Sustainability in your organization’s DNA, in a fun way

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As a blogger on this page, I’m obviously passionate about sustainability, and I think it should be entangled in each organization’s DNA. No matter what kind of organization you work for, each work field has an opportunity for sustainability. For example, a strategy consultant can measure each scenario against sustainability,  an IT specialist can take […]

As a blogger on this page, I’m obviously passionate about sustainability, and I think it should be entangled in each organization’s DNA. No matter what kind of organization you work for, each work field has an opportunity for sustainability. For example, a strategy consultant can measure each scenario against sustainability,  an IT specialist can take measures to make data centers as efficient as possible, an architect can use sustainable materials only etc.

Next to weighing factors such as cost, time, human resources and quality, I think sustainability should be an natural included factor in a decision. This requires that each person working in your organization should be aware of sustainability and corporate responsibility. This raises the question: how do you get people actively aware of the role that sustainability plays in their work field? And moreover, to enable decisions in your organization from a sustainability point of view the question becomes: how do you get sustainability in your organizational DNA? One approach would be to push it top-down through job evaluation reports, have a mandatory field in business cases etc. Although this might be effective, these measures aren’t the most fun and I’m not too big of a fan of non-fun measures. So, how do you get sustainability in your organization’s DNA in a fun way?
I answered this question for the organization I work for, Capgemini The Netherlands. And my answer is: a yearly Environmental Sustainability Award! This is a fun, low level, organization wide way to get your people involved and excited about  sustainability.

How? In Capgemini we deliver value to our clients through projects. So, each project that had a positive impact on the sustainability of our clients and their customers can be nominated throughout the year. At the end of each year, the nominations are judged by our jury, and the final nominations are published and the project that gets the most votes from all employees wins the Environmental Sustainability Award. This award consists of a trophy for the winning team, recognition from the company,  and an amount of money to be donated to a charity picked by the winning team. This proves to be a fun way to spread the word about sustainability throughout the company, shifting people’s thinking to include sustainability in their work fields and step by step getting sustainability in the organizational DNA. How does your organization promote sustainable thinking by its employees?

“From tiny acorns, mighty oaks do grow”

Annemiek Lauwerijssen

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