Get Management Support

Management support will make an enormous difference to successfully introducing a green office programme to any organisation. So as a first step, you will need to gain the support of top management or company owners. Every organisation is a bit different so you will need to modify these ideas to make them work for you. Determine which Decision-makers need to support your program Who has the ability to make decisions about operations, purchasing, products, packaging, and services? Usually it's the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, owner or other senior managers. Collect information and ideas to present to management to demonstrate the issues. 1. Gather together NZ relevant information, there is plenty of support material to validate your aim to reduce waste and pollution, to conserve resources and to improve your social responsiveness. Point out that if these issues aren’t addressed voluntarily today, they may have to be regulated for in the future. [See the Business Case]. 2. Show how your organisation is contributing to these problems. For example, gather the facts on how much waste you generate and what it costs to dispose of it, find out how much paper you use each year or note down what equipment is left on overnight unnecessarily. Make a short video or take photographs, e.g. waste generated, lights left on, dirty stormwater drains, smoky vehicles etc from around your premises. Show the video or pictures to management and employees. [Select images that represent problems, but do not come across too negatively toward any individual or department] Highlight potential savings from green office initiative. In almost every field some organisations or businesses have active green office initiatives already underway. The most common benefits cited from operational improvements is savings in purchasing and. You may also benefit from:

Reduced operational costs (e.g. energy bills or in reduced waste disposal costs). Reduced purchasing costs (e.g. stationary costs printing costs, postage etc.) Improved staff morale & public image. Better relationships with suppliers and the local community.

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Emphasise the economic benefits, morale improvements, marketing advantages or public profile gains that your competitors may be realizing through their efforts. Don't let your company be a laggard! Indicate likely reactions by Customers, Board of Directors, and Stakeholders. Determine how key groups will respond to changes in your products, packaging, and improved internal operations. Today’s public is concerned about environmental as well as human rights issues. Your efforts to green your office may translate into positive public relations and better sales. You certainly can’t afford to risk the bad press associated with not addressing these issues.

Have Persistence and Patience Remember everyone who starts up a successful programme has to face obstacles. Look for initiatives that will offer the biggest benefit for the smallest effort. Sometimes an idea is presented at a time when it must compete with more urgent matters. Be patient and keep trying. If in doubt suggest a pilot programme for starters! . And there will always be a few people who will object to any change. but don’t let them deter you.

4. Introduce staff to some good starter ‘green office options’ and set up a ‘suggestions scheme’ to allow staff to put ideas forward. posters etc) that can be used to educate and motivate others. . Distribute information to potentially interested or influential staff about the state of the environment and the general impacts their work practices are having on the environment. Cleaner production. 3. so their support is vital. The Natural Step. Staff will be asked to change the way they currently work. Look around for environmental or sustainability models (e.g.Get Staff Support Once you have management approval you’re next mission is to get staff buy-in. Organise a fun and informative presentation to your staff (there are plenty of useful resources including videos [Prepare for Tomorrow/ GreenFleet]. Clearly communicate what you want them to do and why. ISO 14000 etc) that might be of interest to you and your organisation. Once you have your supporters you should formalise a ‘Green Office Team’ (GO Team) to further participation and action within your organisation. booklets. Join your local business network to find out what others are doing in this area. 2. Generating support shouldn’t be too difficult if you: 1.

reduced waste. Select a team to work on the priority areas 5. risk or cost) 4. Some organisations choose to employ a contractor or consultant to help with this (for a list of consultants who can help.Conduct an Environmental Review An environmental review or audit is a good starting point for the ‘Go team’. Gather information (use the first section of the Example Survey to measure staff behaviour) 3. Set objectives 2. visit the Green Pages section of the Green Office web-site) The following stages are recommended: 1. Analyse and report your findings to staff and management. reduced costs. (Site inspections. . appealed to staff etc) 7. Develop a plan and work to it 6. significance. Focus on priority areas (e. This provides a baseline against which any improvement can be measured. The process involves examining your current situation and assessing what you want to improve and how you might go about doing it.g. Conduct a review to see how well you have done.

local communities and for future generations.g. exploitation of resources and cultures. Many companies are adopting environmental policies and are striving for sustainable development. operating their own environmental or social programmes) Offer your staff a better work environment Develop respectful and supportive relationships with suppliers Avoid supporting socially unacceptable organisations (e.g. Environmental policies can be incorporated into health and safety polices. in this case we recommend you consider developing an overarching Sustainability Policy with a Purchasing Policy. or for a copy of their Triple Bottom Line Guides. staff. and investors that your organisation has taken a first step toward using good environmental and social practices. which sits under this. What is at stake? What is legally required?) . human rights. Where to Start What is the environmental or social position of your organisation at present? How could you respond to the challenges of the future? By choosing to operate in a more environmentally and socially responsible way you can:      Offer products or services with integrity Avoid waste and pollution Save money through efficiencies Improve your organisations image Support other businesses that are ‘doing the right thing’ (e. and form a sustainability policy. the environment. Policies set out guiding principles for the entire organisation and guide a business and its employees in their daily activities. Contact the Businesses for Social Responsibility for information on socially responsibility in business.g. You can develop any number of policies. You may need a policy framework that covers both operational management issues as well as one for working with suppliers. neighbours. They also demonstrate to customers. values or policies. zero waste or for zero pollution because it is part of good business. promotion of alcohol. If a systematic approach is good for your organisation we suggest you investigate the benefits of adopting a formal sustainability or environmental programme.    The best way for any organisation to respond to these is through the formation of a series of rules. as the two issues are interrelated. Before you decide on your policy framework make sure you understand Why Green your Office (e. gambling.Develop a Policy Framework Every day more organisations are adopting policies to show their concern for our natural resources. pornography or cigarettes etc). child labour. cruelty to animals.

