Every organization benefits from engaging its stakeholders around sustainability. Our partners work with us to customize their Cool Choices sustainability programs in order to achieve diverse objectives.
Whenever we talk about the results organizations receive from our sustainability engagement program – how a simple game-based format inspires adults to make real changes in their lives – sustainability advocates are intrigued, but they are also skeptical: “Sure, Cool Choices inspired measurable changes in that organization, but would it work in ours?”
When someone thinks about Waukesha County, Wisconsin, they may not necessarily think about sustainability or environmental activism. Cool Choices launched a county-wide program in Waukesha County in 2017, and proved that even one of the reddest counties in the country can benefit from increasing sustainability awareness and actions – and have a whole lot of fun doing it, too.
In the wake of the US federal government pulling out of the Paris Treaty on Climate Change, cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and reducing national park land, some might wonder what 2018 sustainability trends might look like. However, new entities have emerged to lead the fight to reduce climate change and champion sustainability. We saw more than 2,500 businesses, local governments, colleges and universities, tribal leaders, and faith-based organizations step forward and sign the We Are Still In pledge, committing to tackle climate change, ensure a clean energy future, and uphold the Paris Agreement with or without the help of the federal government. Efforts like We’re Still In demonstrate the power of leadership at all levels.
If you ask a savvy sustainability manager to calculate the return on investment (ROI) from an efficiency project, they are likely to ask a few follow up questions—because they know that a solid ROI compares all costs to all benefits, and it can take a little digging to get the requisite data.
Many environmental advocates assume that in order to motivate action on climate mitigation goals, they have to educate the public on why climate change is so important. These advocates seek widespread agreement as a precondition to action. In reality, though, that agreement might not be necessary. In fact, by focusing on climate change instead of sustainability, campaigns may be unintentionally excluding the population with the most potential for reducing emissions.
“I was skeptical…but it really works!”
It’s ok, we get that a lot – even some our clients admit that they were surprised by how well our employee engagement programs worked to motivate behavior change around sustainability, and to deliver immediate savings results – all while influencing hearts and minds over the longer term.
Corporate sustainability leads often spend a lot of time on technology—identifying the upgrades that will reduce water, energy and emissions. At one level that focus makes sense, especially right now when there’s so much emerging opportunity around smart devices.
Amid the enthusiasm for technology, though, it’s important to remember that people—employees—are at the core of every operation.