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One of the best ways to get initiatives off the ground that are meant to benefit the environment is to empower your employees to lead the charge. You can harness the energy of your workforce to create a green team, a management-supported and self-empowered group of individuals who share a common goal of educating, supporting, and seeking changes that will reduce your environmental footprint—things that align with your company’s sustainability goals and enable environmental improvements and cost savings or productivity improvements through their everyday practices.
Green teams can gain support and build momentum within your company. Start with these five simple steps:
1. Select a leader. This person should be committed to the program, passionate, and willing to manage others.
2. Seek management support. Getting buy-in from the boss and setting a tone from top management will ensure the team has access to the information and resources needed to succeed. More importantly, it’ll help make sure the team’s efforts are forwarding the overall goals of your company.
3. Recruit a small number of green team members. Send an open invitation or target people who are outwardly enthusiastic about the program and able to commit time to help spearhead the effort. Limit the number of green team members. Anything more than eight people might get bureaucratic and make it hard to gain consensus on important decisions and courses of action.
4. Share roles and expectations early. Be sure everyone is in sync with the company’s green mission and the requirements to get there.
5. Set goals and measure results. Plan the next 12 months. Determine what you’ll track in terms of progress made. Start with low-hanging fruit, or easily attainable goals. The best way to foster success is to demonstrate success early on, and usually the momentum will build from there. Share your results with the larger community—the entire office, an extended group, or the whole company. Your idea might become a program or process adopted by the entire company.
Vice-President for Environment, Health, and Safety
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