. Continuously monitor and review your policies. market changes etc.g. plans and performance in the light of the new information on legislation.The Business Case (e. customers and the community. What are the costs and benefits? What are others doing? . advances in science.What standards could you achieve?) Communicate the policies and plans internally and make sure staff are aware of the responsibilities they hold prior to informing stakeholders.

A successful launch is a great way to inspire the rest of the organisation. Outline objectives of the programme – why you are doing it and who is responsible 2. Display examples of logos and equipment you will use 4. even months of planning to get to the stage of launching your programme. Cover financial aspects and the actions expected from others 3.g. Introduce the working group and staff involved 5. Hint: start with programmes to reduce waste or electricity use –‘these are the best bangs for your bucks’ The Launch This is an excuse for a party! Make sure that it is informative as well as enjoyable 1. photocopying etc) Action required to improve the activity Who is responsible The target The date that the action should be done by The resources required to complete the activity How success will be measured It can take a few weeks. Your plan should cover the following:        Activity (e. with your enthusiasm and commitment.Develop and Launch the Plan The Plan Once you have a policy in place you must develop a plan that links to your policy objectives. Finally don’t be afraid to ask for feedback! . printing. your suppliers or stakeholders. but good preparation is vital.

Review Progress Monitoring is a vital part of an ongoing review. has your paper budget decreased. . Use the second staff survey to gauge your co-worker’s response to any changes. Is it working? This question is vital to sustaining your office's waste reduction efforts. As well as conducting this survey. Try to track resource use (paper. water etc) in a consistent manner. energy. for example. revisit your bins and check out spending.

This is the time when you might find areas that need improving. how can you improve?    Network with other people who are making headway with environmental practices in their business. Some businesses are reporting annually to social. six-monthly or yearly basis (depending on what you are measuring). . If things aren't going so well. Report progress in the same manner that other projects or issues are reported in your organisation. This is termed with Triple Bottom Line Reporting of Sustainable Development Reporting. find out what the problems are and fix them!    Do staff really know what to do or do they need reminding? Is the system too complex? Do people want more feedback about how their efforts are making a difference? Can you use your savings to reward staff in some way? Do people feel like they are working in isolation? If things are going superbly. Share results with all staff through information presented at meetings or placing information on websites/ notice boards /newsletters etc.Analyse and Report Findings The process of analysing and reporting results of any programme tends to be done on a regular. monthly. Refer to the plan you developed in your early stage and assess how often reporting should be done based on the target date set. environmental and economic criteria. Join your local business network and share ideas. stumbling blocks with others.

Management are fully supportive How much Staff Support do you have? 1. 5 = Excellent) How well do you understand the issues associated with the need for change? Population Growth & Resource Limits Pollution Global Warming Ozone Layer depletion Deforestation Increasing pressure from ethical consumers Threats to New Zealand’s uniqueness How well do you understand how businesses are addressing these issues? Resource efficiency (do you count energy as a resource?) Responsible employer and member of the community Innovation Gaining market share Helping to develop positive solutions Staying ahead of legislation & adding value to national & local policy Total How much Management Support do you have? 1.Green Office Scorecard Go through each step and assess how well your organisation has adopted a Green Office. Only a small number are aware and supportive 3. Management have agreed to some of the programme 4. Staff are supportive 5. Staff are not aware of the programme 2. Staff have agreed to participate 4. Management are supportive of a trial project 5. Staff are actively involved and driving the programme Answer 1-5 Answer 1-5 Rating 1-5 Rating 1-5 . Management are not aware of the programme 2. Management have agreed to address it at a later date 3. (Understanding Rating: 1=Poor.

The programme is being formally assessed and reported and reported to all stakeholders Answer 1-5 6. 3. Do you have a Policy Framework in place? 1. No we have no plan in place 2. Yes. we have a policy covering some sustainability areas 4. 4. but formally reported to only a few people 5. with significant progress having been made. Yes. we have a full policy. but not formally reported 4. The programme hasn’t started 2. 5. Yes. The programme is being assessed. Yes. we have a published plan. No one has conducted an environmental review. Yes. someone has developed a plan and staff & management support it. we have a basic draft policy 3. 2. but its not up to date 5. sustainability and purchasing policies and its regularly reviewed and updated Have you developed a plan and how well is it going? 1. Yes. Answer 1-5 Answer 1-5 Answer 1-5 . No. The programme has been assessed. but not many people know the results. someone has conducted a thorough environmental review and the results have been reported to some staff.Have you conducted Environmental review? 1. Yes. 5. someone has conducted a thorough environmental review and the results have been displayed and reported to all staff. someone conducted a basic environmental review. 3. The programme has started. someone has developed a plan but very few people have seen it 3. Yes. a basic review has been conducted and the results communicated to some staff. but not much has been achieved yet 4. we have a plan that’s well publicised and support by management and its largely implemented How well are you assessing and reviewing progress? 1. Yes. but no assessment has been made on progress. we have a full range of environmental. Yes. Yes. we have no policies in place 2. Yes.

Staff are informed of progress at an informal session 3.How are you reporting progress internally and externally? 1. suppliers and other stakeholders are updated on an ad hoc basis 5. Staff are formally updated on progress on a regular basis 4. Staff and stakeholders are formally informed through regular updates and an annual environmental or sustainability report Total Score: How well you rate overall Answer 1-5 . There is no internal or external reporting done at this stage 2. Staff.

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