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For Green innovation we need Green Education by @ MarIntroini

That´s the challenge and the greatest revolution: being educated around a Green culture able to develop strong skills and become sustainable individual and collectively.

Once again Education become the powerful pillar for building new structures. A no reliable political system and global institutions that progressively are loosing capacity of influence transform Education in the only source for new initiatives.

Work towards a sustainable world that face climate change with determination is not a matter of “recycling” or “reducing energy consumption” but of educating generations around the concept of being green. That supposes more than specific actions but entire systems around a green culture. Is not happening.

Green Education is not about educating people around green issues but to boost green professionals. Architects, engineers, activists are all professions directly linked with the environment, however a resilient world could only be built by a deeper action. Lawyers, politicians, teachers are also paramount for creating frameworks and spaces of green action and reflection; because a green education is also about “construction “ of creative minds that from any field of work could achieve a goal of innovation and adaptation.

Simply… make a real revolution in our Education systems.

A world hit by crisis and a population no prepared to change the system don´t lead to redirected the society into a “resilient focus”. It is here that Education plays that fundamental role to create enough defenses against uncertainties. A pillar through which the rest of the reforms could be addressed from a stronger position.

The question is: are we educating to boost professionals able to innovate? or are we delivering traditional education systems with additional updates on technology? There is a big difference and current systems do not seems to see it, leaving innovation only for creative people that develop a particular skill over a particular green project. Innovation is normally seen as a consequence of Education, but it should be the educational system that prepares professionals to work and live in a world of uncertainty that is demanding a permanent state of Innovation.

Education and Innovation feed each other, we need to educate on how innovate and we need also to Innovate on how we educate. Creating professionals able to adapt to any kind of work to face new challenges.
To be prepared for a new dimension we need to build globally although from an individual basis in which a Green Education delivers the platform to boost the workforce that goes beyond current parameters.
It is not just about innovating educational systems but to reshape current system accordingly to the new challenges. It is also a matter of transforming patterns of learning by maximizing creativity and preparing to innovate in all disciplines. The holistic approach that we are referring needs innovation at all levels and not just reserved for “skillful and creative minds”

In current process of awareness of the need to build a Green culture it becomes essential to prepare individuals to be innovators in all professions for facing uncertainties and build resilient societies. The more educated we are, the more prepared we´ll be to search for innovative solutions that face adaptation challenges with strength and determination.

 

Mar Introini

Blogger/Analyst Political-Economy thesustainabilityreader.com







How to Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization: Part 3 Scale by Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

The Challenge: Since the path to sustainability is rooted in local context, creating an overarching corporate program that is also relevant to numerous departments and locations may seem counter-intuitive. How do we create an overarching corporate sustainability program that is relevant to every employee and is implementable across an entire organization, especially those with diverse departments, services and geographic locations? How could we implement programming that would be relevant to office, laboratory, retail and field-based settings or perhaps in operations located in New York City, New Delhi and in a small rural town in northern Canada?

Another key consideration when we are thinking through the scope of corporate vs. local, is that the reverse also needs to be considered. How does the program engage employees to directly understand their impact locally on organizational performance? For example, would employees be able to read a sustainability report and relate their everyday actions to the outcomes that the organization reports on? Do employees feel that their daily actions make a difference toward organizational goals?

An Effective Approach: “Strategic Flexibility”: I encourage an approach that I like to call “Strategic Flexibility”. This approach is about finding an effective balance with aligned action between corporate level targets and locally organized events and activities.

What does this mean in action? Companies focus program efforts on their overarching sustainability targets, but provide local autonomy by working with all locations to plan how they will meet the company targets in a way that is relevant to their specific context.

Strategic flexibility is where the “top down” big picture planning, meets the “bottom up” operational insights and practicality. Each approach has advantages, but reliance on only one restricts the potential effectiveness and success of your strategic goals. It combines the strategic alignment of efforts with the business vision, while leveraging local experience, operational knowledge and momentum of existing initiatives. Creating efforts that are strategically flexible builds trust, commitment, enthusiasm, buy-in at every level, and company resilience by creating the space to be responsive to internal and external influences.

How it Works: Whether your program focuses on individuals or teams, create an overarching framework around your organization’s sustainability targets that is clear and relatable to your sustainability reporting. Using the focused framework you have created for guidance, allow local offices to develop their own plans to address each target. Local offices may or may not be implementing the same activities, but they will all be working towards overarching sustainability targets.

Some key elements for implementation:

Local Planning – Encourage the development of a local sustainability plan by involving the entire office/location. Sustainability/Green Teams often only look within their limited group for ideas, champions and resources. Developing a local sustainability plan by involving all employees will open up avenues for participation, discussion, ideas, solutions, collaboration and resources.

