Green Teams: Shifting Mindsets, Crowdsourcing Solutions
To help executives shift their mindset about how to characterize assets and liabilities -- and establish where workplace giving, volunteerism, community involvement and sustainability fall in the profit-and-loss spectrum -- EarthShare convenes Green Team meetings in several major markets.
The focus of these meetings is to allow change leaders to meet in a safe zone to discuss challenges (such as lack of buy-in from executive leadership, low employee engagement, budget cuts, lack of information, too much conflicting information, etc.), crowdsource solutions to those challenges and discuss emerging issues in sustainability and the environment.
"Without these metrics to measure ourselves against, we’d only have donors and dollars, and no context," Wells Fargo's Peter Dudley wrote in March on CSRwire's Talkback.
"Ultimately, we would fall into the all-too-common trap of managing to the available measurements," Dudley continued. "While presenting successful results in the short run, [that] could be very detrimental to the powerful culture of involvement we’re trying to foster over the long term."
Often, however, these meetings evolve into discussions about how sustainability managers can engage their employees in understanding these causes and taking action. As the meetings strive to provide more tools to participants, they’ve also evolved as a venue for dissecting employee engagement. With many of these managers wearing multiple hats, employee engagement becomes one of many responsibilities -- which can prohibit the company from investing more time in developing such programs.
"We got involved in the EarthShare Green Team Network because of the access they provide to peers and other sustainability professionals across industries. What makes the meetings truly valuable is that the attendees decide the agenda," said Tyler Daluz, vice president for sustainability communications at Citi.
"That makes it easy for us to talk about our challenges and share different approaches with the objective of learning from each other's experiences," Daluz added.
What emerges time and again is for the need for information that educates employees and makes it easy for them to identify with the volunteer program.
"These meetings are time well spent for us. EarthShare is a crucial connector and facilitator for our team in understanding environmental issues and giving us the right information to bring to our employees," Daluz said.
Next page: Engagement at Work