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Tips and Tricks on How to Form and Manage a Green Team

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Clark County Green Business has officially launched its green team workshop series! The first event, Forming and Managing a Green Team, welcomed three panelists who answered questions about creating values statements and setting goals. A speed networking segment of the event gave attendees a chance to meet and learn from a multitude of different businesses across the Portland metropolitan area. Read on for more details on how you can form and manage a green team.

What is a green team?

A green team is a core group of employees at your business, who are passionate about sustainable behavior and improving your workplace. Green teams routinely meet, organize and implement green initiatives, host community engagement events, and forge environmental success. Green teams work best when they have the support of management, and management benefits by increased cost savings and employee engagement opportunities. At large organizations, having green team members representing different departments within the organization is important for assuring everyone's voice is being heard. To form a green team, we suggest you have approval from management, a values statement, a list of big and small goals, and structure.

Values Statements

Values statements are a wonderful way to identify how your green team benefits your organization. They inspire and guide your team to stay on track to meet goals. Values statements can be used to show management why having a green team is important.

Consider including the following benefits in your values statement:

  • Cost savings associated with waste, energy, transportation and water
  • Attracting and retaining talent and increasing employee morale and satisfaction
  • Meeting or exceeding customer expectations for environmental stewardship
  • Meeting or exceeding regulatory compliance standards
  • Aligning practices with values

Setting Goals

After defining your values statement, the next step is to start organizing your goals. Setting small goals as steppingstones for larger goals is important for making continuous progress. Celebrating goals and outlining ways to move forwards after a setback is also important for team morale.

When making goals, ask yourself the following:

  • How will you keep track of big and small goals?
  • How will you celebrate achievements?
  • How will your team operate and move forward after a setback?
  • How will your green team or green projects benefit your company?
  • How do you envision the success of an important project or initiative? Do you have a plan for what success looks like?

Managing a Green Team

Creating a safe space in your meetings for sharing ideas and valuing creative input is key for evolving your team. Keeping meetings short and interactive increases productivity and engagement. Perhaps, try working meetings where a portion of your meeting is dedicated to getting things done!

A green team manager should:

  • Have a clear picture of what success looks like, what role everyone is fulfilling, and your green teams' purpose
  • Motivate its members, inspire creativity and encourage members to lead projects
  • Engage employees across all departments with green team initiatives and recruit them to join the team
  • Have structure explaining when, where and how long meetings are, and the focus of each meeting
  • Send a meeting agenda out before the meeting, and a meeting summary out after the meeting to all members
  • Make sure your team leaves a meeting knowing exactly what their next steps are and encourage them to ask questions if they do not

Follow this green team guide for more ways on how to form and launch a green team. We would like to extend a huge thank you to our panelists who presented at this event; Kayla Brown from Jacobs, Lindsay Raymond the owner of Barre3 in Felida, and Sally Hurst representing Wafertech.

The second event in the green team workshop series will be about waste prevention. Waste Connections' Danielle Womble will present valuable information on how to run a waste audit, prevent recycling contamination, and reduce waste at your organization. It will take place on April 14 at 8:30am. Register on our event page, we hope to see you there! 

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