Tag: Gamification


Cool Choices Presenting at Emerging Technologies Summit 2017


Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director at Cool Choices, is speaking at the Emerging Technologies Summit in Ontario, California on April 19-21, 2017. The Emerging Technologies Summit brings together energy efficiency thought leaders to “ideate and debate the intersection of utility programs, technology, market drivers, customer engagement, policy and implementation in order to impact the advancement and adoption of emerging technologies.”

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Follett Team Members Take Game-Based Approach to Being Green

follet-logo_300x169Cool Choices welcomes hundreds of Follett Corporation team members as they prepare to kick off their 6-week game-based sustainability program designed to create a buzz around being green at work and at home.

Follett team members will form teams of 6 and compete to take the greatest number of sustainable actions. Starting October 24th, participants at Follett will earn points for their teams and win prizes by reporting their daily sustainable actions online, including saving fuel and energy, recycling, choosing meatless meals and conserving water.

Founded in 1873, Follett currently works with 70,000 PreK-12 schools and higher education institutions as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett demonstrates a strong commitment to the communities they serve and to various corporate social responsibility initiatives. For example, Follett promotes good in global communities through its campus store partnerships with Alta Gracia, a clothing brand known for its implementation of a living wage in the Dominican Republic, and the Thirst Project, a water non-profit founded and fueled by students. Additionally, Follett promotes educational innovation and a love of learning through its partnership with Reading is Fundamental and annual hosting of the Follett Challenge.

Once again, the Cool Choices team sends out a warm welcome to Follett team members!


Beyond the Game: Kristin’s Sustainability Story

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetCool Choices alumni continue to inspire us with the sustainability actions they’ve taken since taking part in our program. This month we were impressed by Kristin’s story about her volunteer work at a local nature preserve.

What green activities have you been up to since taking part in the Cool Choices program?

I planted native plants around the edges of a wood, pulled invasive species and mulched trails to prevent run off from rain.

Do you have any tips for others trying to be sustainable?

Look into volunteer opportunities with your local nature preserve!

Kristin took part in the Madison, WI city-wide Cool Choices online sustainability game in 2015.



Healthcare Employees at UW Health Boost Sustainability & Wellness Efforts

We extend our congratulations to UW Health employees on completing their customized Cool Choices employee engagement program!



Click image to see full size.

Check out how employees boosted sustainability efforts at UW Health!

  • Nearly 180 teams of employees from UW Health participated in the Cool Choices sustainability and wellness program.
  • Over 60 UW Health locations competed. They formed teams of 5 to log their sustainable actions online every day for 8 weeks.
  • UW Health participants worked together to take more than 44,400 sustainable actions that save money and help the environment.

In their game, UW Health employees achieved estimated savings of $253,365. The participants logged actions that will save 3,498,037 gallons (5 Olympic sized swimming pools) of water annually and avoid 2,613,589 lbs (1,034 car trips from LA to NYC) of CO2.

During the game UW Health employees shared 1,725 sustainable ideas. These suggestions can be implemented to save money and energy.

“By adopting sustainable practices UW Health employees save money at work and at home while improving their personal wellness and reducing environmental impacts,” noted Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director at Cool Choices.

Thanks UW Health employees, your engagement and dedication are very inspiring!


UW Health to Launch Game-Based Sustainability Program

img_thumb_UWHC_logo_410This summer 15,000+ employees at UW Health will be invited to take a unique approach to being green and staying well. Staff will participate in a customized Cool Choices 8-week sustainability and wellness program by forming teams and competing daily to log their sustainable actions online.

Participants can expect to save money and reduce their energy use, while also learning new ways to be green. The online game-based platform also collects great ideas from employees on greening the workplace; this means front-line employees can help identify specific and creative saving opportunities.


