GreenBiz’s 13th Forum kicked off yesterday with a series of intensive workshops.  I attended Engaging Employees: How to Make Sustainability Simple, Effective and Fun.  It included an impressive line-up of engagement experts, including Susan Hunt Stevens Founder & CEO, Practically Green, Mario Herger Senior Innovation Strategist, SAP, Megan Rast Environmental Sustainability Manager, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Edward Butler Sustainability Manager, Nokia.


  • Goal: Make your program fun and informative that inspires action and will span different offices/cultures.
  • Measurable:  Identify clear, measurable metrics of success.
  • Focus:  Don’t tackle every issue at once.  Sometimes focusing on just one action works best.
  • Video: Sony Pictures shared one of the videos they use to engage employees (they show a sustainability video at employee orientation!).  They nailed that tough task of making engagement funny!

What Sustainability Directors can Learn from Angry Birds:  Elements that make a program fun and engaging

For  me, this was the most engaging portion of the day.  A lively presentation and discussion on the question of how we can bring the elements of gaming to our engagement programs.  I was a very late adopter to trying Angry Birds, but still recall how it grabbed me and I was up until 3 am playing it.  How do we get employees this passionate about sustainability?  Some of the elements to consider as you design a program.

  • Constant Feedback:  This is key.  Create a way for employees to know how they are doing and how others are doing.
  • Reward:  This is also key.  Green stars, stickers, badges, “frequent flier” rewards and prizes that will feel like a reward.
  • Clear goals:  % participation, energy saved, dollars saved all options.
  • Other elements to report:  % complete, # of people, # of actions, team score.
  • Profiles:  Create individual or team profiles where they can learn from each other.
Sustainability Consulting Bay Area

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