Recycling at Work: Unleashing Employee Activism

More and more, employees expect their employers to share their commitment to the environment. A study released last month showed that 69 percent of U.S. employees surveyed want to see their employers take a public stand on clean air, water and open spaces.

Creating or rejuvenating a recycling program at work offers employers an opportunity to connect with their people on a topic they feel passionately about, to build leadership skills and to potentially save their organization money.

Here are six tips for creating employee ambassadors for recycling.

  1. Start with leadership endorsement.  Your people need to know that their leaders not only share their opinions about the environment but are willing to walk the talk by letting employees spend time (and maybe even a little bit of money) on activities to support recycling.
  2. Ask for volunteers. While research shows that support for the environment crosses genders, ages, ethnicities, geographies and job levels, some people will be more motivated than others to invest their time and energy in recycling. Bring them together as a team of ambassadors and give them an outlet for their enthusiasm!
  3. Prepare them for their role. Your ambassadors will be most effective if they have information and training. The Environmental Protection Agency, many state environmental agencies, not-for-profits like the National Recycling Coalition, the NRDC and others offer information and training you can tap into.
  4. Encourage their creativity. Whether it is planning a zero waste dessert social or a competition for which division can create the least amount of trash and the most recycling, support your ambassadors in coming up with creative ideas to raise awareness of and participation in workplace recycling.
  5. Show appreciation. Regularly thank sustainability ambassadors for their efforts through newsletter articles, letters of appreciation from the CEO or a shout-out at a town hall meeting.
  6. Celebrate success. Share the difference recycling is making at your organization in terms of the quantity of recycled materials, dollars saved, etc. As your recycling ambassadors for some fun, inclusive ways to celebrate milestones across the organization.

What have you done in your workplace (or seen others do) that has been effective in creating employee ambassadors for recycling?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Your personal data may be processed by Sodexo to deal with your contact request. This personal data is processed based on the legitimate interest of Sodexo of sharing information about its services. This personal data is processed by the authorized individuals in the Sodexo group and may be disclosed to external service providers, including from countries which are not considered as having an adequate level of protection. In the event that external service providers are engaged, contractual arrangements are made to ensure that such service providers comply with the strict privacy rules applicable and put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure an adequate level of protection. In accordance with the applicable law, you can exercise your data protection rights. For more information, please see the Privacy Policy.