Shannon Bunsen Sustainability Specialist, UW Health

“We’re excited to try this new way of getting staff at UW Health engaged in sustainability and thinking about what it means in the context of healthcare. Cool Choices will give us an opportunity to build social capital around shared sustainability experiences and ideas,” said Shannon Bunsen, Sustainability Specialist, at UW Health.  

“Our Green STEPS and Wellness programs are very focused on the impact of individual behavior change, building teams and creating social norms with healthy, sustainable actions,” said Ellen Houston, Clinical Exercise Physiologist, UW Health. UW Health is customizing their Cool Choices implementation to highlight the link between wellness and sustainability. UW Health staff will be encouraged to adopt practices that are both good for the planet and good for employee wellbeing.

“Folks recognize that a number of sustainable practices—biking, taking the stairs vs. the elevator, and eating less red meat—also have very clear health benefits. Broader practices—like reducing energy and water use, managing waste streams, etc.—also affect our overall wellbeing,” noted Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director of Cool Choices, “so it’s terrific that UW Health is engaging its employees around these practices that affect wellness both directly and indirectly. A leader in healthcare, UW Health is also taking leadership on environmental responsibility. Cool Choices is delighted to be able to help them experiment with a fun and social model.”

UW Health has a dedicated history of environmental responsibility that includes a focus on patient and employee wellness. Recent initiatives include blue sterile wrap and plastic film recycling, new BCycle docking stations and the addition of a Farmers Market at the University Hospital. Learn more about UW Health’s deep commitment to a healthy environment here.

The Cool Choices team welcomes UW Health employees! We’re looking forward to seeing the momentum you’ll achieve and impact you’ll make during your 8-week program.

Curious about how our program could work for you? Watch our fun 40-second video to learn more!


Beyond the Game: Jeanne’s Sustainability Story


Photo courtesy of Jeanne H. – 2016

Cool Choices alumni continue to inspire us with the sustainability actions they’ve taken since taking part in our program. This month we were impressed by Jeanne’s story of how her office has taken green to the next level!

What green activities have you been up to since taking part in the Cool Choices program?

In our display garden outside our office we repurposed household items for use in the garden. Old plates were purchased at the local resale shop & used to edge raised beds; used hangers from the same resale shop were wired together to create a trellis; an old rattan chair frame was used for a container garden.

Do you have any tips for others trying to be sustainable?

Purchasing items from resale shops (which usually are run by nonprofit organizations) helps out the community. With a little bit of creativity, these inexpensive items can find a new purpose. It’s a great way to be sustainable.

Jeanne took part in the Cool Choices online sustainability game in 2013 with UW Extension. Inspire by Jeanne’s story? You can make a difference too! Cool Choices is creating a new platform, Connected, where Cool Choices alumni can inspire others by sharing their sustainability stories. More details coming soon!


Beyond the Game: Tina’s Sustainability Story


Photo courtesy of Tina C. – 2016

To highlight the cool things our alums do after taking part in the Cool Choices online sustainability game, we’ll be sharing monthly stories submitted by past participants. Our alumni always impress us by taking sustainable practices to the next level.

This month we were inspired by Tina’s sweet story of working together with her granddaughter…

What green activities have you been up to since taking part in the Cool Choices program?
When I take my granddaughter to the park we go around and pick up trash after we are done playing to help our earth stay clean!

Do you have any tips for others trying to be sustainable?
We make it into a game! Always teach your kids about the importance of our planet, it’s our home and it’s up to us to take care of it.

Tina took part in the Cool Choices online sustainability game in 2014 with Outagamie County. Inspired by Tina’s sustainability story? Remember, you can make a difference! Cool Choices is creating a new platform, Connected, where our Cool Choices alumni can share their sustainability stories and inspire others. We’ll share more details about Connected soon!


ComEd Chooses Cool Choices for Employee Sustainability Awareness Initiative


Cool Choices is enthusiastic about a new partnership with ComEd, an electric utility that provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers in Illinois.

