Employee engagement is a hot topic in HR circles. Experts estimate that up to 70% of US workers are not engaged at work and, further, that this disengagement costs companies about $500 billion annually. Disengaged employees are more likely to provide poor customer service, they are more prone to accidents, more likely to take sick days and they are less productive. So it’s no wonder that human resource teams are concerned about measuring and increasing engagement. At the same time, some sustainability leaders inside companies are struggling too. Facing aggressive year-after-year goals, these folks are wondering where they will get the next round of savings. Sustainability leads need fresh ideas and, ultimately, all hands on deck to generate savings.
It’s time for some creative cross-functional collaboration. A coalition, if you will.
I spent Saturday at the Green Alliance Sustainability Fair in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Cool Choices had an exhibit and we did a workshop; we were talking about the free county-wide Cool Choices program we are launching in the Waukesha County later this fall.
The fair occurred in a clearing at a state park, which meant we were talking about environmental sustainability just a few yards from hiking trails on a crisp and sunny Wisconsin day. Perhaps as a result, I did not encounter anyone at this event who opposed protecting Wisconsin’s amazing natural resources for future generations. Opinions did vary, though, on what needed to happen and how.
Cool Choices is proud to announce that we are a featured presenter at the Green Alliance Sustainability Fair, which takes place on August 26 in Delafield, Wisconsin! Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, will lead a hands-on demonstration of our engaging sustainability program, which offers a game-based approach to increasing daily sustainable actions at work, home, and in the community. The demonstration will be a great introduction to the FREE county-wide Cool Choices sustainability program for Waukesha County businesses and residents that we are implementing later this fall, with primary funding generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.
Cool Choices was proud to present at the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo in Austin, Texas in June, where we were selected as a 2017 Smart Cities Showcase participant. Our booth engaged with dozens of city thought leaders looking for new ways to connect community and innovation via sustainability, technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT.) The conference offered several keynotes focused on how new technology connects with sustainability effort to benefit whole communities.
Increasingly, businesses are opting for sustainability. Being environmentally sustainable really just means finding ways to cut waste, which in turn reduces operating expenses – and every successful business wants to reduce operating costs and increase profits.
In April, 2017, more than 1,000 US businesses urged the Trump administration to strengthen the federal Energy Star program, rather than eliminating it. For these businesses, including big names like Staples and Ingersoll Rand, the argument is an economic one. Every tax dollar invested in the Energy Star program saves $680 annually, which is a return any businessperson would appreciate.
Here at Cool Choices, we are also a strong proponent of Energy Star. While we appreciate the economics, we also have other importation reasons for supporting the program.