at home, which might have included making something new out of something already existing. So you already know what upcycling is all about, basically!

Upcycling furniture

Image Source: Tweak Your Biz

But why only DIY at home? Why not bring it to your business too?! 

You don’t have to simply throw old furniture away and let it end up in landfill. You should rather upcycle it! There are various ways in which your old furniture can be upcycled and re-used.

One option could be to have an upcycling day on which you engage your employees in reassembling, repainting, and rebuilding of the furniture in your office that you would have other ways thrown out or that might need a new touch. This initiative can also have a great side effect on team building and team work. It also saves you the cost of buying new furniture!

Another option would be to give your old furniture to secondhand establishments instead of sending it to landfill. There are secondhand establishments specifically focusing on upcycling old furniture and reselling it.

Also, you can donate your furniture to church groups, youth centres, temples, and other societal establishments!

Upcycling furniture not only reduces the waste send to landfill, but it also reduces the waste generated in manufacturing processes and the used resources for producing new pieces.

You can read more about this under number 2 of these Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs.

Under the points 38. to 40. on Tweak Your Biz you can find some ideas on Re-Using Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment.

And lastly, find out more about Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Business Ideas!

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Way back in 2003, when I was new to CSR and had just joined Wells Fargo, one of our team members was granted a six month paid leave to work with a nonprofit to create an entrepreneurship program for women in Armenia. The effort was so successful that she was asked to speak at the United Nations; not long after, she left the company to pursue that work. Peter Dudley. Read more.

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