Encourage involvement in the process by providing various approaches that appeal to employees’ interests and time commitments. This is an amazing opportunity to build on the momentum of existing local activities, previous success and identify local champions. When it’s time to prioritize and decide on action plans, create space for productive discussion; for example host solution lunches, where you can bring into the fold anyone interested in a specific issue or initiative by discussing solutions to a particular challenge.

Local Support – This sort of “bottom coming up to meet top” approach will be a new concept to many people, so providing ongoing support for planning and implementation for local offices is important and necessary. Having a strong support network for them to move forward will be key. In addition to corporate assistance, creating a community support network of local champions/mentors is also effective.

Networking and Knowledge Sharing – Providing an avenue for discussion, sharing ideas, success stories and advice on lessons learned is an effective way to make offices feel supported and ultimately more successful. Learning from each other and feeling connected as a community working toward a common goal greatly increases enthusiasm and momentum.

Want to learn more?

Watch for the next installment of our 6-part “Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization: Part 4 – How to Systemize “ series. We will focus on how to systemize your program, no matter the size, function or structure of your organization or program.

Start a Sustainability Movement Series:

· Part 1: Steps to follow

· Part 2: Building buy-in at every level

· Part 3: How to scale

· Part 4: How to systemize

· Part 5: All in for sustainability

· Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Connect with Wendy om the links below.

Twitter: @EngageIntl https://twitter.com/EngageIntl

LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte https://uk.linkedin.com/in/wendyfirlotte

Wendy is a Corporate Sustainability Employee Engagement Strategist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and purpose into aligned and embedded employee action.







#Green issues are also a diplomacy issue: towards a #Green #Global #Diplomacy… by @MarIntroini

The digital sculpture “Mother morning” shows the hidden treasure of climate change action: the strength of diplomacy. A pillar that is within activists, environmental organizations and leaders however, is not being used in its full potential and there is not a consolidated green diplomacy. Traditional channels of diplomacy are not enough and even COP21 shows that its possible we urgently need to rebuild a diplomatic sense of global green joint action.



Green issues needs “power of influence” that takes shape with a solid structure around diplomacy. Commitment from civil society is important but could easily be transformed in a useless resource if is not focused in a strategy encompassing global leaders and institutions.

Under current crisis of leadership and institutions particularly at global level, is very difficult to build a sphere of influence. Global institutions are not reliable to assure the sustainability of green initiatives and work as a defense against financial private interests. Current trend from US of destroying a “green vision” are making universal attempts very challenging for building a green diplomacy. The threat to abandon COP21 is a tangible expression of its boycott.

Is it clear that a weak leadership leads to a diplomacy failure hence reducing the levels of influence below minimum standards. Making of the political stage the only way-out to achieve results. For getting to a green culture is paramount to build around several pillars do not just rely on politics. That’s one of the main factors to support the development of a “green diplomacy” as there is not a tangible link private-civil-society-financial world-politicians and citizens interests. There are common interests but not a good and strong diplomacy able to link all this pillars around a common goal. Is it so, that political decisions like climate change denier Donald Trump are more harmful that ever and it looks closer to a dictatorship decision rather to a democratic elected leader. Erasing past ideological Administration focus constitutes a different nature from denial what the majority of the citizens are demanding. Indeed, 7 of 10 Americans want to emphasize alternative energy (not oil, gas and coal). That means democracy. There is no room for debate when there are authoritarian political decisions that undermine citizenship majority will.

If the argumentation is that there are also financial interests around clean energies there is also better and worse interests around remain in the same stage of contamination that is killing the planet. Scientifically and by common sense climate change devastating impact is being proven along the last 50 years.

Becoming sustainable shouldn’t remain just a political decision above citizenship´s interests. Mass ignorance and short termism is not an excuse for not proceeding. Even with a different focus but without erasing all green strategies without giving an alternative model for current climate threats.

In a surprisingly political momentum of climate change denial, an intense work of influence becomes paramount to overcome this overwhelming tendency to destroy global initiatives and it is the development of a global green diplomacy that could rescue us from this chaotic and threatening momentum for climate change action.

The only way to become resilient is to gather together around a global green diplomacy more than a green agreement. In which, leaders, institutions and civil societies participate in a permanent basis of joint action and a structure –not necessary formal- in which commitment with green becomes influence. Green political parties are a good expression of this attempt, although it needs to move one step further and become real experts in diplomacy to become real influencers. Building a global diplomacy on green issues from the election of strong and trained leaders able to be resilient by themselves towards a system that tends to absorb them.

Global green diplomacy: a new challenging ground that needs to give birth to a new generation of leaders able to grow strongly and steady to reshape global institutions and growth towards a new recycled life.







Architecture as a tool for building resilient cities by @MarIntroini

Being resilient means face uncertainty with pillars that guarantee stability and capacity to response to the “new”. This is how new realities forces to reshape a world in which infrastructure and services become flexible and versatile. Migration crisis or climate change pushes us to rethink a world in which urban spaces are designed for new-revolutionary standards of living.