ComEd is recognized for their commitment to the environment and this week they’re launching the Cool Choices 8-week employee engagement sustainability program. ComEd employees will take a few minutes each day to compete as teams to report the greatest number of sustainable actions.

The Cool Choices online platform and game is customized and branded specifically for ComEd’s implementation to increase engagement in and awareness of company-wide sustainability initiatives.

“ComEd understands the challenges in engaging people around sustainability–this is a quest they tackle every day. We are delighted to be able to help them experiment with a fun and social model,” said Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director of Cool Choices.

Welcome ComEd staff! We know you’ll have fun, save money and take sustainable actions that have a measurable impact in your game of Cool Choices.


Inpro Enlists Cool Choices Sustainability Program for 2nd Time

PrintWe love when clients return to implement the Cool Choices game-based sustainability program for a second or even third time. We’re delighted to partner again with Inpro, a leader in the manufacturing industry with a truly remarkable commitment to environmental sustainability.

Inpro first enlisted Cool Choices to deliver an 8-week game-based sustainability program in 2014. More than 50% of Inpro’s employees participated in the Cool Choices game and reported actions representing almost $200,000 in annual savings!

Amanda Goetsch, Sustainability Manager at Inpro, explained, “Sustainability, in part, is about having fun while creating a more resilient and vibrant future for all stakeholders. Playing the Cool Choices game helped our employees integrate healthy and uplifting habits into their lives, while at the same time adding a little padding to their pocketbooks. Cool Choices is a tool that helps us increasingly integrate sustainability into our corporate culture and our employees love it!”

Taking part in the Cool Choices program, Michael R. Sekula, Global Vice President of Supply Chain Management & Safety at Inpro shared, “If you are struggling with engaging your staff around sustainability, Cool Choices is your tool. It’s fun, engaging and I believe both the company and the employee learn a great deal from the program.”

This month Inpro is launching their second partnership with Cool Choices. Employees at Inpro will form teams and compete daily to report their sustainable actions. Participants will earn points and win prizes for reporting actions that reduce resource consumption and help the environment. The Cool Choices team would like to welcome Inpro employees for a second time! We’re excited to see the impact you’ll make during your second company-wide Cool Choices sustainability game.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you address your corporate sustainability goals.


Using Team Dynamics to Boost Engagement

“I did not want to let my team down.”
– Cool Choices player


Teams are a cornerstone of the Cool Choices online sustainability game and engagement platform: you must be on a team to play.

We rely on teams because behavior change is hard and research shows it’s less hard when you have social support.

The data is clear: when individuals are accountable to a team or get encouragement from others, it has a big impact on their well-being — the more support they have, the greater chance they’ll achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.” Social Support: Impact on Health and the Bottom Line, Dean Witherspoon

In a game of Cool Choices a team’s standing depends on the activity of all team members—which means players are accountable to each other. It’s not unusual for teammates to develop nudge strategies—ways to remind each other to play.Greenadelphia Team 500x220 jpg

Think about that for a moment: employees spontaneously reminding each other to adopt sustainable practices.

Jim, I saw you turn off the light – claim your Cool Choice so that we stay in the lead!

Hey Ann, I saw you claimed points today for carpooling—nice job!  Did you remind Alana to play?

Most Cool Choices players talk about sustainability with colleagues at least once a week during the game. Those are conversations where folks are sharing their values as well as pragmatic strategies for saving energy and resources.

One of the big challenges with inspiring action around climate change is that individuals often feel powerless in comparison to the scale of the issue. Seeing friends and colleagues take action—and being part of a team that is taking action—is empowering.  Our players are part of a team and that team is part of a larger community where hundreds or thousands of individuals are taking action.

With support, regular people can reduce their emissions; they can improve the quality of their lives while reducing the waste. Teams are a critical part of that strategy.

How can you apply the benefits of team dynamics to boost engagement in your workplace or community?

Curious about how Cool Choices can help your organization? Contact us for more information.