Getting Started with Sustainability Training

Right now, companies have the opportunity to change the world and help the environment. How? By training their employees on sustainability and empowering them to make informed decisions that can protect the planet. 

In this post, we’ll explore a few ways to encourage sustainable habits in your organization, as well as how you can benefit from becoming a sustainable business.  

Let’s get started! 

What is Sustainability? 

At its most basic definition, “sustainability” refers to maintaining a certain process, rate, or level over a long period of time. But when applied to the environment, it’s a societal goal to reduce the rate at which we’re depleting the earth’s resources—or avoid resource depletion altogether. Depletion occurs when resources are used at a faster rate than it takes them to replenish or renew. 

Sustainability is a shared effort to counteract the increasing rate at which we’re draining natural resources, so that our planet can continue to sustain human life. Because when natural resources vanish, it triggers a domino effect that significantly impacts the environment for the worse. 

But when sustainability initiatives succeed, we can find ways to co-exist with our planet, increasing our chances for a better future. 

Sustainability Training—Why Does It Matter? 

As we mentioned, sustainability is a group effort—it takes all of us to make it work! That’s why it’s vital for companies to bring sustainability to their teams and find ways to create their own initiatives. 

Plus, it can have a few benefits for the business itself: 

  • Stronger brand value: 81% of consumers want companies to be sustainable
  • Energy cost reduction: McKinsey found that sustainable companies can lower energy and water use by 60% 
  • Attracting new talent: One third of Gen Z workers have rejected at least one job offer because the company didn’t value sustainability

And it can even drive revenue. A study from Nielsen shows that 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a brand or product that’s sustainable.  

But for companies to truly succeed in sustainability, they need to incorporate it into everyday work life for their leaders and staff. Here are a few reasons that sustainability trainings and other events can take your company’s initiatives to new heights: 

In the Office:  

From disposable coffee cups and food wrappers to post-it notes and other potentially non-recyclable products, offices can generate a massive amount of single-use waste. And with the world using 500 billion plastic cups every year, single-use containers have become an environmental crisis.   

By training your teams on sustainable habits and choices (like opting for a reusable coffee mug or water bottle) you can majorly cut back on the amount of waste your company is responsible for and directly benefit the environment.  

At Home:  

When people have a better understanding of sustainability and are encouraged to practice it at work, they may be more likely to incorporate those habits into their routines outside of the office.  

By training your teams on sustainability best practices, you can expand your company’s impact beyond work hours. 

In the Community:  

Don’t underestimate the power of a ripple effect! One of your employees may take the knowledge they’ve learned and share it with friends and family, potentially inspiring them to take up their own sustainable habits. 

Tips for Training Your Teams on Sustainability

From virtual resources to group events, here are a few ways to spread the word about sustainability within your organization! 

Virtual Study Halls  

Hosting a virtual study hall is a great way to provide essential information about sustainability. You can explain upcoming initiatives in detail, along with the “why” and the “how” behind them.  

This is one of the most straightforward tools for training your teams on sustainability. Bonus points if you bring in an expert guest speaker! 

Recycling Guides 

At first, remembering what you can or can’t recycle can be a little tedious or confusing. But this is a huge part of becoming a sustainable business—especially because when the wrong items are recycled, it can contaminate other recyclables, causing them to be thrown out instead.  

Make it easy for your teams to recycle by posting a quick list of dos and don’ts, so they can recycle the right items with confidence! 

Team Challenges

Don’t be afraid to make sustainability fun! Creating a few challenges for prizes like a reusable water cup, ceramic coffee mug, or extra PTO is a great way to get people engaged.  

Not only can challenges motivate your teams to incorporate sustainable habits, but they can also be a great educational resource. 

Talk to Your Leadership

To make any initiative successful, you need leadership buy in. Your leaders serve as a role model for their teams, and when they embrace sustainability, it can encourage other employees to do the same. 

Set up trainings specifically for your leadership and try to schedule them prior to rolling out any new initiatives. This way, when they can facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices as you roll them out. 

Plan a Park Clean-Up Day 

It can feel intimidating or awkward to pick up trash alone, especially if someone has never done it before.  

By planning a group event, people can learn the ins and outs of cleaning up the environment while feeling more at ease as part of a team. 

The Onboarding Process  

Take it from the top! Use the onboarding process to educate new hires so they know that sustainability is an important part of your company.  

This is a great way to set the tone for incoming employees and mobilize a new class of hires to bolster existing sustainability initiatives and get others on board with new ones. 

Sustainable Business for a Better Tomorrow 

Today, sustainability is a critical issue and it’s vital that companies take action. By empowering their teams to embrace sustainability, businesses are one step closer to owning their environmental impact and contributing to a healthier planet.  

To find out how Insight Global is taking that same step, check out our ESG Impact Report.