513 Green Resources

Unsure of what a certain metric means or how to achieve it? Use these resources for clarification and guidance on how to implement new sustainable actions in your workplace.

Click on each metric to show the relevant resources and information.


1. Have an established green team or green office program

  • Best Practices​:
  • Prepare a statement to articulate why the program or team benefits the business; use this to recruit members from all levels/departments.
  • Set goals for your team; ensure that the success rate will be measurable for each goal.
  • Keep team members energized, motivated, and be sure to market accomplishments.
  • Benefit:
  • ​Green teams can assist with implementing and monitoring initiatives that positively impact environmental and financial performance. Green teams can also be useful in terms of bringing employees together and creating team building/collaboration skills.

​2. Have a public commitment to sustainability or defined sustainability goals​

  • Examples​:
  • ​Create a webpage to showcase your defined sustainability goals, commitments, and progress to the public.
  • Examples of organization's public sustainability commitments and goals:
  • Benefit:
  • ​Showcases the green narrative of your business to environmentally-conscious consumers.

3. Have a sustainability plan and/or publish a sustainability report

  • Examples​:
  • ​For corporate sustainability, a strategy sets out the priorities for the workplace. It provides an agreed framework for deploying resources, creating an impact, and communicating results.
  • Benefit:
  • ​When done effectively, the process of developing a strategy can help to build buy-in among employees, guide resources to high impact initiatives, drive performance towards set goals, and ensure that company strategy and sustainability efforts are aligned.

4. Obtain support from management for sustainability initiatives and/or goals

  • Example​:
  • ​Ensure that the leaders of the business are knowledgeable and supportive of the goals that are set forth for the office.
  • Benefit:
  • ​Having the leaders within your organization support the sustainability initiative, signals to employees that sustainability is important to the organization, motivating employees to support the initiative as well.

5. Elicit input from employees about sustainability priorities for the office

  • Example​:
  • ​Ensure all employees are given opportunities to provide input on the sustainability plan and goals.
  • Ways to gather input: Send out a survey, put up poster boards in the breakroom where employees can write down ideas for sustainability initiatives they’d like to see, have a brainstorming as part of a regularly scheduled meeting
  • Benefit:
  • ​Allowing employees to give input on the sustainability program gives everyone in the office power to make a change. Employees will all be on the same page with goals and feel as if their voice is being heard.

6. Have an incentive program for employees and/or customers to perform sustainable actions

  • Asking employees to adopt sustainable behaviors involves creating a culture of openness and inclusion, where employees take the initiative to adopt behaviors and are comfortable pointing out areas where the sustainability program can be improved. One way these behaviors can be reinforced is through incentives, whether monetary, recognition, or achievement-based.
  • Examples:​
  • ​One incentive is to put aside an ongoing "prize" to award employees for creative ways to recycle, limit water and plastic use, etc. That prize could be monetary compensation, a special lunch with senior executives or an extra day off.
  • More information regarding ideas for incentive programs can be found here.
  • Benefit:
  • Rewarding employees for practicing sustainable actions will lead to more office inclusion and participation.

7. Offer regular sustainability training for employees​

  • Make certain that employees have a shared knowledge of sustainability efforts and understand the benefits for the workplace
  • Examples:
  • ​Host lunch and learns with speakers from organizations that offer sustainability education programs for businesses. Local organizations include:
  • Have sustainability leaders in each department that explain new initiatives and can answer colleagues' questions
  • Holding internal meetings for employees to ask the about the sustainability program.
  • Benefit:
  • ​Increasing employee awareness regarding sustainability, making sustainability goals easier to achieve.

8. Incorporate sustainability into employee orientation

  • Examples:​
  • Include information about sustainability initiatives and expectations in new hire welcome packet​
  • Add slides about the sustainability program into the onboarding presentation for new hires
  • Benefit:
  • Providing information and tools about the institution’s sustainability programs and options at the time when an employee is getting acquainted with a new employer and developing new work routines and habits can help encourage the adoption of environmentally and socially preferable habits, routines, and choices.

9. ​Send regular sustainability tips and updates to employees​

  • Provide employees with regular updates about new and ongoing initiatives and tips for how to be more sustainable both at work and home
  • Examples​:
  • Post sustainability protocols on bulletin boards, posting tips in staff spaces, including regular sustainability reminders in staff meetings or newsletters, or posting updates on the company intranet channel.
  • Benefit:
  • ​Regular updates helps to keep sustainability at the forefront of employees’ minds and ties employees’ effort to actual results.

10. Incorporate ​sustainability into job descriptions or performance reviews

  • Display a commitment to sustainable action in job descriptions or add a sustainability-related metric into an employee’s performance review..
  • Example:
  • ​Is there boilerplate language about your company that is always included in job postings? Can a sentence about being a company committed to sustainability be added?
  • Benefits:
  • Incorporating sustainable actions into performance reviews tie the company’s sustainability goals to personal actions, allow employees to take ownership of sustainability goals, and create a culture of sustainability.
  • Putting a sustainability commitment into a job post also helps to attract new employees that are interested in sustainability and want to work for a environmentally conscious company. This differentiation will set you apart and create a competitive advantage.

11. Provide environmental-related volunteer opportunities for employees

  • Set up environmental-related volunteer opportunities for employees to attend or provide volunteer time-off for employees
  • Benefit:
  • Investing in opportunities for employees to volunteer can enhance company culture, increase employee happiness and productivity, improve brand perception, and contribute to professional development.

12. Be an active member of Green Umbrella​

  • Benefit:​
  • ​Being a member of Green Umbrella is a great way to support regional sustainability and network with other sustainable organizations.

13. Have a sustainability certification or are a part of the 2030 District

  • Does your organization already have a sustainability-related certification or commitments? Some examples include: LEED Certification, Certified B Corporation, and Cincinnati’s 2030 District
  • Benefit:​
  • ​Having a green certification or joining in the 2030 District allows business to have a greater approach to the other green business inside the community, therefore, increase the brand awareness.

14. Identify at least three new metrics that you aim to achieve over the next three years

  • The chosen metrics can be from the checklist or separate goals.​
  • Benefit:​
  • Ensures that your company continues to further the sustainability program.