Many companies around the world have already recognised the importance of engaging the team in corporate responsibility. Unfortunately, some organizations push too hard on delivering their sustainability agendas, which creates the opposite effect. Below is an overview of corporate sustainable activities that are engaging, motivating, and fun to participate in.
Corporate activities have a mixed reputation, with some viewing them as an uncomfortable nuisance while others enjoying the opportunity to bridge the gap between co-workers. What’s undeniable, though, is their benefits for the organization’s performance and culture. The sustainability group activities have the following positive effects:
Improve communication between employees
Strengthen problem-solving skills
Foster the culture of sustainability
The latter is particularly important once you consider the long-term perspective. Sustainable workplaces tend to be more efficient and increase employee satisfaction. Not only that, they attract talent, which means they are good both for businesses and individuals. With that in mind, let’s look at ten fun sustainability activities you might want to consider.
Now, when companies are compelled to refuse from crowded corporate events, it’s important to leverage means of online socialization of the staff. Enrolling the whole team into sustainability online courses on SustainOnline platform will allow each member access comprehensible short information on sustainability, test their knowledge, and track the progress of their colleagues. This acts as the element of gamification inviting the team to compete and discuss their results.
Deforestation is already taking a major toll on the planet, with severe wildfires being only one of its outcomes. Of course, the effect of planting a couple of dozen trees will be negligible from the environmental perspective. However, the feeling of creating something lasting will help the participants appreciate nature, especially if the event is organized in the vicinity of the workplace.
While indispensable for the company’s reputation, conferences and meet-ups are among the worst offenders of sustainability when it comes to things like waste generation and energy consumption. Fortunately, this can be changed by following several simple steps:
While the Dodd-Frank itself could not urge the businesses to drop their distribution chains with illegal suppliers, the public opinion continues to pressure the companies to eliminate such unlawful practices. For instance, conflict materials are a big part of Apple’s production process and in 2012-2014, the company had to admit a problem with the human rights within its supply chain. As a result, Apple pulled out a deal with its key supplier Foxconn due to its questionable labor conditions and overall reviewed its suppliers’ chain top to bottom. Overall, about 75% of the world’s smelters and refiners for the conflict minerals have passed the audits and started maintaining legal practices, released from the burden to pay off the armed groups.
Opting for paperless promotional materials
Prioritizing reusable items
Relying on natural resources (e.g., natural light)
Partnering with local venues to minimize transportation
Choosing walkable neighborhoods to eliminate commute
Not only will such an approach feel more rewarding, it will also improve your company’s public image in the long run.
Unlike tree planting and similar one-time sustainability group activities, tending to an herb garden requires continuous effort. In addition to being less resource-intensive, this activity is also more rewarding, since plants in such gardens quite literally bear fruit that can be shared with the team. This idea is also more suitable for locations where tree planting is not an option due to climate, as herb gardens can be grown indoors.
Sustainability component of board games may not be immediately apparent. However, aside from being a great way to relax during a busy working day, some of the games, like Terraforming Mars or Catan’s Oil Springs, do an excellent job of delivering an environmental message in a compelling way.
Organizations and entire industries are already struggling to reduce waste, so trying to pull it off on a company scale is at the very least an interesting experiment. Depending on the type of your business operations, this may take several forms, from tracking the carbon footprint of travel to reducing the number of printed pages and giving a second life to items such as office equipment that went out of use. Not only will such activities promote sustainability values, they may actually help reduce the costs of running a business.
This one is a hard sell – after all, dealing with litter is not exactly fun. The main reason it keeps popping up among sustainability earth day activity ideas is its rewarding aspect – no matter how tedious the process may be, nothing compares to seeing the results of your labor. Besides, it is helpful in fostering the sustainability mindset, both within the organization and on a personal level.
Not all sustainability group activities need to be based on hard work, so be sure to intersperse them with a healthy dose of relaxation. Something as simple as a hike in the woods will help your employees to better appreciate the world you have set out to preserve. On top of that, exposure to nature is beneficial to mental health, so don’t miss a free healing boost.
Find a way to make your sustainability activities appealing to employees’ children. Not only will it keep the presented information simple and engaging, it will also foster a stronger commitment by reaching out to a wider audience and tapping into family values.
Sustainable design is already a mainstay in the construction sector, yet without compelling examples, it might be difficult to understand or appreciate. In this light, small-scale projects like setting up rainwater collection are fun sustainability activities that present complex concepts in a palatable format.
Sustainability can benefit business operations in many ways, from efficiency boosts to healthier communication and teamwork. In the long term, they also foster a sustainable mindset, which can actually extend beyond the corporate domain and have broad social ramifications. In this light, sustainable activities are an excellent way to promote important ideas in an enjoyable format and improve workplace culture.
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