Half of humanity, around 3.5 billion of people lives in cities today. By 2030, almost 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas which represents a strong reason for building cities that welcome this overwhelming number of people and their demands in a threaten environment.




Even if there is a political global commitment to achieve Goal 11 of the SDG´s: “Make cities and human resettlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” is important to raise awareness and build new parameters at local level that mark the road for the next decade in a determinate and ambitious way. In the context of current “broken” world of weak commitment to global standards there is much more challenge and the search for stronger tools become paramount.

Architecture has become that tool, the relief that the world is awaiting. With innovation and creativity is showing its capacity to reinvent itself and construct the unimaginable. Rooftop gardens, urban farming, self-energy efficient houses, office-building with an integrated farm, are just examples of the impressive changes that architecture could make in societies. Is it not just a matter of changing design of construction styles but also a new way of living, above all producing a feeling. The emotional element that determinate the need for achieving results from a different perspective. In which multicultural spaces boost a mentality and a culture around tolerance and inclusiveness. The Pavilion in Vojvodina, northern Serbia* it’s a good model of this new trend that is helping to boost a new innovative concept that –in this case- assures freedom of religion. The acceptance of a “melting pot” of religions becomes also a matter of “architecture design”.

Globalization has brought more movement of people and also new demands for clean and healthy standards of living in which the cultural aspect cannot be missed. People move through public patterns of behavior and the sense of being part of a general consensus. Despite confrontation there is an important element of “being part of…” that allow them to be in one position or another. Is with this spirit that cities has contributed greatly to create multicultural societies. “Being part of….” is not a matter of local perspective but of the creation of open and inclusive spaces. The boost of globalization comes from the free movement of people –please do not confuse it with massive flow or refugees- that transform societies in a different and better place. Indeed, little towns that keep traditions intact are inclined to disappear as it doesn´t deliver the needed standards that fit in current world. Precisely migration has brought this element of merger of traditions and birth of a new layered of societies. That is the reason of being a value added for the growth of cities, therefore societies.

The complementary work of architecture and urban planning are key elements to achieve these new and ambitious standards. A green way of living means a smart urban planning and architecture enough flexible and versatile that gives room to a new philosophy of living.

Concrete, wood, timber, natural materials and a smart mind to be creative and innovative enough to build cities able to welcome all nature of people and “knit” new habits to protect the environment and adapt to current and future crises.

“Whatever you do, promise me that every project you make or design, you´ll take the risk of doing something for humanity”. Frank Ghery. Indeed, whatever is done should be focused on a creative and innovative architecture that helps to boost pillars around adaptation and an urban planning, ambitious enough to boost a resilient society.

Mar Introini

Blogger/Analyst Political-Economy thesustainabilityreader.com




​‘Leaving the #environment in a better state’- or just a state?: the impact of #Brexit by Anneliese Dodds MEP




We here at CrowdLeaf.org.uk are humbled to be sharing another guest piece, this time from a European level decision maker. As a South East MEP she offers an insider’s perspective on both the problems and solutions for the Environment. All views are that of Anneliese Dodds not CrowdLeaf as an entity.
It is no secret that the vast majority of environmentalists supported remaining in the European Union. Nonetheless, those of us who accept the result of the referendum have to somehow ensure that the UK Government now delivers on the aspirations of those who voted to Leave, without completely ignoring the concerns of those who wanted to stay. 




Last week we finally got an indication of the Government’s negotiating priorities, and it is fair to say that environmental issues received relatively little consideration, with only one paragraph out of 77 pages being devoted to them aside from brief passing references. This differs from the Welsh government’s explicit call for both working and environmental standards from the EU to be retained as part of any post-Brexit settlement.

Instead, the UK Government stated that while it would ‘use the Great Repeal Bill to bring the current framework of environmental regulation into UK and devolved law’, this would be followed by the development over time of a ‘comprehensive approach to improving our environment in a way that is fit for our specific needs’- suggesting an (albeit gradual) shift away from current EU standards. 

In this article I will try and sketch out some of the directions that this new approach could take, in the fields of water and air quality, waste management, climate change, green growth and protection of biodiversity.

Although the UK has arguably led the way in some areas of environmental policy, this is certainly not the case when it comes to water and air quality. Indeed, even when covered by EU legislation the UK government has been taken to task by the European Court of Justice for failing to meet standards in both areas. For example, Britain has, last month, been sent a final warning to comply with EU air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide or it will face a case at the European Court of Justice.  £100m to rectify problems with waste water management in Hampshire was provided by the European Investment Bank to Southern Water, and it is unclear whether the UK will be able to remain a member of the Bank in the future and whether this low-interest source of finance will therefore be available.  

