Making the case for environmental improvements

Motivating staff to make environmental improvements


The amount that you need to involve and motivate staff will vary depending on what form of environmental improvement you are making. For example, the amount of effort required will be significantly more for a waste-minimisation programme that affects everyone in the business, compared to buying energy-efficient equipment that affects very few people.

Where do you start with environmental improvements?

You should hold an initial meeting with all affected staff. This will enable you to introduce your plans, get initial feedback and ideas, and allow staff to raise any concerns or worries they may have. You may want to follow this up with meetings or informal discussions.

Environmental improvement staff champions

If your initiative affects a significant number of people in the business, you may want to appoint 'staff champions'. They can help you implement the changes and encourage the active participation of other members of staff. See the page in this guide on environmental teams and champions.

How will you move forward?

Once your initial plans are in place and the champions or co-ordinators are chosen, organise regular meetings or written communication to help keep everyone informed. Publicise a clear structure - where key responsibilities lie, the timescale, the aims and objectives, and how everyone can input ideas and feedback efficiently. See the page in this guide on how to maintain communication about environmental improvements.

Encourage initiative for environmental improvement

If you have an ongoing programme of improvements, such as plans to improve workplace travel, make sure you encourage staff to contribute their ideas. Find out what staff want and need to help them in their efforts to make small environmental changes - for example, safe parking for bikes, or flexible hours to make travelling to work on public transport feasible. Small changes can be key to the success of the overall plan.

Environmental improvement incentives and penalties

You could consider using incentives or penalties to motivate staff to adopt your environmental improvements. However, you should be very careful that such methods are used fairly and do not lead to claims of favouritism or excessive punishment.