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18 Ways to Raise Employee Awareness About Sustainability

woofter, jennifer, strategic sustainability consultingEmployee engagement is a hot topic in corporate sustainability circles these days–and for a good reason.  Without the support and enthusiasm of staff at all levels of the company, it’s difficult to fully realize sustainability goals.

In this article, I’m avoiding wordy advice and analysis, and instead opting for a quick list of 18 ways to raise employee awareness. These ideas can ultimately form pieces of a larger engagement strategy, but here I am primarily focused on the initial component–simply raising awareness of the company’s sustainability activities and plans.

  • Print up posters that summarize the company’s sustainability priorities and goals.
  • Have your CEO talk about sustainability progress at the annual employee meeting.
  • Set up a “Sustainability Corner” on the company intranet.
  • Send employees an email with a link to the company’s latest sustainability report.
  • Create a bulletin board in the cafeteria where sustainability info is rotated monthly.
  • Host a “green fair” in a large conference room, with stations devoted to different areas of the company’s sustainability initiatives.
  • Provide sustainability tours that point out sustainable building features.
  • Develop a self-guided walking tour of your facilities, highlighting key sustainable features.
  • Put up signs in the kitchen and bathrooms highlighting water conservation activities.
  • Share the electricity bill with employees.
  • Share the water/sewage bill with employees.
  • Share the waste and recycling bills with employees.
  • Conduct a waste audit, involving employees in the collection, sorting, and weighing of trash.
  • Create sustainability challenges, pitting departments/facilities/floors against each other.
  • Create a physical space where employees can share their personal sustainability accomplishments.
  • Place small stickers on computers and peripherals reminding people to turn them off when not in use.
  • Implement a quarterly recognition program for employees that champion sustainability.
  • Require employees to track their business travel-related carbon footprint.

Jennifer Woofter is the founder and president of Strategic Sustainability Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in helping rapidly growing mid-size businesses integrate sustainability into their business model. She tweets at@jenniferwoofter. This article was reprinted with permission from Jennifer Woofter.”

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