In addition, the existence of EU law has been an important tool to affect the behaviour of the private sector. Hence, the need to meet EU objectives on water quality enabled Ofwat to pressure water companies to invest in projects like the London super sewer. It may prove more difficult to exercise this kind of pressure in the future. When it comes to air quality, while there are UN rules on emissions, specific and enforceable national emissions ceilings (which, incidentally, the UK government recently lobbied to water down), determined at EU level, will no longer apply to us. 

It is therefore difficult to identify areas where Brexit could enable a scaling-up of action to improve environmental quality. The fact that the UK would no longer be expected to follow the Polluter Pays principle could mean that polluters could, in theory, once more be compensated for measures they introduce to reduce pollution (just as farmers once were for producing nitrates), but such measures may not be politically or pragmatically feasible, nor desirable. 

On waste management, the picture is a complex one. Clearly EU landfill rules facilitated measures to promote recycling which would otherwise have been unlikely in the face of sometimes vociferous initial opposition. On the other hand, many rules concerning the recycling of specific products may still have to be complied with by British manufacturers if they wish to still access EU markets (whether or not we are in the single market), such as those contained within the revised Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, and also pertaining to vehicles and their emissions, and to chemicals. 

The UK government states in the White Paper its commitment to continue to exercise a leading role in combating climate change, but it is difficult to see how this will be achieved in current circumstances. Generally the UK has, over time, pushed a stricter approach to reducing carbon emissions in the EU than many countries would otherwise have supported, not least the Visegrad countries. As a result, the removal of the UK from the EU may reduce the determination of the largest trading bloc in the world to push measures against climate change- needed now more than ever given the hostile approach of the new US administration. At the same time, the UK’s unwillingness to countenance EU measures promoting specific national targets (such as on the percentage of energy produced by renewable sources) may unblock action in this area. Conversely, the removal of the EU’s second biggest contributor may negatively impact on the funding gap in energy infrastructure, leading to more polluting energy production being retained across the EU than would otherwise have been the case. Other issues are currently open for debate, such as whether or not the UK will continue to participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme. 

The impact on biodiversity can be split into that on land-based and marine wildlife and fauna, and related to the likely new British approaches to farming and fishing, respectively. 

It is clear that there are a range of international (as opposed to European) conventions to protect wildlife, from the CITES Convention to the Bern Convention and beyond, in addition to UK national measures such as the system of SSSIs and ASSIs. These would provide some continuing degree of protection to British wildlife. However, the EU Birds and Habitats Directives are stronger in many regards. First, they provide stricter protections for Natura 2000 sites against development than do nationally-designated areas; and second, they also facilitate LIFE funding for conservation measures. Again, the EU’s regulations on Wildlife Trade and Invasive Alien Species offer stronger protections than the CITES convention. 

Some have suggested, conversely, that the removal of the UK from the CAP regime will promote greater greening of agriculture. Hence, the Government’s White Paper suggests that the removal of CAP from the UK affords an opportunity for ‘new better and more efficient’ farming policies for a ‘cleaner, healthier environment’. It is, however, rather unclear why this should be the case, when (for example) pigs and poultry in the UK receive the least CAP funding and yet are highly intensive. 

The environmental aspects of the CAP have been legitimately criticised from a variety of angles. Nonetheless, as the dust settles, it is unclear whether the funding available through CAP for practices ‘beneficial to climate and the environment’ – which amounts to almost a third of direct payments to farmers- will come from after 2020.

Both the Scottish and Welsh governments look likely to campaign for significant subsidies to be retained by farmers, especially those farming marginal land, who are the most dependent on subsidy; yet this approach may not persist in England. This could have a variety of environmental impacts. If the removal of subsidy leads to marginal and smaller farms becoming unviable, this will clearly lead to the creation of some larger farms, which has been linked to a reduction in biodiversity and increased specialisation, as well as a reduction in the labour force necessary to engage in labour-intensive conservation measures. Subsidy removal could also lead to the abandonment of land and reduction in livestock numbers. This could in theory lead to some rewilding and reduction in methane emissions. Equally, it could lead to the development of relatively undiverse scrubland and not result in any emissions reductions if British consumers simply import meat from other countries. 

When it comes to the marine environment, the UK has led the way in developing Marine Conservation Zones. Although hailed as a significant step forward, in practice they are weaker in protecting against development than the Natura 2000 system. Again, international conventions do apply, with the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) viewed as having been significant, especially when compared to the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. In addition, the UK Government states in its White Paper that its new approach to fisheries will ‘want to…deliver a cleaner, healthier and more productive marine environment’, which is encouraging. These may however be over-ambitious aims if the political pressure to allow a more permissive approach in the short term following Brexit overcomes the need to preserve fish stocks over the long term. The fact that research has shown that the UK already has a relatively high average tonnage above scientific advice is therefore rather worrying.

