Sounds great but where is the magic? Which sustainability concepts relate to both an employee as well as a corporate sustainability plan? Let's look at energy efficiency.
Employee engagement is an effective, but possibly underutilized strategy for improving energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency can be a gateway to wider business innovation and engage stakeholders in broader process evaluations. Suggestions made in our eco friendly training include:
- Establishing a baseline of consumption for benchmarking efforts.
- Create an energy policy for the business. Using your consumption information, you may want to identify areas of improvement.
- Implement behavior and usage modifications.
- Measure and monitor your progress.
- Communicate your success and appreciation to employees for taking eco action.
Taking it a step further, what are the best ways to engage employees in corporate responsibility?
- Corporate volunteering: Engaging employees in corporately supported volunteering is an essential piece of all credible CSR programs that translates CSR values to action.
- Green teams are formal or informal groups of people in a company organized around environmental issues and tasked with ways to promote sustainable business practices. Green teams are excellent in spearheading eco efficiency programs: paper reduction, recycling programs, promote energy conservation, and more, making a huge difference within a department. Great for team building too.
- Create individual employee sustainability programs. The basic premise of a personal sustainability program is to reduce the carbon footprint, lighten the load on the planet as well as reap the benefits of living a more sustainable lifestyle. Eco actions taken in a personal sustainability plan can be anything from riding a bike to work or eating organic healthy meals or recycling.
- Educate: Offer ongoing workshops, training, lunch and learns, and educational activities to educate workers on the environmental issues (energy, water, waste, and others) and the associated actions causing the problems. Identify new behavior and eco actions that individually workers can take to create new patterns of behavior and choices that support environmental solutions and are aligned with the company's overarching sustainability plan. We've learned in our eco friendly training classes, the first part is educating; the harder part is changing the behavior. Ongoing education helps create lasting change.
Tying corporate sustainability initiatives to day to day processes makes CSR more personable to an employee and helps employees to identify their role in corporate responsibility. Additionally, energy efficient programs educate and inform workers of best practices in reducing energy consumption that can be applied at home and in the community expanding eco awareness and sustainability concepts from the workplace into the community for even greater energy savings.