Green Office Week: Lead the team, keep it clean

Submitted by: Tholakele Nene, Monday, March 25, 2013

Green Office Week is an annual national campaign organised by Dictum Publishers, an events organising and publishing company that concentrates on publications that aim at empowering the workforce by giving them the education and information they need at the workplace. The event is aimed at encouraging individuals and workplaces to adopt behaviours that contribute to reducing their carbon footprint. It also creates awareness and a learning platform for businesses by challenging them to consider ways in which they can be more sustainable.

Green Office Week is both a campaign and a cause. As a campaign it aims to sensitise as many people as possible about the need to become more eco-friendly and sustain their changed behaviours; as a cause it plays a national role in alerting all people at work to the need of playing an active role in reducing their impact on the planet.

This year Green Office Week will take place between 22- 26 April with the theme “lead the team, keep it green”.  According to Dictum Publisher’s Ana- Maria Valente this motto was motivated by the urgent need to get all working citizens to be active in motivating not only themselves but those around them as well to adopt better values.

To assist workers and offices in adopting eco-friendly and sustainable methods to reducing their carbon footprint and maintain their changed behaviours Dictum Publishers has come up with an easy-to-use and practical toolkit.

The toolkit gives the necessary guideline for what workers can do for each day of the week during Green Office Week; there are tips and strategies from Monday through Friday. The focus on Monday is on what executives or supervisors can do to lead their team in saving water, while Tuesday will deal with leading the team in reducing carbon emissions, Wednesday will address leading the team in saving energy. Thursday will lead the team in reducing waste and Friday will lead the team in greening their events.

“We know that time is limited for most working people so the obvious thing to do is to make green office behaviour as easy as possible by providing actionable ideas covering the key areas where everyone can go green”, says Valente.

“Green Office is both about a bottom up as well as a top down approach: leaders should take initiative but if this is not the case, employees themselves can take the initiative to create excitement about a more environmentally friendly work space”, she added.

This is the fourth Green Office Week event that has been organised and Valente notes that the change in the working community regarding green initiatives since the campaign’s inception.

 “Clearly South Africa’s working community is huge, and we still have a way to go to reach many more”, she added.

When asked why she thinks it is important for workers and businesses to take part in Green Office Week, Valente mentioned three key issues that the event addresses:

  • Organisations worldwide need to become more aware of the sustainability issues
  • Organisation worldwide need to be aware of the green economy and green credentials which more informed customers are demanding
  • Organisations worldwide have seen austerity measures implemented by governments create a zero –waste mentality and frugal spending.

“Green Office Week reminds us that sustainability issues are top of the agenda and whether your organisation is large or small green behaviours have to form a part of everyone’s work habits”, said Valente.

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Tholakele Nene