To conclude, environmental issues received a relatively low profile in the referendum debate, despite the efforts of politicians, NGOs and individuals from across the political spectrum, from the Greener UK coalition to Stanley Johnson to Mary Creagh MP. Now that the Brexit negotiations have begun, they are continuing to receive little apparent attention from government, with important issues like environmental quality and waste management not even being mentioned in the government’s White Paper on Brexit. Now is surely the time for those concerned about the UK’s environment and climate change to mobilise, for the sake of animals, our planet and our health and that of our children. 

Isolating the US from green policies would make it less competitive by @marintoironi

We have seen with astonishment a recent resolution from American government, announcing its commitment ditch its Climate Change Action Plan.

After COP21 the world became a block against climate change as never before. That includes not only policies but also the consolidation of the concept of global leadership that emerges as a solid and stable pillar that marks the beginning of an effective interconnected system of joint action. However, this is not suitable for anti-globalist forces that see in this kind of initiatives a threat for their isolationist strategy that helps them to boost a far right agenda. Surprisingly climate change action has become dangerous from a nationalist political perspective.




Trump makes America an isolated Nation not only on political and foreign affairs terms but also regarding green policies and a world that is moving towards a joint action focus.

The U.S. is not rich enough in natural resources to be self-sustaining in future decades. Isolate US from global green policies in addition to not investing on innovation is an explosive combination that would make the U.S. less competitive and no resilient. Indeed, green policies are part of being resilient at national level but are not enough if is it not in conjunction with global action and cooperation: that is the only resilient way out. That goes directly in relation to a global and safe system of international relations…. not multiple-selective-bilateral relations. Even if there were political will for investing in green energies like solar or wind, they’re will not being enough if is not under good and healthy international relations. It´s for this reason the imperative for generating a new trend and a new culture among American people: to reduce individual consumption, invest in green clean energies and above all on innovation.Taking in account that US is the country that spends more in energy than the rest of the world. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

If there is a boycott from US to a global joint action by cancelling international agreements this could only be translated in loneliness in resilient terms.

That´s not good news for American people although good for those American industries that are not willing to invest in clean energies. Paradoxically one of the main argumentations for this switch in American focus was “recovering our jobs” however it doesn´t seem to include the ones generated by clean energies.“8.1 million renewable energy jobs that exist globally, 3.5 million are in China, compared to less than one million in the U.S.”.*China will invest £292bn in renewable power by 2020, which means new and more employment at national level. Investing in renewables is it also part of a growth strategy.

This “break” with the rest of the world is it also a break within America as it goes against the will of many citizens that have seen in climate change action a priority in the political agenda. Which represents a stronger political failure worst than the investment in itself. Going back in time and loosing all the work done at Educational level, making citizens aware of their commitment with the environment, means literally destroying an emerging American green culture as well as divided a community of ideas and potential. Joint action is the way out at global and national level.

US will become weaker and this lack of investment and sensibility towards the new challenges would make it vulnerable concerning the most important aspect of a society: Education.

Cooperation will become the only way for surviving and become resilient from a world hit by multiple crises. Joint action represents the way out that US will not have if there continue in this line of isolation and “personal” foreign affairs relations. No commitment with international agreements in addition with no solidarity is generating a negative spiral. This is not only about a unilateral anti-global focus it will generate an anti-US boycott against American products and no cooperation in times of crises.

That is the devastating impact of Trump´s anti-green policies that are not just focusing in destroying this industry but the impact that creates: becoming not competitive. Not even their allies are in line with this focus. Russia -despite their intention to have a good relation with US- has developed a strong investment in clean energies, e.g. bio fuels.

Saying no to investment in clean energies means saying no to sustainability in the medium term and saying yes to profits to private interest in the short term.

In terms of competitiveness, the development of clean energies has become part of a modern industrial and commercial way of living and producing. US will become an outsider that even there new and bilateral alliances will not accompanied them.

The only basis to explain this resistance to be out of a green global world is because of a short-term vision on financial investment. There is not a logical or visionary reason that could support a decision that will leave US behind on new technologies. Hence, more vulnerable for facing a world submerged in multiple crises. An unjustified denial for investing in innovation completes this stage of chaos in which short-termism is leading the way without vision and a smart strategy able to make US resilient.

 

*http://bit.ly/2jd6rSl

*Surrealist picture: Hossein Zare




Start a #Sustainability #Movement in Your #Organization: Part 2 Building Buy-in : Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

Increasing employee involvement in workplace sustainability programs is one of the top challenges for organizations. This is not surprising as most businesses face issues with competing priorities, while implementing programs that are informal and voluntary. This post is going to make a departure from the usual topics that are discussed about sustainability buy-in. It will focus on three key questions and strategic approaches that are effective at building sustainability momentum within an organization.

So, let’s take a step back from sustainability specific issues and ask a couple of deeper questions and do a bit of exploring possible approaches.

What motivates us at work?

