We have already discussed how crucial it is for companies to have a clear and concrete strategy capable of engaging their people on broader issues such as sustainability. Only in this way can the set objectives be achieved, and can new talents be maintained and attracted, which are indispensable for business success.
But it's not enough to trace the path; we must also walk it together. It is necessary for everyone to be motivated and involved because it is the workers who play the crucial role.
Much easier said than done. For this reason, over the years, realities have emerged that help companies engage their employees through experiences, gamification, apps, and tools.
The beauty of all this? You can have fun, learn new things, and above all, you can do something truly positive for yourself, for your company, and for the planet.
In the continuation of the article, we will present you with 3 possibilities to engage your team on sustainability, proposed by: Ecochallenge, Up2You, and us at U-Earth.
Who is Ecochallenge
Ecochallenge is a leading environmental nonprofit engaging people in everyday climate actions that inspire long term behaviour change. For 30 years Ecochallenge.org has offered individuals and organizations Discussion Books and online Ecochallenges as a way to learn more about environmental issues, our connection to them and new ways to take action that makes a difference.
‘At Ecochallenge.org, we work with hundreds of businesses and organizations to engage employees in sustainability education and what’s most inspiring is seeing what comes of employees joining together to create a sustainable transformation in their workplace.’ says Liz Zavodsky Executive Director of EcoChallange.
Based on her experience, Liz asserts that initiatives aimed at engaging employees regarding sustainability generate a greater sense of belonging and pride, as well as higher levels of satisfaction:
‘Employee engagement is key to any sustainable business transformation because it’s the employees doing the work, generating ideas, making what feels impossible – possible.’
When companies support employee engagement in sustainable business programs we have seen a greater level of employee satisfaction, more communication, and pride for the brand they work for.'
The power of collective impact
EcoChallenge organizes monthly pathways through which individuals can make a sustainable impact. Many companies successfully experiment with them, and it often happens that the results extend beyond environmental sustainability, positively affecting every aspect of the business. As Mike Train, Emerson’s Chief Sustainability Officer, has shared with us.
' We are absolutely thrilled with the results of this year’s Earth Month Ecochallenge.
We wanted to sponsor the event because we know the Ecochallenge is fun, inclusive, and science-based; but the level of engagement and enthusiasm from our employees went far beyond my expectations.
From our team in Romania planting trees, to our colleagues collecting trash on a beach in Qatar, from electric vehicle test drives at our facility in Costa Rica to a clothes and plant swap event in Sweden, along with so many other teams coming together to take action, the creativity and energy of the 4200+ participating Emerson employees worldwide was simply awesome.
The Ecochallenge has reinforced a sense of shared purpose and a feeling that every single employee, no matter their job description, can learn and contribute in a meaningful way.As we invited our suppliers, customers and partners to join us in the challenge, it was highly rewarding to contribute to making this the biggest Ecochallenge yet.'
Who is Up2You
Up2You is the B Corp-certified greentech company that empowers businesses and organizations to take center stage in the fight against climate change, guiding them through customized pathways toward environmental sustainability.
Up2You offers comprehensive support at every stage of the sustainability journey. From calculating and reducing the corporate carbon footprint to encompassing aspects such as communication, certifications, training, and employee engagement.
Harnessing technological innovation and the team's expertise, Up2You adopts a cutting-edge approach within the industry, enabling the development of a climate strategy that combines the most effective elements to achieve each company's objectives.
The key to corporate sustainability: employees
Based on U-Earth's experience, it will be difficult for an organization to achieve its goals if they are not shared by those who should assist in achieving them. It will be difficult for people to give their best for something they do not share or are not adequately committed to.
Niccolò Crippa, Content Analyst at Up2You, fully agrees with the above on the crucial role of teams and feels completely aligned with our words.
‘We strongly agree with these words from U-Earth, and indeed, we would like to further emphasize the importance of engagement.
There can be no sustainability journey without engagement
According to Nicola, a successful corporate sustainability journey cannot exist without the active involvement of employees. He explained:
Many companies embarking on a sustainability journey fail to involve their personnel in the initiative, considering this activity secondary and limiting decisions and actions to the company's top management.
However, in our experience, it is precisely when employees are aligned and engaged in the sustainability journey undertaken by the company that the greatest results are achieved and desired objectives are reached.
The cause-effect relationship appears to be quite intuitive in reality:
‘The reason is actually quite simple: a large part of the emissions reduction activities that a company can implement depend precisely on the actions of all its personnel. It is logical, therefore, that the more the company's workforce is involved (and trained) in the ongoing sustainability activities, the easier it will be to reduce the company's carbon footprint.'
Engagement through gamification
Up2You also has a web app, PlaNet, designed to integrate training and engagement through gamification.
News, quizzes, practical challenges, and personalized content on sustainability enable the company to raise awareness, educate individuals, and increase the level of engagement.
Through gamification, individuals can more naturally internalize sustainable behaviors and practices and apply them to the company's daily life.
In this regard, Sara Carollo, People & Culture Specialist at Atlantic Technologies, a company where PlaNet has been utilized, commented:
'We chose to participate in PlaNet because we wanted to instill a habit among our employees and colleagues, so we thought it was the most suitable project for our needs.
Both in terms of team building and new awareness, we see the difference in the company: in the break room, people talk about where to dispose of things, missions, and the new habits they have brought into their lives after this journey.
There will be more knowledge, new ways to approach small daily actions, and a great team spirit. So, effectively, what we were looking for remains in the company'
Thanks to the PlaNet technology, Atlantic Technologies was able to involve, raise awareness, and train employees on various sustainability issues, also reducing their own CO2 emissions through initiatives implemented by employees.
Become a Pure Air Hero with the Pure Air Zone App
In 2022, we at U-Earth decided to launch the Pure Air Zone App to finally give people the opportunity to take a concrete step to protect themselves from pollution, especially air pollution.
So, what can you do with this app?
The Pure Air Zone App allows you to monitor the air quality around you, find areas of clean air in our Pure Air Zones on the map, and pinpoint places where you would like to breathe clean air, such as the bar down the street, the gym, or your favorite restaurant.
The Pure Air Zone App allows you to monitor the air quality around you, find clean air zones in our Pure Air Zones marked on the map, and pinpoint places where you would like to breathe clean air, such as the bar downstairs, the gym, or your favourite restaurant.
But that's not all, the app enables you to:
Learn through "pillars" about the world of sustainability and well-being
Connect with other Pure Air Heroes in the community
Make an impact through daily actions by following easy tips
Earn points, climb the global leaderboard, and qualify for upcoming prizes
Inspire others to take action against climate change by inviting your network to join the revolution against air pollution.
It only takes 3.5% of the population to trigger real change. And taking a stand is easier than you think. By downloading this app, everyone can start making a difference today.
In this article, we have emphasized the importance for companies to chart a clear strategy and engage their employees to embrace sustainability. We have also provided practical solutions to do so and concrete examples of those who nurture and embark on such paths. It's not enough for you to simply express the willingness to make a sustainable change for yourself, your company, and the planet.