Getting Your Employees Inspired with Sustainability Training and Presentations

employeesLet’s face it: your employees are probably not very concerned about the impact of your business’s sustainability efforts on your business bottom line. They are concerned that you are able to give them their paychecks on time, but getting them to buy into the connections between that paycheck and green efforts in the workplace is a tougher sell. Nor do you have staff with the time or expertise to sell this concept to your employees.

This is where our sustainability training and presentations can help. We have a number of training presentations available, all of which can be tailored to fit the needs of your particular company, and employee needs and concerns. For companies just beginning to make this a focus, we have an Introduction to Sustainability segment which helps employees connect their work with corporate sustainability concepts such as Natural Capitalism and the Triple Bottom Line. We will share stories of local companies that have done similar work to help them understand that this is not a fad, but an important component to all business cultures. We conclude these presentations with suggestions and resources for getting started. We also have a presentation on becoming a paperless office, which helps to orient employees toward the one thing that just about everyone in your office probably suffers from—too much paper!

Once you have at least some employees on the sustainability band wagon, we have trainings which focus on creating a sustainability plan and greening your business one step at a time. These presentations can encourage employees who are feeling overwhelmed or under educated, helping them see that working green is possible. We also have presentations which will help connect sustainability in the office with thinking green in your employees’ personal lives: Eco-Style Your Life and Conscious Consumerism. These presentations help employees make the connections between green practices and cash flow both at the office (for paychecks and such) and at home.

Finally, once your employees are truly on board with sustainability, we can help introduce the concept of getting to zero waste. These days this is not an impossible concept to achieve, and we can help you and your employees see why. So contact us today and let’s begin educating your employees on the need to think sustainably!

Supporting Bike To Work Programs

If your company is looking for ways to foster employee engagement on sustainability practices — and your employees care about saving money, the environment and their own health — you’d be hard pressed to find a better way than supporting a bike to work program. Often employers — and employees — don’t know where to start. Here’s a few ways you can seed interest and launch a successful bicycle commuting program at your business.

Survey Says! Get the best information you can about your employees’ current commuting habits; take a survey and collect data such as how far away they live, who already commutes by bicycle, and who might like to try it out. For those that are already commuting by bike, ask what facilities and support they want to see you implement.

Get Started Training. Some employees might find the notion of biking to work daunting, not knowing what equipment they need, how to dress, even what routes they could take to stay safe. Plan a workshop session for your staff that features veteran bicycle commuters, either from your own company or the local bike shop. Focus on gear, safety, and route-finding (don’t forget Google Maps’ bicycle directions feature!).  Community Cycles, based in Boulder, offers some great information and training for businesses.

Give Bikes a Home. Bicycle commuters of all stripes want to know there’s a place to safely store their wheels during work. If you can handle the minimal space requirement, there’s nothing better than just bringing the bike into the office — it’ll take up about the same space as a couple of chairs against the wall. Alternately designing secure spaces — a room devoted to bicycle storage, or even individual bike lockers — will go a long way toward reassuring employees you support their green commute.

Support the Appearance. If your employees live nearby, they’ll probably barely break a sweat biking to work. But for the rest of them, the need for a professional appearance at work is a major perceived roadblock to bicycle commuting. Providing showers and lockers is the best way to go, but you can also work with what you have — an empty office can become a dressing area, hooks on the backs of doors or spare closets can hold several days’ worth of clean clothes. Make the initial effort, and wait for the response and add amenities as needed.

For more ideas on bicycle commuting and other workplace sustainability practices, please feel free to contact us.

The 7 Leadership Practices by Bob Willard

I had the chance today to hear Bob Willard discussing his new book, The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook (New Society Publishers). The book is about leading organizations in the sustainability movement. He talks about the 7 Leadership practices essential for moving a company towards sustainability;

The Sustainability Champions

  1. Get credible, stay credible: Leaders must establish their credibility and build trust with their group and/or organization.
  2. Dialogue: Hone in on the communication skills and engage in thoughtful discussions. Be a good listener and be ready to hear about success and challenges.
  3. Collaborate, educate, network: Encourage collaboration and education among employees.
  4. Influence and influencers: Don’t do it alone, engage those individuals who have influence in an organization and seek their help, guidance and advocacy.
  5. Meet them where they are: Don’t push the skeptics, meet them where they are and show how sustainability strategies are important to their job and the organization.
  6. Piggyback existing initiatives: Create sustainability initiatives that align with current company goals and objectives.
  7. Practice ‘planful opportunism’ : Engage senior leadership in the initiatives.

If you haven’t read it yet, I also suggest Bob’s book called the Sustainability Advantage where he discusses the business case for sustainability.