By Amanda Czepiel
Are green teams a fad? These voluntary, employee-driven programs seemed to have popped up everywhere over the past few years, and many have achieved amazing results in improving company bottom lines while reducing carbon footprints. But, like anything, trends fade unless they continue to develop and evolve to fit changing company goals and structures. What's a green team to do?
According to Deborah Fleischer, president of Green Impact, the future successful green team will look different than the current grassroots, voluntary, employee-driven model and be characterized by strong executive sponsorship and links to corporate goals, be finely structured, be consistent with branding and corporate message, and not be completely voluntary.
Executive support. The BLR Green Team has always emphasized the importance of executive support, but in the future, such support will be even more valuable as senior executives serve as both examples of environmental stewardship and educators of staff. For instance, at Bloomberg, the BGreeen program has launched with the goal of engaging employees to focus on issues such as recycling, waste reduction, paper use, and food and transportation, using social media, guest speakers, contests, and new employee orientation.
Alignment with corporate goals. The future successful green teams will establish a link between their original grassroots goals and overall corporate sustainability strategies. Green teams can't operate as separate entities within companies—they must be part of a larger collaboration.
For more information on how to create the next successful generation of green teams, check out the National Environmental Education Foundation and Greenbiz's report "Toward Engagement 2.0: Creating a More Sustainable Company Through Employee Engagement."
How is your green team evolving with the times?