Communicating Sustainability Effectively Within the Workplace

earthpeoplelogo.gif As leaders in the corporate sustainability movement, it is important to be able to share our ideas with others who may not exactly “get it” yet. Anna Clark, president of EarthPeople (a sustainability consulting firm in Dallas, TX), shared her strategies for getting others in your workplace on board on Implementing these suggestions the next time you discuss why eco-efficient lighting works best at your next board meeting can help guide your company further along on the sustainability path.

Clark believes that information should be tailored to different personality types. She says, “Human beings are subjective creatures; to sell them on sustainability, you must meet them where they are.” This means understanding each individual’s perspective and level of receptiveness to green concepts. She believes that there are aspects of sustainability that everyone can relate to – it’s just a matter of building upon what each person already knows and believes in.
We can also be inspiring in our approach and “emphasize practice, not theory.” By crafting emails and newsletters that are written in an engaging, informative, and practical manner, you can educate co-workers on the benefits of greening your organization.
Team-Building” is also key. Creating a “green consensus” amongst employees ensures that your ideas actually get the support they need to become a reality.
Lastly, Clark encourages sustainability leaders to “demonstrate bottom-line values.” As we know, no green company is viable if it can’t make green. Cost-benefit analyses of eco-tech implementation and the market potential of reaching the “green consumer” are useful ways to show company leaders that there is a business case to be made for sustainability.
What are some strategies that you’ve used to communicate sustainability with others? Feel free to share…

Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a clean tech educator and cutting-edge consultant for the auto industry. You can follow her test drives in the cars of the future at

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