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Set up a green team

Get your colleagues on board by setting up a green team and accelerate your resource efficiency improvements.

As you strive to become a more resource efficient organisation, you should enlist the support of your colleagues by setting up a green team to maximise the influence of key improvement plans across the business.

Forming your green team

Developing a green team can provide you with valuable support for the implementation of your resource efficiency improvements. Organisations that have successfully developed green teams and used them to accelerate their resource efficiency improvements can provide some useful tips:

  • Successful green teams comprise people from different departments and levels of seniority. This helps to ensure that ideas are varied and dynamic.
  • While people with specific/desirable skills and experience may be available to you, the main attribute you need from green team members is enthusiasm.
  • Team members do not have to be ‘green’. Indeed, those who understand the commercial imperative of resource efficiency can be powerful in motivating others to act who have similar attitudes.

Get senior management support

The most successful green teams are those that have senior management support. You should aim to meet with senior management to get that support for your green team.

Before meeting with management, prepare a strong value statement to articulate the green team’s benefit to the organisation. Your value statement should define why being green is meaningful to the business and its employees.

Use examples that will resonate with management and clearly define the benefits that your green team can offer, such as:

  • Cost savings – reducing costs associated with waste, energy, and water.
  • Attracting and retaining talent – employee morale and satisfaction.
  • Customer expectations – strengthening brand and increasing market share.
  • Regulatory compliance – staying ahead of legislation.
  • Aligning practices with values – walking the talk.

Be clear about the time that will be needed by members, and define the supporting role you see management playing. Include plans to communicate team goals, needs and successes.

Green team responsibilities and targets

Your green team should be responsible for:

  • Taking ownership of ideas suggested by management or employees;
  • Facilitating action and providing access to different skills and ideas;
  • Engaging with employees to reduce resistance to change; and
  • Improving awareness and understanding of the need for change.

For best results, you should adopt a flexible approach to using the support of the green team, perhaps by introducing monthly ideas and reporting meetings or by asking for volunteers to take forward specific actions.


It is important that the green team’s efforts be target oriented and all targets should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). Targets should sit within a clear initiative framework that is communicated to all staff. The goals of all initiatives should be monitored to track performance, identify further opportunities and flag areas of resistance or concern.

Useful materials

Green Office – A Guide to Running a More Cost-effective and Environmentally Sustainable Office

The guide provides practical solutions that cost nothing or little to implement and will enable office workers to identify their impact on the environment. It includes information on setting up a green team and gaining support.

Environmental Improvement Through Behaviour Change – An Introduction

This guide will provide you with a wider understanding behaviour change and why it is crucial to long term resource efficiency.

Further Support

On Course For Zero Waste’ is a series of free accredited online training modules that provide in depth training in key topics that will help you improve the environmental performance of your organisation. Module 6 (Behaviour change) will help you consider the wider context for setting up a green team, and  looks at developing an integrated package of interventions that will change workplace behaviour, including communications designed to motivate people, and how to create a behaviour change communication plan.

If you would like further advice and support to help you set up a green team in your organisation, please contact one of our resource efficiency advisors on 0808 808 2268 or click here.

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