The room a buzz with networking, Sustainable Waterloo Region kicked off our 2014-2015 Regional Carbon Initiative event season on a high note last Thursday with a focus on network connections and organizational green teams. While it is the same Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI) we have grown to know and love, members can expect some notable changes and fresh ideas included across the RCI this fall.

Thursday’s speed networking event focused on getting members back into the swing of things as they shared their organization’s visions for the upcoming year. Participants noted that there is a lot to learn from the projects that other organizations have championed. Green Team members were not only building on ideas and actions for the coming season, but making valuable connections and identifying areas where one organization can reach out to another for support. The great thing about a network of organizations working toward a common goal is that there is no shortage of helpful advice and potential partnerships to be made.

Speaking at the event, Jackie Roy from Crawford & Company outlined key considerations to successfully building and functioning as an organization’s green team, noting a mix of considerations from initial set up through to implementation and evaluation.  She spoke from experience, as Crawford took home the 2013 Green Team of the Year award at this April’s Evening of Recognition.

Highlights from Roy’s presentation included recommendations to:

  • Include senior level management on a green team to help push project considerations into action
  • Gather green team members from a diversity of departments
  • Create achievable goals, track progress and report
  • Begin with a few easy wins to show forward progress
  • Keep it fun!

This event season will address a variety of topics and include speakers from outside the network that are doing amazing work in their own right. However, it is peer driven learning events like speed networking that are a staple for SWR. Peer learning is a fantastic way to highlight and support the great achievements happening in our own backyard. Organizations are motivated by others’ individual successes, and are given a platform to share and gain credible feedback. Together RCI members are demonstrating that sustainability is a priority, and one that makes good business sense. 

– Steve Yessie, Event Content Coordinator

Visit the Sustainable Waterloo Region events page for more information on upcoming networking opportunities.