Create a green team at work

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The workplace is often a critically neglected area when it comes to sustainability. It takes time and thought energy to create change. Luckily you already understand your workplace and are well suited to be an agent of progress!

Form a green team at work to raise awareness of ways to save energy, reduce pollution, and build a better work environment. Have fun with it and make your workplace more enjoyable in the process.


Here are some ideas to get started:

• Start with your manager. Naturally, it is important to get their approval. They may also have ideas of how to begin the journey, how to implement, and how a green team fits in with the goals of your organization.

• Now it is time to recruit. Many hands make lighter work. Get the word out, set up an initial meeting, and start to form your team. Try to get influential people and action-oriented people involved if possible. Set a regular meeting cadence to help make progress and keep the initiative top of mind.

• Start small and focus on things that are quick win improvements. This initial progress will help build the team atmosphere and momentum.

• Some ideas to start are limiting the use of disposable products, increasing recycling, using large or refillable containers for lunchroom items (salt, sugar, etc.) instead of individual packets​, putting cartoons, memes, and educational jokes in shared areas, ensuring extra food from events does not go to waste, and implementing ideas to use less paper.

• Over time this can evolve into more complex improvements like installing LED bulbs, putting electronics in energy-saving modes, figuring out how lights stay off in rooms not in use, slightly adjusting building temperatures to waste less energy, and using more energy-efficient tools and electronics. More and more ideas will likely come up on your journey.

• You will likely need to pitch your ideas to leaders to get approval and support. Keep in mind that the fundamentals of almost all organizations come down to increasing revenue and keeping costs low in order to either make more money (for-profit ) or ensure the ongoing viability (non-profit). If your ideas are tied to growing revenue or decreasing costs in some manner you will have a higher likelihood of success. Especially if you can quantify the impact.

• Once you have established your team and started to have positive impacts, dare to dream big. How can we phase in only using clean energy? How might we only use sustainable, long-lasting materials? How do we become a net-zero organization, or even go to negative emissions? It will take time to implement, so start to lay the groundwork for meaningful change over time.

• For further inspiration, there are lots of superb ideas to be found online.

Level of action

    Community & Institutions

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