Each year on April 22nd the world takes pause to celebrate Earth Day — people plant trees, host environmental fairs, and make crafts out of recycled materials. While worthwhile and fun events, Earth Day activities don’t always fit in the budget and schedule driven workplace environment. At the same time, environmental stewardship is important to many businesses and not acknowledging the day could send the wrong message to employees and stakeholders. Finding the right balance and celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to be complicated.
First, don’t limit yourself by thinking you have to “go big,” simple acts to recognize the day can be effective. Remind people that is it Earth Day by including it in your company newsletter or posting a reminder on your intranet site. If your company issues a press release to highlight your environmental stewardship, sharing that with employees provides an easy option. Include the Earth Day Network website and encourage employees to participate in community events listed there. There is no requirement that Earth Day take time out of your daily operations or cost a pile of money.
Second, take advantage of the resources already in place. If your company has an environmental “team,” engage their help to come up with an Earth Day plan. Advertise environmental programs that you already have in place. For example, promote your existing recycling efforts or use the opportunity to grow your carpooling program. You can also pair Earth Day with your safety program — focus audits in the month of April on environmental compliance or give double rewards to your safety team for bringing up environmental topics.
Last, use the opportunity to kick-off something new. Time it so that your new environmental initiatives (recycling programs, recordkeeping system, new training courses) start on or near Earth Day. Use the annual event to highlight the new environmental protection measures that you are rolling out.
No matter what your approach, stay focused on the big picture of doing something. The slogan “Earth Day, Every Day” can guide our approach, keeping the focus on activities we do year-round and simply sharing them in a different light. Earth Day is a reminder how important the environment is to everyone, including the companies we work for.
The J. J. Keller SAFETY MANGEMENT SUITE provides a library of training assets to assist in communicating with employees. The Training Asset Library provides a variety of training resources that can promote all your EHS programs, including training outlines, 5-minute talks, exercises, and much more. Inserting new elements in your safety and environmental training keeps employees engaged, SAFETY MANGEMENT SUITE makes it easier.