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Happy Earth Day!

As Earth Day approaches, here are seven ideas to consider tackling. These small things alone are not going to save the world.  But collectively, these small steps add up.  And they make a statement to your employees that you are walking the green talk!

1.  Launch a New Employee Engagement Campaign

just-unplug-it1-194x300Green Impact can create a customized program that engage your employees to think and act in a manner that reflects your commitment to sustainability. Our solution, Working & Living Green, includes an interactive action-oriented Website, employee engagement video and a Web-based employee engagement tool that empowers green champions to launch new green campaigns.  Our new Web-based tool sparks friendly competition by allowing Departments to see how their engagement level ranks compared to their peers.  It is a peer-to-peer tool, that can be linked to strategic objectives, harnessing the power of green teams while supporting enterprise-wide goals.  Unlike some of the other cloud-based tools available, our tool is integrated directly onto your server.

 

 

2.  Kick the Bottled Water Habit

Is your company walking the talk when it comes to using bottled water?  This is an easy place to make a tangible, visible difference.  Work with the powers that be to eliminate bottled water at the office, events and meetings.  Genentech has reduced its use of bottled water, saving $200,000 annually by using filtered water machines and reusable containers.

One of eBay’s Green Teams was determined to phase bottled water out of the office. It invited employees’ children to participate in a poster contest with the theme “what does water mean to you?”  Winning posters were displayed around the office, along with facts and statistics to educate employees on the environmental impact of bottled water production and consumption. The team credits the poster campaign with increasing awareness and support for the project.  The City of Mill Valley, my home town, has a good model one-pager on bottled water.

Here is a plug for my friend Michael Davis’ company US Pure Water.  They have helped the City of San Francisco install water filtration units to reduce bottled water use and can help you make the switch too.  They also provide water filling stations for events.

 

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UCSF Sutro Nursery: An Opportunity to Get Dirty

by Dfleischer on March 17, 2014

plantingHave you gotten your hands dirty lately? UCSF has a hidden community gem—the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. The largely undeveloped 61-acre area, just south of the Parnassus campus, provides a peaceful respite from the hustle of the City. Named for its former owner and San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro, the Reserve not only provides maintained hiking trails, but a nursery, which provides all organizations in San Francisco an easy opportunity to get their hands dirty.

UCSF granted approval for the native plant nursery in 2009. The native plants grown at the nursery are used for restoration projects in the Reserve, as well as for UCSF landscaping where appropriate. In January of this year, volunteers cleared invasive plants such as sow thistle and H. blackberry from a site that had been planted with indigenous forbs and shurbs to increase biodiversity and sustainable trail access. Over the years, thousands of Sutro Steward volunteers have helped to create this unique urban oasis.

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NOMDAD_banner2Adam Schnirel, UCSF Mission Bay Recycling Coordinator, spends most of his time finding ways to divert waste from the landfill. He has always envisioned having a center at UCSF that could offer hands-on workshops for the UCSF community on such issues as composting and recycling. Adam’s vision is becoming a reality with a new community garden and event space coming soon to Mission Bay.

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Are your employees engaged in thinking and acting in a manner that reflects your commitment to sustainability?

The County of Ventura came to Green Impact with a challenge:  what strategy could they use to inspire and empower their employees to support the County’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Our solution, Working & Living Green, included four components:

While there is much buzz these days about engaging employees, I still find the actual execution of such programs more art than science.  Just in time for Earth Day, based on the lessons we learned from Ventura, here are six tips to help you get an engagement program launched or to amp-up your existing program:

  1. Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.56.03 PMCreate a catchy and creative brand and tagline
  2. Integrate tips for living greener at home as well as work
  3. Have a clear call to action
  4. Make it personal–engage senior management as green champions
  5. Use video to tell your story
  6. Use Web-based tools to empower green champions

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It is clear with the success of Wisdom 2.0, the growing field of “flourishing”, and growth in leadership development spending by U.S. companies (over $13 billion in 2012), that there is growing interest in how to integrate concepts of mindfulness into the workplace in order to help individuals and organizations unlock their full leadership potential.  I am struck by the absence of anything related to our connection to nature or the role of planet earth in these programs– wild is missing from the wisdom.  Then I got thinking about all the sustainable business events and gatherings I attend – where the limits of natural systems might be discussed, but no time is spent in nature, connecting viscerally to why we are champions of change.

Wild Wisdom Leadership programs, developed by executive coach Linda Graf, are the antidotes to this problem.  In December of last year I had the pleasure of experiencing one of her programs, a nature-based leadership experience that aims to strengthen leaders’ connection to the natural world. Linda describes Wild Wisdom as a “methodology that allows you to access more information and make better decisions.”  But why is it wild?  “It’s wild because it incorporates nature.”  Read on to learn more about the details on how to learn from nature.

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What’s Your Story?: 6 tips to bring your sustainability story to life

January 21, 2014

Anyone with a clever Twitter “hashtag” term can start a storytelling movement in sustainability. But inspiring real change requires a story that sticks.  How do you achieve that? For starters, frame your sustainability success stories into a larger context and connect with values that your audience cares about. Read on for more tips can set […]

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5 Ways to Become a Flourishing Leader

January 21, 2014

This piece originally ran on GreenBiz.com. Many business leaders today advocate that creating and deploying the right technology is the linchpin in bringing our world toward sustainability. David Sherman, business consultant and co-author of the upcoming book The Flourishing Enterprise, sees a different means to achieving that same end; he argues that in order to […]

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Levi’s Dockers Wellthread: Connecting the dots between smart design, environmental practices, and the worker well-being

January 21, 2014

This piece originally ran on GreenBiz.com. Late last year, Levi Strauss & Company’s new innovation lab in San Francisco, aptly named Eureka, unveiled Dockers® Wellthread, an innovative design process that pushes the envelope on sustainable design, connecting the dots between smart design, environmental practices, and the well-being of the apparel workers who make the garments.  […]

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Five Tips for Improving Your Ability to Lead Green Collaborations and Networks

October 1, 2013

Be it collective leadership, adaptive leadership, flourishing, or the less visible leader, there is an abundance of collaborative leadership models to consider.  After attending a leadership workshop at the 2013 Land Trust Alliance Rally led by Dianne Russell, President and a senior trainer for the Institute for Conservation Leadership and writing a post on ‘flourishing’ […]

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No One Should Suffer or Die for the Clothes we Wear

May 30, 2013

I thought this recent post from INDIGENOUS on labor issues in the apparel industry is worth running here.  Well said! INDIGENOUS has decided to speak out about the current labor issues in the apparel industry given the recent tragedy in Bangladesh. Back in 1994, INDIGENOUS CEO Scott Leonard traveled to South America in hopes of […]

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