We are always inspired when members take it upon themselves to improve their sustainability actions. For the month of July, the Green Team at Waterloo North Hydro implemented a month long Eco-Challenge, where employees are encouraged to be more environmentally focused with their day to day activities. Using their challenge as a ‘case study’, here are some tips we have outlined to get a similar momentum going at your organisation:

Tip #1: Get Competitive The first thing to note is that Waterloo North Hydro set this initiative up in the form of a challenge. This encourages people to give it their best shot, especially when the cause is a positive one.

Tip #2: Include Everyone This challenge first started in 2014 as a commuter challenge, but was expanded this year to include other activities. This allows for more employees to participate in acts of environmental stewardship, allowing them to gravitate towards what is within their ability to complete.

Tip #3: Prizes for the Win What better way to encourage participation than with prizes? For every action item completed by Waterloo North Hydro employees, a ballot was earned to enter a draw for prizes. These draws were then conducted at the end of every week. You can set up a similar reward type system that will get employees excited at the prospect of ‘winning’ at the challenges.

Tip #4: Positive Affirmation Along with the challenge rules, the Green Team also got the ball rolling by providing tips for participation and makes involvement that much easier.

It’s hard to do everything, but everyone can do something – employees were encouraged to participate by being reminded that every little effort counts. Actions, no matter how small, shouldn’t be discounted! A good way of letting employees knowing this is through the recognition and encouragement of their sustainable actions.

Conclusion: Practice Sustainability, Be Encouraging, Repeat Cycle Waterloo North Hydro’s employees enjoy conducting their sustainable actions. These included partaking in sustainable commuting, bringing a litter-less lunch  and using the green bins at home (with involving the young ones being a plus!).

The Eco-Challenge is still ongoing; so far 425 km have been biked and 578 km have been carpooled by employees.

We hope this inspires you to start up your own internal challenge. If you’re even more competitive and want to compete with other organisations, the Regional Sustainability Initiative hosts a Carbon Cleanse every year. It is a similar one month series of challenges to help you lower your environmental impact.

If you’d like to find out more about Waterloo North Hydro’s Eco-Challenge or the Regional Sustainability Initiative’s Carbon Cleanse, send an email to Tarana and let’s chat about getting employees engaged.