EarthShare Washington Programs
Sustainability Talks to Businesses
A 2010 “Employee Engagement Survey Report” by Brighter Planet shows that while companies are adopting sustainability practices, their employees tend not to know about them. Today, a workplace often calls on us to tell not only the EarthShare story, but also tell employees what the company is doing to reduce its carbon footprint. Both companies and employees appreciate that.
Inspiring Folks to Give Back ... to Their Communities, to their Planet
Last September the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce released findings from a survey of 1,700 businesses in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap Counties. When asked for "the primary benefits of doing business in the four-county region, " the top response from businesses was "Environmental surroundings & quality of life." These findings reveal a broad, sincere respect for our environment, and not just in the corporate world. People in the Northwest – and the Puget Sound region in particular – consistently list our environment and quality of life as key reasons for living here. Today, with the recent surge in corporate sustainability planning, we’re recognized as a business and community resource – for volunteer programs, education and outreach, and helping people find programs and activities that appeal to their passions.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Sustainability Managers Anonymous
In partnership with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, ESW convenes corporate sustainability managers periodically in an informal, informative forum we call Sustainability Managers Anonymous (SMA). Three principles distinguish SMA from most sustainability conferences and workshops:
- We aim SMA at those who manage corporate sustainability on a part-time basis. Most companies cannot afford (or choose not to hire) a FTE sustainability professional, so the person managing “sustainability” does so in addition to other duties. This creates challenges and opportunities specific to the position. Though some full-timers participate, even from larger corporations (Expeditors, Nintendo, Virginia Mason Medical Center), SMA provides the professional networking and training that most participants crave.
- Every participant contributes to the whole. Because they represent a cross section of industry classifications (health care, investments, accounting, law, marketing, architectural design, construction, transportation, and technology, to name a few), sustainability managers learn from another’s experience and insights.
- Each session features one or two experts who act as sounding boards. In post-meeting evaluations, participants report that these experts have proven their worth.
At the urging of participants, ESW created a LinkedIn page for networking and information sharing. Participants have encouraged us to expand SMA by identifying specific topics or industries, providing resource lists, establishing a mentoring program, posting best practices, and other suggestions to improve their jobs and their make their companies more sustainable.
EarthShare Washington seeks support for our speakers bureau and outreach tools through the remainder of 2013.