Sustainability: How to Get the Troops on Board


By Steve Ashkin, from Environmental Leader

Steve Ashkin

While presenting at a sustainability symposium earlier this year, I had the feeling that most of the people attending my seminar were well aware of the need for facility managers to operate in a greener and more sustainable manner. Their big concern was how to get everyone else on board.

It is one thing for the head of an organization to send out memos encouraging employees to recycle paper products, turn off lights that aren’t in use, and shut down or lower individually controlled HVAC systems at the end of each business day. However, it’s something else entirely to really make it happen. Directives such as these often get some people’s attention for a while, but sooner or later, they get lost in the shuffle for just about everyone.

To address this challenge, I suggested that managers create a “culture of sustainability” whereby everyone in their facility—CEOs, managers, staffers, and even vendors—contributes to the goal of operating the property in a Greener, more sustainable manner. In essence, we must go beyond using memos and directives that tell people what to do and institute procedures and methods that get staffers to want to do something. When this happens, a culture is born that becomes the “modus operandi” of the organization.

Read the rest of this article at Environmental Leader.