Get Occupants Involved in Green

  October 10, 2013

Today's tip of the day is about how to get occupants involved in your green building plans.

In a recent blog post, sustainable superstar Jerry Yudelson outlined "Seven Practices of Highly Effective Green Building Consultants." What's interesting about the list is how applicable many of the items on the list are to facility managers working on green projects, as well.

That's especially true for Nos. 3 and 4 on the list — "get buy-in from the team," and "figure out how everyone can win." In fact, those seem more cause and effect than two separate items: Figuring out how everyone can win is the key to getting buy-in from the team!

Say you're working on a LEED-EBOM initiative, showing how everyone in the organization benefits is absolutely how you get everyone — from occupants to upper managers — on your side. Show occupants how efficiency can save their jobs (an X percentage reduction in energy is equal to the salaries of X number of jobs), and you can be assured they’re more than happy to contribute ideas and excitement to your green initiatives. Show your own staff how learning the ins-and-outs of EBOM and why operations are a key to energy efficiency, and you've taught them valuable career skills. Show upper managers how efficiency saves money, and you've raised your credibility and shown that facilities is not a cost-center, but a value-adder.

Sustainability truly is an organization-wide effort — it presents the opportunity for facility managers to build bridges and work with other departments. This is clearly another way figuring out how everyone can win plays a key role in getting buy-in from the organization. Furthermore, making sustainability a competition between departments, or buildings, or other sectors of the organization is a great way to get buy-in. And, it eliminates the "not my job" syndrome which seems to occur more and more frequently as workers are constantly being asked to do more with less time.


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