Seven big wins for workplace green teams in 2014

Last month, we announced the winners of our 2014 Living Planet at Work (LP@W) awards, which recognizes exceptional leadership and commitment to employee engagement and sustainability. While we are extremely proud and excited about these winners’ accomplishments, we wanted to give an honourable mention to other valuable green team efforts that inspired us this year.  Check out these seven green teams that went above and beyond in 2014! 

1.  Turning down the heat and turning up the sweaters

 Alberta Infrastructure
© Alberta Infrastructure

The Greening Government Team at Alberta Infrastructure organized WWF’s National Sweater Day campaign at 5 government buildings in 2014. The event, which encourages turning down the thermostat to raise awareness of energy conservation, had the team giving out free hot beverages, hosting a trivia challenge and rewarding employees who brought their reusable cups. The green team also used the event to kick-off its annual lug-a-mug challenge – an activity that promotes the use of non-disposable beverage containers at Head Office’s cafeteria – which went on to increase the use of reusable coffee cups by 9% from the previous year.

2. If kids ruled the world

 Deloitte Vancouver
© Deloitte Vancouver

Deloitte Vancouver’s green team held their first Junior PlanetSavers club, aimed at educating the younger generation about environmental issues. Deloitte children were invited to attend a fun and interactive day of learning and then flex their creative muscles to dream up solutions to big-world problems. The children were issued a challenge: “If you were to rule the world, what would you do differently to protect the planet?” The judges were astounded with the creativity and thoughtfulness behind each submission, receiving drawings, stories, PowerPoint presentations and videos! See the winning video here.

3.  Powering down for Earth Hour

© Symcor

This year, Symcor’s environmental committee collaborated with property management at their corporate office to host the “Earth Hour Power Challenge.” They challenged each floor in the building to reduce energy consumption by asking employees to turn off equipment and lights. The winning floor received bragging rights and a banner to be proudly displayed on their floor. At the same time, Symcor won the 2014 BOMA Earth Hour Challenge. Not only did Symcor place first, out of 200+ participating buildings, but they won in both categories: Best reducer on Earth Hour and Best maintainer.

4.  A nesting refuge for cliff and barn swallows

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
© Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Since 2006, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has tried different methods to relocate and deter cliff swallows from creating nests in areas of the hotel that are not conducive to nesting. The sustainability team champion wrote a grant proposal and received $5000 from the Fairmont’s corporate head office to create an artificial nest refuge for both cliff and barn swallows. The nest was created on an abandoned residence building, encouraging birds to build additional natural nests in this more isolated area. Along with that, they hosted a swallow nest building event for colleagues to educate them on the initiative.

5.  Tower Toppers reach new fundraising heights

Robert Bosch Canada
© Robert Bosch Canada

This year, Robert Bosch employees at the Mississauga, Ontario office raised over $3000 for WWF’s CN Tower Climb. They held bake sales and raffles and promoted the Climb with posters and regular e-mail blasts. Several Bosch teams, fittingly named the Bosch Tower Toppers, came out to climb the 1776 steps to the top of the CN Tower on May 1, 2014. To top up donations, Bosch generously provided a company match which resulted in over $6000 to support WWF.

6.  Live and silent auction for WWF

Bullfrog Power
© Bullfrog Power

Bullfrog Power’s sustainability committee hosted a live and silent auction to fundraise for its CN Tower Climb teams and engaged senior leaders to donate creative and experiential prizes. Each member of the senior management team contributed one prize to be auctioned off during the event. Some of the donated items included classical piano lessons, a ‘license to chill’ getaway with guests on a catamaran, dinner with the CEO and an all-you-can-eat barbecue at a senior VP’s house. The initiative helped raise over $1000 and fostered camaraderie between employees from all areas of the company.

7.  Printing smart 

The green team at Aritzia’s head office in Vancouver led their first-ever Print Smart Campaign to reduce annual paper usage by 10%. The campaign was a cross-functional team effort including support from IT, copywriters, marketers, internal communications and the social and environmental responsibility departments. The team leveraged the creative expertise to design a compelling and visually dynamic piece to communicate tips on reducing paper in the office and the IT team to track consumption year over year.
Kudos to all the LP@W green teams from across the country for their commitment to employee engagement and sustainability at work in 2014.
Want to build a green team at work or find new ways to engage your colleagues in the new year? Join WWF’s Living Planet @ Work program and get the free access to tools, resources and support to help you.