22 April is Earth Day! Over 193 countries are organizing events in support of the earth. But did you know your service teams can contribute too? We share 6 tips for Earth Day projects that’ll help your organization go green and invest in permanent change.
1. Appoint a sustainability manager
Your service teams are willing to go the extra mile and work together to help make the world a better place. But who’s responsible for sustainability in your service teams? No one really knows, so no one really bothers. And that’s a shame. Your employees probably have tons of great ideas, but not a single clue how to get things going.
That’s why the first step to successfully go green is appointing a sustainability manager. This person is in charge of all green initiatives across your teams. Look at it as the project manager of project earth. They help bring together the right people for the job and make sure all communication is clear.
Having a sustainability manager in place is crucial if you really want to make a lasting change and stop running around in circles. Just watch the emails pour in once your employees know who they can contact for all things green!
2. Make sustainability part of your brand
Once your sustainability manager is in place, start making sustainability a priority in everything you do. It should be part of your organization’s brand, and a core part of your company culture. Why? If it’s not part of your DNA, going green might just end up on the back burner again. And that’s the opposite of what you want.
So where do you start?
Get together with representatives of each department and your sustainability manager to set up sustainability goals. Maybe you already have some green goals in place. Great! But don’t panic if you’re only just starting out. ‘Replace all lights with energy-efficient light bulbs’ is a goal, too. The important thing is that your teams brainstorm about how they can make a change – together.
Next, review your processes to make sure they’re in line with your goals. You’re probably lacking in some areas. Don’t sweat it. Just start working!
Communicate your new goals to everyone and let your service desk employees answer any questions. FM and IT can join forces to make your office as green as possible while HR focuses on making sustainability a part of your recruitment process and onboarding.
The possibilities are endless!
3. Involve your employees
Sustainability is now starting to become a thing in your organization. Great!
To truly make sustainability stick, you have to involve your employees every step of the way. Ask them what they think your service teams should – and shouldn’t! – be doing and start taking action.
But don’t look at your employees for inspiration only. Provide them with training and development opportunities as well so they can educate themselves on sustainability.
Make your sustainability goals part of your performance reviews and give your employees incentives and recognition for their green initiatives.
How about a competition? Find out how much waste every service team produces and challenge them to reduce their numbers. Surprise the winning service team with a free organic lunch at a zero-waste restaurant.
When you start working with rewards, your employees will know that your green goals are just as important to you as any other KPI.
4. Make your employees more aware of their actions
It’s time to get practical.
Sometimes, you need to shake things up to make a change happen. It’s important to make your employees more aware of their actions.
How, you ask?
Try displaying how much water your employees use in real-time. Every time they use the tap, a display indicates how much water they’re using. Most of your employees probably aren’t even aware how easily they can contribute to your goals with a few small changes on their side! And you can bet this makes your overall water usage go down significantly.
IT, FM, and HR need to join forces on this one. IT and FM can work their magic to make the display possible. And HR will help introduce this idea to the organization and follow up on it by giving tips and tricks and answering any questions.
5. Digitize your organization
Ready to take going green to the next level? Put the heads of your service teams together and launch an initiative to digitize the company.
You’d be surprised to find out how much paper you still use on a daily basis. Think of sticky notes (especially in agile environments), prints, materials for meetings, brochures, contracts, and reports. Did you know some finance departments still print all their invoices? The good news is that there are loads of digital options available that’ll help you use less paper.
Ask FM to take a critical look at your current paper supply and stop all non-essential supplier contracts. Together with IT, they can look into implementing digital systems. HR’s role in this initiative is to communicate the change to the company and get everybody on board.
How about you hand out a reusable notebook to all employees to kickstart the digitization? You can even decide to give out reusable notebooks to your external customers as well. This way, you lead by example and increase your brand awareness. Win-win!
6. Think about how you manage your assets
There’s more to gain.
Consider the whole-life cost of your assets: the total cost of owning an asset over its entire lifespan. What may seem the cheapest option now can turn out to be the most expensive if it’s less energy efficient.
Do you need new laptops, servers, or other hardware? Make sustainability a factor in your selection process. Compile a list of your suppliers and see if they have a sustainability policy – or look for new suppliers that do offer energy-efficient equipment.
But don't limit this sustainable selection to your IT assets only. Also take sustainability into account for your other office appliances and supplies, from the microwave in your break room to the toilet paper and coffee you use.
The future is bright and green
Together, your service teams can help make the earth a greener place. Curious how ESM can help your organization in other ways? Our very own ESM ebook is coming out soon! Leave your email address below so you’ll be the first to know when it’s live!
Illustration by Danique den Hartog.