Quick Guide to start & develop a green team

STEP 1 - Setting up your Green Team

Before thinking thoroughly about your action, make sure you have first answered those questions.

... does it matter
1. Define your Green Team vision and missions and align them with your business direction and vision.

2. Define your mission statement, what you want to focus on and why it matters.
... would you like to achieve
1. Define a roadmap with your goals, priorities and actions. Assess where the company stand and accordingly, set a mid-long term vision with strong commitments and then break it down by achievable staggered goals. If the leadership team engages in these, your will get more traction. Your goals are aligned with your overarching mission? See some ideas to get you started on Step 3.

2. Define clear and understandable KPIs. Provide regular reporting. Communicate progresses and results. Reporting is essential and will help to monitor the progress of the action plan defined.
... to define the support you need
1. Find the Executive sponsor of your team. You need this for visibility & increased engagement across the board.

2. How will you communicate? While defining your roadmap, it’s important to think how you will update all collaborators & which channel to use (see more details on Step 2).

3. Budget. How much do you need, for which projects? If there is no budget, how do you manage?
...will be the actors of your Green Team
1. Start with a small motivated taskforce, willing to spend extra time on those topics. There is no magical number but a team of 7 to 12 motivated people works well.

2. Define participants roles (it can evolve): topic leader, executive sponsor, contributors, consultants, project managers, influencers, etc. based on strengths, interests and bandwidth.

3. Various profiles as well as engaged participants from different parts of the organization increase your chances of success and your visibility: Technologists, Creatives, Finance, HR, Comm, Office Manager, Sales... 
...does everyone participate
1. Agree on time commitment and cadence. Spread the load amongst participants in a fair way. Recognize the effort.

2. Try to have 1 person officially dedicating some of their time to the Green team. It helps to move projects forward. For others, you will need a commitment of 1-2 hours per week in average, depending on your scope.

Step 2 - Celebrate success & Communicate

Be visible & consistent in your communication / visibility.

1- How will you communicate - Think all levels of communication

  • Use executive team to provide them with roadmap updates
  • Create internal comm channels (Teams, Slack, Workplace, etc…) for regular comms, and/or newsletters, for regular and identifiable updates
  • Organize internal events to increase awareness and engage your employees. Browse the Sustainability Week Kit for ideas.

2- Define a few “signature events” that your company / staff can relate to & widely participate

  • Earth day (22 April)
  • Ocean Day (8 June)
  • Anything linked to your industry…

3- Define a few categories of actions for wider engagement (more details in Step 3)

4- Consistency is key

  • Make your messages look the same so they are easily recognizable (banner, logo, name and tagline)
  • Agree on a cadence of communication and follow it
  • Celebrate successes, follow-up events & progresses made

Step 3 - Few tips to get started


  • Use gamification and team competition like a Waste management challenge across all departments 
  • Reward the best daily sustainability tips and pin them in the office for greater visibility
  • Launch Trivia game with individual winner or team winner


  • Use your internal communication tools to start regular updates on initiatives or strategic topics
  • Use a calendar approach to cover different topics every month 
  • Hold quarterly meetings to share wins and next steps 
  • Celebrate key events like Earth Day, etc. 


  • Launch an ideation contest to come up with some ideas to greenify your business. Reward the winning projects with funds so that they can start easily
  • Start a serie of webinars with external speakers that can open everyone minds and inspire
  • As images talk more than a speech, project engaging movies to raise awareness
  • Foster cross department projects


  • Use your office as a lab for best practices and create a “green zone” for example with some dedicated recycling bins, or by removing single use plastic
  • Offer some ceramic mugs and nice branded tumbler for employees for them to lose their plastic habits
  • Calculate your office energy consumption and set some reduction rules

Additional Resources

- Green Harvard - 10 tips for successful green team

Members of Harvard Green Team Leaders Network provide their top 10 tips, advice, and tricks on running successful Green Teams. 

- B Corp - impact asssessment

B Corp has some very good resources and help to structure your action plan. It’s very helpful to also prioritize your actions according to your industry. It’s a free assessment and does not imply a certification afterwards. There are 5 pillars assessed: governance, workers, community, environment, customers.

- The Matcha Initiative - Sustainability Week Kit

several useful tools to train yourselves & your colleagues / teams on sustainability topics. For each topic there are videos & articles to better grasp the problem, workshops & activities to engage your colleagues, quick-win Actions to implement in your company.

Image copyright: Canva

Written by
Claire Kolly
Director, HR Consulting & Executive Coaching, EDLT.global
Mary Kon-Sun-Tack
Asia Customer Experience Director, Sustainability Ambassador, Lyreco