Let’s Talk: Green Teams

By March 25, 2014Sustainability

First of all, we love green teams!

We are buoyed by their enthusiasm and can-do attitude (when they are volunteers that is…we all know of the team members who were forced to join by a manager). These wonderful grass roots programs are generally embraced by anyone who participates.  To doubters and non-participants they are just trash cops.  Ouch. We said it.

Green teams have the best of intentions, but can stall or become the focus of office jokes due to poor execution.  Why?  Bless their hearts, but most green teams are volunteer or extracurricular programs run by people who care, but have not created a bridge that accesses the authority or resources to create result long term results.  A  company-wide cultural shift needs to happen and that comes from the top.

How many times have you heard about people complaining that their paper towels were taken out of the bathroom only to be replaced by noisy dryers?  Or heard someone yelling because their bio plastic coffee cup just melted on their desk?   This is all the hard work of your trusty green team.

Effective Green teams – what’s the secret?

Top down leadership endorsement and continued support.

Green teams are an overlooked company asset!  They are the harbingers of innovation and cultural shift.  Often times the changes that green teams make serve two purposes:

1)   They lay the groundwork for a culture of innovation in your organization

2)   They are your turnkey employees for a successful and enduring sustainability program

Of course these sustainability programs have measurable and long term financial and environmental benefits as well, but you already know that.  Green teams have the potential to be so much more.  But if they are not supported by the C-Suite with the tools needed to create company-wide success, their efforts usually end at hand dryers and recycling stations.

Innovative companies recognize that green teams actually have the hidden potential to create true value for the brand internally and beyond.

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