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Creating a Green Team

How to Make Your Workplace More Sustainable

Is your company looking to establish clear sustainability goals? Do you have employees that are passionate about making the office a more eco-friendly place? Or maybe you already have a robust sustainability policy, but are unsure of how to implement it?

Now is a great time to establish a green team to tackle sustainability at your workplace.

What is a Green Team?

A green team – also called a sustainability team – is a voluntary action group within your organisation that focuses on sustainability action points within the company. This can include implementing green initiatives and educating other employees about sustainability.

A green team should be a small, focused group made up of people from various teams at your business. The size will depend on the size of your company, but generally less is better to stay on track – aim for no more than 10 people.

Try and have at least one person from each major department, where possible. By having different teams represented, it ensures that the concerns and needs of those groups are heard and that they have a chance to contribute to the wider culture of sustainability at the company.

Ensuring Your Green Team's Success

Starting a new group within your company requires dedication and organisation. Fortunately for you, we’ve laid out some important steps to help get your green team off the ground.

Whether you’re an executive who knows nothing about sustainability or a passionate employee wanting to build a green culture, enacting these steps can ensure your green team succeeds.

1. Set a dedicated meeting time for your green time.

Just like any other group within a company, it’s important to set aside structured time to discuss and plan initiatives and determine metrics in which to measure progress. Each meeting should have a clear agenda, with a problem to discuss and plan around. Without structure, a green team can easily devolve into inaction.

Meetings do not need to be long or arduous – commit to a simple 20-30 minute meeting once a month and keep communication open at other times via email, Teams, Slack, or whatever other platforms your company uses.

2. Figure out your overall goals and break them down into actionable steps.

By setting larger goals, the team and the wider organisation can have a roadmap to becoming a more sustainable company. This should be the ultimate vision for what you want your company’s sustainability policy to look like.

Then, once the overall goals are set, you can break them down into smaller, easy-to-achieve steps. This can include things like setting up a recycling process, reducing waste in the workplace, or organising community volunteer events with your employees.

3. Encourage ownership of projects.

On a green team, the company hierarchy should play little role. Instead, encourage ideas and solutions from every level within the organisation, and allow those with the ideas to spearhead their campaigns (if they want to). This will ensure people feel open to suggesting and trying new ideas, which can help ensure their lasting success.

4. Share the goals and actions with the wider company.

While it’s important to keep the group itself small, that doesn’t mean that the team should function in the dark. It’s important to share the overall vision of the team with the whole company and have others interact with the initiatives. The purpose of a green team is also to educate the company, which is where this step is crucial. Employees won’t necessarily engage with programs if they don’t have clear reasons why or understand how to do so properly.

5. Gather feedback and adjust goals as needed.

Feedback from the team, and the organisation as a whole, is crucial to the green team’s success. This is the step where you can understand what is working, what may need to be tweaked, and what has missed the mark altogether.

Once you’ve gathered your feedback, you can adjust the goals and how you plan to reach them. Having measurable results is important for succeeding, and if someone isn’t measuring up, it may be time to rethink it.

6. Share and celebrate the results.

With the successful implementation of a company green team, you should be able to track and record sustainability wins for the company. These wins should be widely shared internally and celebrated, as success can help spur further changes.

You can also use these in your external communications, to help signal to potential clients the great things your company is doing.

Creating a green team at your company allows you to set yourself up for success as a forward-thinking, sustainable company. By establishing a group of employees dedicated to these goals, your company will be a greener and more collaborative place to work.

For more resources to help you get started on your company’s green initiatives, check out the below:

Why Recycle

How to go Waste-free with your Office Lunch

4 Reasons to Collect Organics in the Workplace

Cover photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Want to improve recycling rates in your workplace?

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