A green team is the core group of people responsible for achieving environmental successes within an organization. Together, they meet on a consistent basis to discuss, plan, and implement projects.
Your green team should be composed of people who are enthusiastic about the mission and can be empowered to make changes. Their collaborative efforts will help foster cost savings and employee engagement opportunities. Ideally, team members should represent diverse areas of the organization.
The first step for a green team is to make sure there is top down support. It is important that managers are included in the process and are ready to endorse concepts and ideas as they are brought forward by the green team. If it’s not possible to earn management approval for an official team, don't be discouraged. As a first step you may be able to volunteer and make no-cost changes that benefit the environment.
Once your green team is in place, the next step is to plan and prioritize what you want to achieve. Set goals and document what you want to do in a plan. The plan can be as formal or informal as needed to keep the team on track and working towards goals.
Keeping momentum going for your green team over time
- Celebrate success – When a milestone is reached or a project is completed recognize team members who contributed.
- Communicate achievements – Share improvements within your organization and get employees engaged. Being able to market your accomplishments will be an important advantage for your green team. There are many ways to highlight your green practices. Start by creating a sustainability section for your business’ website or sharing stories on social media. After you begin to measure and record your teams’ progress, consider creating a quarterly or annual Sustainability Report with that data you collect. These can be distributed to staff or the public by email or through your website.
- Attend Green Business networking events – Learn and share ideas with green teams from other organizations at monthly Green Business Morning Blend networking events.
- Seek certifications and awards that can help promote your green image – These help validate your commitment to the environment and are also excellent goal-setting tools for Green Teams as many list criteria that organizations must meet to be recognized.
Measure progress towards success
Reducing paper use is a common green team goal. Paper use reduction campaigns can be tracked through office supply company invoices or through your organization’s purchaser. The EPA’s WARM model will calculate energy and greenhouse gas savings through paper and other material reduction.
Environmental Defense Fund’s Paper Calculator shows the environmental impacts of different papers across their full lifecycle.
Energy and Water
EnergyStar Portfolio Manager tracks a building’s energy and water use and calculate greenhouse gas emissions.
Bike More Challenge – A friendly annual workplace vs. workplace competition during the month of September. Online trip tracking tool provides calculations and reports.