COPT is committed to creating sustainable, green office environments. We’ve taken a pledge to create healthier environments for employees by applying our RITE principles—Reduce, Innovate, Teach, Engage. But once you’ve planned a new green initiative, how can you help it gain traction? How do you make sure it isn’t just a poster on the wall in the break room? Here’s how we did it, and how you can, too.
- Identify the goal. Reduce waste, reduce energy consumption, reduce pollution output – identify your property’s green goal and go for it. Maybe your buildings are putting out more waste than recycling. Set a goal of reducing trash and increasing recycling by a fixed percentage within a designated time frame.
- Innovate. Assess current standards so you can identify opportunities for improvement and create new ways of doing things. Maybe it’s time to put recycling bins in individual offices to make it easier for employees to recycle, or to consider using waste water to irrigate your landscaping. Generate new processes and don’t be afraid of change!
- Educate those most affected. Get employees on board by educating them on how they can contribute to your office’s energy efficiency goals. Be open about current energy use and waste output. Sharing utility costs and waste volumes allows employees to see how their participation can have a real impact. Post this information – along with goals for improvement – in common spaces where everyone can see it.
- Engage – over and over! Once employees know the goal, keep them invested for the long term with engagement strategies like:
- Empowering partners. Create a tenant/owner/management council and welcome input from all stakeholders.
- Offering incentives. Rewards and recognition are extra motivation to support the building’s green initiative.
- Hosting a competition. A related, fun-spirited competition brings people together to share in the goal.
- Communicating. Pair effective communication strategies with every stage of the program. Find a way to connect with all occupants, host events, display posters and information in common areas, provide ongoing reminders, tips, and updates, and – most importantly – celebrate success.
When the COPT team at The National Business Park wanted to increase recycling by 30% at three buildings within three months, we used this approach. The program included meetings with both tenants and the recycling and cleaning companies. We kicked off the program with green-themed giveaways and followed up with monthly reminders. We also educated tenants on proper recycling methods and provided tips and lists of recyclables. By engaging with tenants and vendors, we more than hit our goals, and we made sure everyone benefitted from the program’s success.
Visit www.coptgreen.com for more stories about how we apply our RITE principles, and for inspiration on how you can apply them in your own office for a healthier environment.