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Stacked for Sustainability Success; Creating an Effective Green Team

February 19, 2020

Are you looking to implement sustainability projects and effect sustainable change for your organization? Creating a Green Team will increase the success of sustainability projects and initiatives, and help your organization reach its reduction targets. Green Teams also help embed sustainability into the culture of their organization, which is becoming increasingly important as we transition towards a low-carbon economy. If you’re wondering what all buzz is about or are looking to get some useful guidance on creating a Green Team, then keep reading!

A Green Team is a group of passionate and knowledgeable staff and/ or volunteers within an organization that collaborate and strategize to develop, implement, and manage sustainability projects and reduction targets. They’re a committed team that focuses on holistic environmental challenges such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water, waste, and purchasing practices.

When creating a Green Team be sure to have enthusiastic employees from all business units to provide a diverse set of skills, experience, and knowledge. Select team members who are empowered, engaged, and aware of how their actions are a part of the organization’s sustainability as a whole. Common skills of Green Team members include strong communication skills, project management skills, resource/ budget management, and technical expertise and/ or research skills, and it’s important to have a Green Team leader and delegate clear roles to each of the members.

Once your Green Team is formed you can determine the objectives, targets, and projects they will address. For example, an objective could be an environmental impact reduction goal, and a target would be a measurement of success like reducing office waste by 20%. Set SMART targets for your organization; specific, measurable, attainable, and timely. Make sure to monitor the goals to track successes and failures, identify opportunities, and flag areas of concern. Another thing to keep in mind is ensuring Green Team activities are communicated to all staff within the organization to promote interest and engagement in the initiatives. 

Addressing environmental challenges through reduction targets and sustainability projects can have business-case benefits for your organization and Green Teams will drive these outcomes. Firstly, they can improve external reputation, attract and retain employees and customers, and improve public relations. Sustainability projects and reduction targets can boost employee engagement, and bring in cost savings and bottom line efficiencies. Of course, these also reduce the environmental impact of your organization and Green Teams can focus on the areas with the biggest impact or concern. Evaluating your organization’s biggest impact areas and existing challenges and inefficiencies will lead to better support. Even extending environmental initiatives to your business’ procurement and supply chain will engage individuals across all departments and reflect positively outside your organization. If you’re looking for some inspiration on projects for your Green Team to implement, check out these ideas for Green Team Actions.

An effective Green Team can lead your organization to the low-impact and environmentally friendly future we all want to see. Reach out to us at greeneconomy@londonenvironment.net if you’re interested in learning more, Green Economy London members have access to a comprehensive guide on creating a Green Team, as well as the tools and resources to ensure Green Team success.

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