Dan Pink, an expert on human motivation and the author of the New York Times best seller, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, shows us that there is a huge disconnect between what science knows and what business does. He discusses how 40 years of proven research on human motivation goes largely ignored by companies. Dan outlines, with case study examples, that using intrinsic motivators, across the board, increases engagement, productivity, creativity and satisfaction.

According to Pink, the key drivers to increasing employee performance, productivity and satisfaction are:

Purpose – doing things because they matter and are in service of something larger than ourselves; a higher or outward looking mission

Autonomy – a desire to be self-directed; ownership & responsibility in areas of day-to-day work, life balance, career development, organizational direction, etc.

Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters – learning new skills and build our capacity to address new challenges/talks

In Dan Pink’s TED talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation”, he reveals the substance of his findings from his book. He discusses how the carrots and sticks approach to incentivizing, outside of a surprisingly narrow set of circumstances, largely never works and often destroys creativity. The proven secret to high performance is intrinsic motivation, the drive to do things that matter.

Practical Application: The key here is weaving these 3 drivers into your programming to inspire employee involvement and commitment. I often hear people say, “I tried that once and it didn’t work”. One-off and ad-hoc attempts at fostering buy-in do not work; it’s necessary to use strategic, consistent and embedded approaches to build commitment, community and a supportive culture. Creating momentum may take a bit of time, but consistency builds credibility, accountability, aids in measurement and provides a platform for effectively communicating relevant messaging.

How does being purpose driven increase buy-in and participation?

The latest trend in the corporate world is the shift to establishing a company brand promise and growing profits through purpose-driven business strategies. Research shows purpose-driven organizations that foster shared-value experience a higher level of trust, ability to innovate, employee and customer satisfaction and overall profits.

Simon Sinek, the author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, tells us that customers don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Your company’s why is the larger purpose that inspires you to do what you do every day beyond the objective of solely making money.

According to John Mackey & Raj Sisodia, the authors of “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business”, there are four general categories to consider when determining your organization’s “why” or higher purpose:

1.   Improving quality of life through service

2.   Furthering human knowledge through discovery and knowledge sharing

3.   Achieving excellence, beauty and mastery

4.   Doing the right thing




In Simon’s TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, he discusses the why (higher purpose), how (value proposition) and what (impact and scale of your offerings) of your business and the importance of starting with and discovering your why. Successful and innovative organizations start with a clear why and create aligned experiences (how) and products (what) around their brand that inspire employees, customers and investors.

Practical Application: Sustainability and corporate responsibility (CSR) initiatives are valuable alignment points to illustrate purpose-driven brand experiences that resonate with employees, customers and investors. Aligning sustainability-related activities with organizational purpose and business objectives provide a powerful platform to foster shared value, trust and ultimately buy-in from various stakeholder groups.

How do we build momentum when implementing internal initiatives?

How does an idea get widely adopted over time? We can look to the diffusion of innovation theory, developed by Everett Rogers in 1962. In his book, Diffusion of Innovations”, Rogers explains how, over a period of time, an idea gains momentum and spreads within a social system. This is essentially what Derek Sivers was illustrating in his “how to start a movement” video that was highlighted in Part 1: Steps to follow in this post series.

The theory, illustrated by a bell-curve, is broken into segments: adopters, innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%). The theory outlines how each category of adopters acts as influencers for the next segment under the curve.  A key effect in the model, which is often referred to the as the tipping point (16%), is where the rate of adoption accelerates and takes on the momentum needed for the innovation to be widely adopted.

Rogers also identified, in the Diffusion of Preventative Innovation, five characteristics that directly affect the probability of adoption of a specific innovation:

1.   Relative advantage – new idea is better than what is already available or in use

2.   Compatibility – compatible with their current habits and values

3.   Complexity – relative ease of use

4.   Trialability – potential adopter may trial it on a limited basis

5.   Observability – innovation is observed in use by other members and their results

Practical Application: When creating your programming, it is key to weave the success characteristics throughout your programming. Explore the five characteristics like a checklist and identify how your program stacks up in each area and where there are areas for improvement.

This model is also an incredibly useful marketing tool. Use the profile for each segment to create a targeted marketing strategy. This approach, using each segment profile, allows for the crafting of relevant and compelling marketing tactics and messages to effectively increase the rate of momentum and adoption.

Want to learn more?

Watch for the next installment of our 6-part “Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization “ series. Part 3 will focus on how to scale your program, no matter the size, function or structure of your organization.

Start a conversation! Please leave a comment, question or share your experiences below. Also feel free to post any burning issues that you would like to see covered in this series.

Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization Series:

  • Part 1: Steps to follow
  • Part 2: Building buy-in at every level
  • Part 3: How to scale
  • Part 4: How to systemize
  • Part 5: All in for sustainability
  • Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Connect with Wendy on :

Twitter: @EngageIntl

LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte

Wendy is a Sustainability Employee Engagement Specialist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and vision into purpose driven, embedded and aligned employee action. She’s a great asset to our guest blog here on CrowdLeaf.







