Are you looking to go green at work? Key to your success will be people. At the end of the day it is the people in your organisation that will need to be engaged to take green initiatives forward.
The best way to get green initiatives off the ground is through a green team – which is a small group of committed staff who want to make a difference at work. Members of a green team are integral to the success of a green work campaign.
The challenge is that getting an effective green team up and running is not an easy task.
Moreover, maintaining the momentum of the green team over time is even more challenging.
Below we provide you with the seven key things you need to get right from the get go.
7 Key Elements of Effective Green Teams
1. Executive Buy-In/Senior Management Support
- Obtain the support of senior management for all green initiatives
- The green team should be strategic as opposed to a working group (i.e. not formed solely of so-called ‘green’ individuals; commercial imperative should be emphasised)
- Where possible, try to have a senior management representative on the green team
2. Form The Green Team
- Ensure participants are keen and motivated to drive initiatives. Note: participants do not need to have particular expertise in sustainability – motivation is the most important criteria for selection
- Staff from all levels should be encouraged to join the team
- Define a clear vision with objectives, and specific strategic goals for the green team. This may sit within a mission statement
- Set calendar meeting dates (quarterly meetings are usually sufficient; more frequent meetings can be made for smaller groups within the green team)
- Quarterly meeting should be structured with minutes taken, and successes recorded. The group should not be afraid to report failings or time over-runs
3. Delegate Clear Responsibility
- Have one green team leader who is the single point of contact
- Delegate clear roles for each team member and define what is expected of each member (i.e. role definition, objectives, time requirements)
4. Focus On Initiatives
- Green team initiatives should not be numerous; one initiative a quarter is a good benchmark (have a look at these 10 green team actions to go green at work)
- Initiatives should be strategic with a long-term view on environmental performance at the organisation
- Initiatives should be communicated to all staff to check whether action will be met with support or resistance – we highly recommend you read this article on employee engagement and communication
5. Be Target Oriented
- The most important factor to maintaining momentum and achieving results is to be target oriented
- Targets should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
- Targets should sit within a clear initiative framework that is communicated to all staff. This article details how to set environmental targets and objectives
Monitor And Feedback
- The goals of all initiatives should be monitored to track performance, identify further opportunities, flag areas of resistance or concern
- The results of an initiative should be reported to staff with clear facts and figures. Remember to thank staff and encourage their further involvement – without everyone’s support initiatives won’t be a complete success
Follow this structure and you are bound to make a positive impact in your business.