Create ongoing competition with league tables across sites or departments and announce winners every month or quarter.
6 Communication Show employees what has already been achieved and ensure achievements are continually recognised, through staff newsletters, intranet and award ceremonies. By showing staff how they can save money at home through their actions, the gap between behaviour at work and home is reduced.
If it is seen as separate, it will be treated as faddish and forgotten as staff will quickly return to old ways.
5 Measure and reward Install measuring systems that can be used to monitor and reward staff for good work.
Dominic Burbridge, the Carbon Trust’s senior adviser to the hospitality industry, advises: 1 Keep it simple Look at your business and identify the top three to five things you want to change every six months.
2 Cultural differences Ensure you have advisers who comprehend the issues but can also understand your business, the countries you operate in and the type of people you employ.
3 Include all levels of seniority The green team should not just consist of heads of departments; in fact, it tends to work better as a multi-level taskforce because more junior workers will see wastage or flaws in the system that senior people may miss.
However, top-level support and participation is essential for a deep commitment to sustainability to take hold.
“They are,” she says, “key to successful employee engagement, offering a framework to express their green values at work, increasing retention, attracting the best talent and educating staff on corporate-sustainability goals.” Philip Newman-Hall, director/general manager of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, near Oxford, England, which is owned by Orient-Express Hotels, advises: “Our green team was initially a staff idea and is made up of people who have a natural interest in the subject. If the ideas come from the team [pictured above], we find they get introduced much more quickly than if it was just a diktat from above.” But it’s not enough to just tap into enthusiasm, it’s important to engage cynical members of staff, too.
From his experience, Newman-Hall says it tends to be the younger employees who are keenest and it is mainly through their “infectious enthusiasm” that other staff become engaged.