Start a #Sustainability #Movement in Your #Organization: Part 1 – Steps to Follow : Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

​When I talk to organizations of all sizes and functions, their biggest pain point is essentially the same, lack of participation.  Consistently, the two biggest challenges I hear are obstacles to increasing stakeholder buy-in and deal with competing priorities in the workplace.

In corporate responsibility & sustainability, we talk about being purpose driven and embedding sustainability within the organization, but what does that mean exactly? Essentially, we are looking for ways to mobilize employees and resources toward a shared sustainability purpose. In other words, what we want to know is how do we start a sustainability movement? This is the first installment of a 6 part series where we will discuss what starting a sustainability movement means, what it takes and the key elements for success.

Before getting into how to start a sustainability movement within your organization, let’s watch a TED talk by Derek Sivers (3 mins) and break down the basic steps and key insights of starting a movement in general.

Observed steps and key insights from the video:

  1.    Leaders need to create actions that are easy to follow and show the first follower how to follow. The first followers will then show everyone else how to follow.
  2.    Leaders embrace followers as equals, so it’s about the movement, not about the leader.
  3.    The first follower is an underestimated form of leadership. It takes courage to stand out and do something new and different.
  4.    Actions must be public. It’s important to not only show the actions of the leader, but also the followers. New followers will emulate other followers, not the leader.
  5.    After the first few join, others will join because it’s less risky. Then you hit the tipping point.
  6.    Afterward, those who were sitting on the fence before, have no reason now not to join. They won’t stand out, they won’t be ridiculed, but they will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry.
  7.    Then you have a movement.

I love that these insights are clear and simple, but I also wanted to add some key ideas that relate these steps to engaging employees in internal sustainability programs; many of these will be discussed in greater detail later in the series.

Create relevance for the program beyond company purpose. If a mission isn’t relevant to employees on a personal level, outside of work, it’s not likely to resonate with them at work either. How does your company’s sustainability agenda align with a greater purpose, allowing employees to contribute to the global good? Are you relating similar actions in their daily lives at home?

The UN Sustainable Development goals are a great way to create greater overall relevance. It provides a collective (global) way forward to address the world’s most pressing issues, but allows companies to choose the goals that align with their purpose and materiality priorities. With this greater vision and purpose, employees can participate make the broader connections with the meaning behind their brand experiences.

Meeting people where they are. A key element to increasing participation is by creating programming to engage employees that reflect their varying levels of understanding and willingness to participate. Do you have activities planned to accommodate these levels of employee involvement to meet them at their highest level of engagement and potential impact?

Law of diffusion of innovation principle. According to research, the required percentage of uptake in order to achieve the tipping point when adopting new innovations is only 16 %. (That lovely number makes the task seem more manageable, right?) Here is a great talk by Simon Sinek, where he discusses the law of diffusion in more detail.

Share employee experiences. Create fun, engaging, and relatable experiences for participating employees to share and inspire others to get involved. You could highlight and share articles, videos, blogs, pictures, posts, tweets, etc. Harness the powerful resource of employee influence and amplification in networks, on social media and word of mouth.

Cultivate followers and equip them to be advocates. Advocates and enthusiasts can be your strongest resource. We are very much social beings and are strongly influenced by our peers. Often sustainability practitioners feel overwhelmed when implementing programming as they say, “it’s just me!” I say look for ways to mobilize your employees and make them all owners and leaders. Create a clear process to show your followers how to follow, so they can then easily communicate the process to other potential followers.

Focus on key messaging and ongoing dialogue.  Be consistent in your messaging, frequency and contact channels with your communications and engagement. Focus on regular messaging communications, activities and feedback. If we want activities to be embedded into our organizational ethos, it needs to be part of an ongoing conversation, not only a few times per year when specific activities are launched.

Want to learn more? Watch for the next installment of her 6-part “Start a sustainability movement “ series. Part 2 will focus on building stakeholder buy-in at every level of the organization.




Start a Sustainability Movement Series:

  • Part 1: Steps to follow
  • Part 2: Building buy-in at every level
  • Part 3: How to scale
  • Part 4: How to systemize
  • Part 5: All in for sustainability
  • Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Leave a Comment! We would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment or question below. Also feel free to post any burning issues that you would like to see covered in this series.

You can find Wendy on Twitter:@EngageIntl or LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte

Wendy is a Sustainability Employee Engagement Specialist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and vision into purpose driven, embedded and aligned employee action. She’s a great asset to our guest blog here on CrowdLeaf.




Used cups are a problem – Daizyp a solution.

Used cups are not only a challenge for recycle depending on materials and waste management, but also a big waste of space when binned and thrown away and into trash bins.




Too often we walk along streets and see trash cans quite exploding or worst we have to deal with this problem in our offices near coffee break areas or vending machines.
This is my personal experience and honestly, watching this garbage obscenity and the number of wasting bags used for waste management, I couldn’t take it anymore to see all that space wasted.

