I’ve previously discussed our Green Team efforts at CA Technologies and some of the projects that our pilot teams have worked on. The initiative has been very successful from employee engagement to energy reduction; to food waste reduction and recycling improvements. Since the completion of our pilot Green Team projects, we have taken the lessons learned and refined the processes we put in place and we now have 16 Green Teams up and running at our offices around the world (and growing!). Jen Dudgeon, our Office of Sustainability team leader in charge of Green Teams, shares three key processes and best practices for developing and launching effective and productive Green Teams.
Green Team Recruiting "There is no Green Team unless you can identify local leadership," says Dudgeon. "We make it a priority to recruit local green team leaders via internal emails, through notices on our corporate website and by reaching out to local managers. The great news is that we have a lot of team members that are very interested in sustainability and want to be involved." Once interested candidates have been identified, we discuss with them the important considerations before they commit to the role.
Once the Captains are approved, they are responsible for recruiting local team members. "We provide them with suggestions and materials to help them recruit and kick things off," says Dudgeon. Once a team is defined, we work together to organize a kick-off meeting to review expectations and get the ball rolling.
The Green Team must be no more than 5% (max) of their work hours
The Green Team cannot impact their performance relative to their existing job responsibilities
They must review the role and responsibilities with their manager and receive approval
They also need to understand that this role will become part of their job description and will become a component of their performance review
Defining Business ExpectationsThe first step for every Green Team is to brainstorm a list of potential ideas that will workfor that individual office. "We provide a list of dozens of potential project ideas, but there is not as much variation in projects as you would think," Dudgeon says. "Every office has done a recycling-improvement project and a "Turn it Off" campaign to encourage employees to turn off computers before leaving for the night and shut off lights in rooms that are not in use. It makes sense, as these are very visible, low-cost projects. There have also been some very cool regionally focused projects like the food waste reduction project in India." Once the projects have been decided, each Green Team is responsible for developing the business case for the project and executing in a professional and timely manner. Some of the expectations for each team include:
Developing a plan for each project. (A template is provided by the Office of Sustainability)
Gathering baseline data to develop metrics and analysis.
Participating in team calls with the Office of Sustainability and other Green Teams and reporting on progress
Measuring results and ROI
Sharing findings, both positive and negative, with other Green Team members.
Green Team Project Leadership
"One of the challenges we've had is that the team leaders may take too much personal responsibility for success and start to burn out," Dudgeon says. "We work with the team leaders to help them develop team management skills and find ways to keep the team motivated and ensure they execute."
One key area of focus is working with the teams to help make the transition from planning through execution more successful. Sharing success stories and challenges from other teams provides a sense of camaraderie and keeps involvement high.
Defining expectations and responsibilities in advance, while providing tools and support to make their jobs easier, can result in highly productive local Green Teams and tremendous results.
"By pacing projects realistically, teams can more easily meet expectations and avoid the feeling of panic that can come with not meeting a deadline. These projects are important to the business and have real societal benefits."
We’ll keep you posted as more stories continue to come in from teams around the globe. Keep up the good work Jen!