The YLD Green Team
by Joe Schofield • November 29th, 2019 • 3min
As Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green”.
It isn’t — especially in the world of business. There are deadlines, paperwork, travel opportunities, electronic devices… The list goes on and on.
This is part of the problem.
There is seldom time to take a step back and look at where the company can reduce their environmental impact, when, in fact, large companies contribute to a huge amount of waste and pollution produced every day.
This is where a Green Team can come in handy. When a group of people put their minds to it, and — most importantly — are given the power to make changes, it’s incredible how quickly improvements can be made to the environmental impact of the company.
YLD has always made an effort to be eco-friendly; sourcing local produce for the office kitchen, having recycling bins, avoiding plastic where possible, etc. But a team whose role it is to find areas where we can improve is vital to keeping us green!
What have we been up to?
The YLD Green Team have already brought up a wide variety of topics that we’d like to investigate, to see their environmental impact and assess if we can reduce that.
We’re a tech company, so we do merch; stickers, t-shirts, and the like. It’s fantastic advertising, it’s fun, and it’s a great perk! We have some eco-passionate members of the team who ensure that the branded products we create are sustainably sourced (Go team!), but it’s always worth exploring options.
Sometimes it’s necessary to visit clients in other countries or to get all YLDers from different offices together. This is unavoidable travel, but we can certainly look into different forms of transport than flying, as aeroplane emissions are incredibly high.
Takeaway food and drink
It’s lovely to go out for coffee and lunch, but often to save time people will get their order to take away. This uses plastic and paper when there are reusable alternatives. We had a brilliant idea from the team to have a stash of YLD KeepCups and Tupperware so that we can take these with us when we go to order!
YLD is a remote-first company. This means that — when clients are too — we can work without needing to commute. This is something we encourage clients to allow, and more companies seem to be adopting remote-first every day.
A tech company like YLD doesn’t have much requirement for printing. But I brought this point up as my sister — who introduced me to the idea of a Green Team — was astounded when she discovered the company she works for printed every single email, just because that was the process. Sometimes we need to question archaic processes as they might now be obsolete.
This is awesome! How can I implement my own #GreenTeam?
Get some ideas
Just saying the words ‘Green Team’ like some magic spell isn’t enough. ✨ It’s important to think first about some areas in which your company could improve, for example; printing, commuting, travelling, leaving electrical devices switched on overnight. By putting ideas like this to the right people, you can get a clearer picture of the problem areas within your company.
And my axe!
For this to work, it helps to have people from all areas of the company; HR, Marketing, Engineering, Design, Hiring, Finance, and so on. The more areas you have involved, the more areas you can look to for opportunities to improve — and the more ideas you will have for brainstorming solutions.
Take it to the top
Another important requirement is to make the team visible to people in managerial roles. This way you can get the required support for the actions you take, rather than just being a group of enthusiastic individuals.
Spread the word
Host a brown-bag style presentation, bring it up in company-wide meetings, chat about it over coffee! If people can see the Green Team are making an effort to make the company more eco-friendly, they will start thinking about this too, and maybe have some great ideas for how they can do their bit.
I hope this post has got you excited to start your own #GreenTeam!
If you’re interested in your environmental impact, there’s a great quiz created by the WWF which you can find here. 🐼
Written by Joe Schofield • November 5th, 2019
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