So I tried to find a solution to this problem, and too bad I found only big machines which are awesome to collect and/or destroy used cups managing big numbers, but too big and too expensive to install in my office or my home.

So here came the idea: realize a device to be inserted into the bin that let me collect and stack my used cups easily instead of trying every time to stack one into another one and often failing.

The solution should be low cost, small size and possibly affordable to everyone and most important could be applied to almost every type of existing trash bins around the world.

After a lot of modifications and tests finally a brand new tool was born to satisfy my needs: Daizyp. And using it for the first times gives me knowledge to use it even for other type of waste, or for example I found it great when using it in my office desk bin to collect coffee plastic cups into Daizyp and paper into the bin. A smart and eco-friendly solution all-in-one!

Daizyp helps people to collect used cups stacking them nicely avoiding waste of space and at the same time improving recycle collecting cups all together easily.

Daizyp transforms your trash bin into a smart one and can be installed in almost every type of trash bin.

Install and using it is very simple, all you have to do is inserting it into your bin (or outside the bin) and begin to throw inside it your used cups.
All the cups will stack together and when full emptying Daizyp is a simple and fast operation: you release the pin on the bottom and let the stacked cups fall into waste bag and you’re done.

Daizyp benefits are many and helps you:

  • save space in your bin and waste bags
  • save money – with lower costs for waste management and number of waste bags used
  • save the planet by improving recycle easily
  • educating kids to recycle having fun





Daizyp comes in 2 sizes version: normal size (84mm diameter) for plastic cups and glasses, and XL size (95mm diameter ) for fast food or big cups.

Daizyp project is young but promising: these days we are performing tests at our friend’s offices and small business and they are enthusiastics about it!

We are working for crowdfunding campaign scheduled for the first quarter 2017 and in the meantime trying to let people know Daizyp, the benefits it will bring and join the Daizyp recycle revolution.

Discover more on www.daizyp.com or follow Daizyp @thedaizyp




Are cycling and recycling parts of a green wonderland or are they a goal towards achieving resilience? 

Originally posted on  : thesustainabilityreader.com




Are cycling and recycling parts of a green wonderland or are they a goal towards achieving resilience?

Both activities are part of a big strategy based on the response of a sustainable system towards the relentless impact of climate change. Transport and waste management are a good summary of the best activities that describe a personal healthy “green” attitude. However, it awakens resistance because it something “new” that represents a complete change of diary habits. There is not a solid culture around the need to be sensible and make personal efforts (recycling, shopping habits, transport, etc).  In addition, we live in a historically moment in which the strong investment that climate change demands is surprisingly gather deniers and support from governments. Just to give a recent example, in Madrid, Spain the resolution to close the traffic in the centric area of this crowd city –only for Christmas period-, is generating debate and resistance. Most of the citizens do not understand the meaning even if it has a direct and immediate impact in contamination levels and has already achieved a successful 37% of reduction.

In the end, everything is reduced to a process of re-educate people that unfortunately is not being carried out in a systemic way. Is not even a struggle against climate change denials –that at least are informed of the existence of scientific material- but of raising awareness of the need to change personal habits by delivering constant information to the people.

Despite all this years of constant discussion about the need to reshape public an private policies around the environment is still seen as a matter of public decisions without personal involvement, that almost “magically” will make a reduction on contamination.

“Ignorance is the darkest night”… Indeed, and the lack of awareness of making changes through personal habits it make the goal for a green city literally impossible.

So, is it all about education and information? Yes, mainly because most of the reactions from the citizenship comes precisely because of being misinformed/no informed. Turn to a green city demands solid Education pillars as the Nordic countries have shown. A change of personal habits comes from the conviction and be educated and informed around green policies is the best way to get it.

Personal attitude has a real and direct impact on climate change and what its most important: it has a real possibility to successfully change it.

Cycling is a symbol for these changes, as transport seems to be one of the most important aspects for achieving sustainable goals. The use of fossil fuels is a big challenge that is usually associated as a matter of “public affairs”. Indeed, restrictions to its use needs strong legislation, however in a political world contaminated by corruption, private interests, and “revolving doors” not always success. Is for this reason that the pressure around individual attitude is much more powerful than any legislation and the only resilient way to push for changes.

If you make legislation without individual awareness maybe you succeed…maybe not, but if you make people aware of their own interests even in the long term you make history.

Cycling and recycling are not enough to make a world sustainable but it makes the difference from the easiest way to do it: change of personal habits. Being green is a matter of personal awareness that need to be rising by Education patterns boost by the State. Too much focus in legislation makes loss the focus in what is really important: individuals able to change systems, not systems that change through bottom up initiatives.

If there is a systemic “green education” cycling and recycling ´d be only the starting point for a tangible  wonderland! GO!