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Beyond Earth Month: Ways to Engage Employees on Sustainability Year-Round
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Beyond Earth Month: Ways to Engage Employees on Sustainability Year-Round

A green team, like Earthforce, provides an avenue for employees to connect on similar passions while affecting positive change on sustainability and environmental issues.

Throughout the month of April, Salesforce celebrated our most successful Earth Month yet. From beach cleanups to trivia meetups, our Earthforce green team (an employee interest group) volunteered 6,800+ hours with over 100 events around the globe.

But our dedication to the environment doesn’t stop at the end of Earth Month. Our Earthforce members work around the clock to raise awareness for issues such as energy conservation and efficiency, recycling and composting, responsible purchasing, low-carbon commuting, and much more. Members also identify and support the implementation of solutions that help Salesforce operate in a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective way. In FY19, Earthforce volunteered over 20,000 hours to promote and celebrate environmental responsibility, both at Salesforce and in the communities where we live.

A green team, like Earthforce, provides an avenue for employees to connect on similar passions while affecting positive change. Whether you’ve got an established employee green team or are thinking of creating one, consider these ideas for energizing team members around environmental causes.

 

Salesforce volunteers at a garden

Lunch and learn

Invite a representative from a nonprofit or employees passionate about an environmental issue to give a short talk during lunchtime. It’s a fun way to share knowledge that fits into employees’ busy schedules. Everyone comes away with new ideas about how to integrate sustainability into everyday life.

Here are example themes from recent Earthforce lunch and learns:

  • Earth-friendly ways to dispose of items
  • Zero-waste cosmetics, household, or kitchen products
  • Try out “Meatless Monday,” when you don’t eat any meat for one day a week (You can make any day of the week meatless.)
  • Efforts to understand and reverse the loss of bee colonies
  • Your company’s executives talk about what the company is doing about sustainability
Patrick Flynn and Mark Hawkins sit down for an Earth Month fireside chat during April

Volunteer events

What better way to celebrate nature than to get outside? Beach cleanups, habitat restorations, or garden building is a popular way to give back to your community. Partner with a local nonprofit, park, garden, zoo, or conservatory to help coordinate.

Here are a few examples of volunteer events our Earthforce has participated in:

  • Forest restoration project to remove non-native, invasive plant species and plant native ones
  • Beach cleanup to pick up trash and litter (No beach? No problem. Rivers, parks, and sidewalks all could use help tidying up.)
  • Adopt a local park, community garden, or school and visit throughout the year to build, plant, and see your progress throughout the seasons (Urban community farms are a great option because they also often provide education about healthy eating.)
  • Field trip to the local waste management facility
  • Finally, get in on the whole #trashtag challenge
Earthforce volunteers at a beach clean-up personifying the #trashtag challenge

Documentary screenings

Movies can tell emotional stories that are a catalyst for life changes. That’s why Earthforce has found that documentaries are an entertaining way to start conversations about sustainability issues.

Below are documentaries that showcase environmental issues through personal and powerful stories.

An American Ascent: African-American climbers set out to reach the summit of Mount Denali on the anniversary of the first ascent. It’s an inspiring story about the importance of protecting all the beauty that the world has to offer.

The True Cost: Filmmaker Andrew Morgan travels around the globe to see the people who make clothes for the world. This movie encourages us to ask how clothes can impact the environment.

An Inconvenient Truth: Oscar-winning documentary about the environment featuring the unlikeliest of movie stars. Former vice president Al Gore is the centerpiece of this film, giving a conference-style presentation in front of an audience with few aids beyond slides. It’s the movie that inspired thousands to take climate change seriously with detailed facts and a hopeful message.

In-office events

Setting up shop in places around the office is a great way to reach colleagues who may not attend sustainability-focused events.

Here are some examples of successful in-office pop-ups we’ve done:

  • Waste sorting challenge in the lunchroom to educate users on what trash goes where (This is a great opportunity to bring in members of your green team to help out.)
  • Raffle when people bring a reusable cup, complete a waste-sorting quiz, win a trivia contest, or earn a Sustainability Trailhead badge (Consider raffling off reusable straws or utensils, vegan cookbooks, or compostable bags.)
  • Work with your building or local collection company to collect and properly dispose of e-waste
Earthforce volunteers set up an onsite information table and answer questions about waste sorting

Want to learn more about Salesforce’s sustainability initiatives? Read an interview from Salesforce’s Sustainability Director Sunya Norman or learn more about our environmental initiatives at salesforce.com/sustainability.

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