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BBMG: Engage Employees in Sustainability for Happier, Healthier, More Productive Workforce

Drawing on recent Walmart experience, BBMG shares a new how-to guide titled "Green the Team"

Submitted by: BBMG

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Business Ethics

Posted: Nov 03, 2011 – 01:50 PM EST


NEW YORK, Nov. 03 /CSRwire/ - Brand innovation firm BBMG today releases Green the Team, a starter guide outlining the practical steps companies can—and should—take to promote a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

Drawing on the firm's recent experience helping Walmart create My Sustainability Plan, one of the largest and most ambitious internal programs of its kind, BBMG's booklet outlines the most effective communications tools, motivation strategies and planning benchmarks for engaging employees in sustainability.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but an austere economic climate is a good time to invest in creating and maintaining a sustainable workforce," said BBMG founding partner Mitch Baranowski. "With younger employees increasingly committed to sustainability as a way of life, organizations that invest in such engagement programs will enjoy better recruitment, higher retention and higher morale."

Indeed, engaging employees on issues that reflect their personal values creates more than good will: They work harder, safer and more creatively; stay with employers longer; and become a leading factor in company growth and profit. Most human resources professionals already know the high costs of frequent turnover (on average, replacing an employee costs 150 percent of the individual’s salary). And recent Gallup polls estimate that “America’s disengagement crisis” costs $300 billion in lost productivity each year. But organizations with engaged employees enjoy 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate than their less-engaged competitors, according to the Gallup numbers. 

This is especially true for the Millennial Generation, which demands a higher level of authenticity and involvement from employers. According to BBMG's research, more than half of conscious consumers under the age of 30 find working for a socially and environmentally responsible company "very" or "extremely" important.


Green the Team draws on BBMG's recent work with Walmart on the creation of My Sustainability Plan (MSP), a global engagement program aimed at helping the company's more than two million associates take everyday actions toward healthier, greener lives. According to Baranowski, MSP represents a paradigm shift in how HR teams will engage employees on sustainability; and he predicts it will have a wider impact thanks to Walmart’s making the core content freely available to any organization requesting a royalty-free license. "This could be a pretty big game-changer," he said. "It potentially saves organizations millions in hard and soft costs by greatly accelerating the creation and implementation of similar engagement programs."


BBMG's Green the Team also draws on the firm’s work with diverse clients such as Echoing Green, Net Impact and the National Environmental Education Foundation. In addition, the booklet culls insights from interviews with Intel, which now bases each employee’s annual bonus on sustainability results; and Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which created a hyper-local social networking site that connects and engages 300 Green Teams across the globe.

As a short practicum on creating so-called "green teams," the booklet makes quick business of outlining the key tactics and related challenges, including tips on how to:

  • Set the Strategy, including creating a flexible framework and specific calls to action;
  • Build the Buzz with strong internal communications and employee rewards;
  • Celebrate Success by sharing success stories digitally and in person; and
  • Overcome Hurdles such as limited resources or lack of in-house expertise.

Green the Team is the latest in BBMG's ongoing booklet series designed to share insights and takeaways to help organizations create real change. Earlier this year, BBMG published Unleashed: How New Consumers Will Revolutionize Brands and Scale Sustainability—which drew on three years of research into the highly influential shoppers who unite pragmatism and purpose with an unmatched level of brand participation. Prior to that, the firm released Welcome to the Age of Co-Creativity, which charted the marketing world’s shift from "command and control" to real collaboration.


Green the Team: http://bbmg.com/how/our-thinking/

My Sustainability Plan: mysustainabilityplan.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: Supporting artwork is available. Please contact us.


With studios in New York and San Francisco, BBMG is a nationally recognized firm dedicated to creating innovative brands that engage and inspire today’s increasingly conscious consumers. By integrating branding and marketing with sustainability, technology and social purpose, BBMG helps organizations embrace innovation, forge new markets, create new experiences and drive real culture change. Recent clients include Walmart, Brown-Forman, Samsung, Seventh Generation and Fair Trade USA, among others. For more information, please visit bbmg.com.

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Phone: 212-473-4902 x218

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