9 Ways to Encourage Sustainability While Working Remotely
9 Ways to Encourage Sustainability While Working Remotely
By providing an eco-friendly period care solution and committing to sustainable business practices, Diva International is a champion of sustainability, helping to create a better future for our planet. From green energy to an in-house waste management system, and more, we have invested in making our head office eco-friendly.
What about now? How do we keep this up when the majority of our Diva Team are working from home?
Over the last few months, we have discovered 9 ways to encourage sustainability while working remotely and wanted to share them.
1. Have a Dedicated Eco-Committee
An eco-committee is a dedicated group of staff who work collectively to brainstorm and execute environmental initiatives. Having an eco-committee makes it more likely that your hopes and plans for sustainability at work – and while working remotely – will happen.
Our EcoDivas Committee has been the driving force behind our work-from-home sustainability initiatives. Monthly meetings are held over Microsoft Teams to brainstorm exciting challenges, live Zoom workshops and more. Through our dedicated EcoDivas Slack channel, the team can share resources and tips, and provide encouragement.
2. Form Partnerships with Sustainability Organizations
We proudly partner and financially invest in the work being done by several organizations such as Women’s Voices for the Earth and Women’s Environmental Network. Within our local community, we’re active members of Sustainable Waterloo Region. We’re also powered by fellow B Corp Bullfrog Power, meaning that Bullfrog Power’s generators put green electricity and green natural gas onto the grid. Most recently, we became a member of Random Acts of Green, a global climate action community.
How does this encourage sustainability while working remotely? Each of our partners offers exciting and different ways to engage our Diva Team in climate action. For example, Diva staff qualify for a discount through Bullfrog Power so they, too, can power their homes with green energy.
Our other partners also host many different campaigns and challenges we can support from home.
3. Participate in Sustainability Challenges
Sustainability challenges have been a fun and engaging way to encourage our team to participate in sustainability initiatives while working remotely.
Since our team started working from home mid-March we have held several team challenges, many of them through our partnerships. Challenges include:
- Sustainable Waterloo Carbon Cleanse: A series of sustainability challenges following weekly themes, in which we placed second in 2020.
- B Corp Month: Every March, B Corps celebrate what it means to be B Corp. We created our own challenge in which Diva Staff shared pictures in a dedicated Slack channel every time they purchased a product or used a service from another B Corp. Each picture equaled one entry into a draw to win a B Corp prize.
- Step Challenge: Every year we invite our team to do a Step Challenge. This includes encouraging staff to get their steps in by walking to places instead of driving.
- Plastic Free July: Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. EcoDivas created a dedicated Slack channel where they shared tips on how to ditch plastic and go with reusables.
- HallowGreen: The HallowGreen challenge was designed to help educate individuals on different things they can do to take climate action. Throughout the month of October, participants track their Green Acts in the Random Acts of Green app to earn Green Points, which can be redeemed for discounts on green products and services.
These are just a few examples of how you can encourage your team to be more sustainable while working remotely through challenges.
4. Encourage Participation with Prizes
Everyone loves the opportunity to win prizes. For many of the challenges we host, we encourage our Diva Team members to participate by offering them the chance to win something. The prizes we offer are often a product we’ve purchased from a fellow B Corp.
Incentives can include eco-friendly products from fellow B Corps, paid time off or a team lunch.
5. Do Live Zoom Workshops
Workshops are a great way to educate employees while also having fun. When we were still going into the office every day, our EcoDivas committee hosted in-person workshops, such as our beeswax wraps making workshop.
However, since working remotely, we’ve had to get creative. Late September one of our EcoDivas hosted a half–hour plant propagation workshop over Microsoft Teams for anyone interested in learning, which had great attendance. Coming up next, we have a waste management at home workshop and an upcycled Christmas wreath activity over Microsoft Teams that our Diva Team members are welcome to join.
6. Include Sustainability in Your Budget
Having money set aside in your budget specifically for sustainability initiatives helps to ensure your ideas can come to fruition.
Our EcoDivas budget covers things like membership costs, supplies for activities and prizes.
Late September we encouraged our Diva Team to grow their own herbs at home by providing them soil and seedlings. For those who live locally, they could safely pick up their supplies outside of head office, whereas those who live further away had their seeds mailed to them.
7. Offer Resources on Sustainability
People are more likely to learn about sustainability and participate when the information is easily accessible. At Diva, we like to make it as simple as possible for our employees to access the resources they need when it comes to learning about sustainability.
Our EcoDivas does this in several ways, which may be of inspiration to you:
- Have a dedicated folder on SharePoint (or another intranet software) that the entire company can access.
- Record and save all your Zoom/Microsoft Teams workshops for future reference, or for those who couldn’t attend live and save them in your team folder.
- Create documents around sustainability and share with the team. For example, the EcoDivas creates PDFs on different topics such as propagating plants, waste management and more.
- Have a dedicated Slack channel where you can keep everyone informed of what’s happening when it comes to sustainability, spark conversation, share articles and videos, and more.
- Include a sustainability feature in your internal newsletter.
These are just some of the ways you can offer resources to your team.
8. Have a Communication Plan
While it’s great to have all these amazing initiatives taking place, it won’t do much good without communicating it to your team. Having a communications plan is key to the success of your sustainability initiatives.
Our Internal Communications Team plans out content to share with the rest of the company in a variety of ways: our weekly internal newsletter, regular updates in our EcoDivas Slack channel and calendar invites to events.
9. Make sustainability fun!
The most important thing is to make sustainability fun.
When working together in the office, it’s easy to encourage people to participate in workshops and events. But just because you can’t physically be in the same space, doesn’t mean staff aren’t looking for ways to engage and connect. By making sustainability fun through virtual workshops, challenges and activities, you’ll likely see higher engagement.