A Guide for Service Providers: Engaging Employees in "Going Green"

Learn how sustainability became the modus operandi for employees of the Montreal Alouettes football club. 
NBS September 19, 2017
Employee Engagement Guide with a Case Study for Service Providers
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Sustainability is the modus operandi for the Montreal Alouettes.

This guide presents ten proven ways to engage employees in your company’s environmental and social goals. It is based on 30 years of academic and industry research and is designed for HR managers, trainers, and employees responsible for health and safety, and the environment.

Service providers can use the case study on the Montreal Alouettes to foster environmental and social responsibility into day-to-day decision-making and operations.

Successes in Canadian Services

Case Study: Montreal Alouettes

The Montreal Alouettes are a Canadian football team based in Montreal, Quebec. The team describes itself as a “customer-driven” organization. Issues important to fans are also important to the Alouettes.

As climate change became a defining environmental issue, the organization decided to formalize its commitment to environmental sustainability (see Environmentals: The-Alouettes-are-Tackling-Climate Change).

Put It into Writing

In 2008, the Montreal Alouettes developed a sustainability program called “EnvironmentALS” and published a report outlining the program’s goals. “The EnvironmentALS plan is like a sustainability playbook for Alouettes players and employees,” said Rémy Paré, Director of Game Operations. “It clearly outlines our environmental goals and values, and every year we update the plan to report on progress and add new targets.”

Make It Someone’s Job and Build Sustainability into Day-to-Day Operations

Paré is the person responsible for the Alouettes’ sustainability goals. As part of his job overseeing club operations, he sources non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products for the stadium maintenance crews. He ensures the club prints on environmentally friendly paper using vegetable-based inks and uses electronic invoicing for clients. Paré also works with the marketing team to develop garbage can signage and scoreboard messages that encourage fans to recycle pop cans at the game and take shorter showers at home.

Provide Training

Experts from the Al Gore Foundation’s “Climate Reality Project” and the David Suzuki Foundation come in to educate players and employees about environmental issues. The players then visit local classrooms to teach students about important issues like climate change.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The Alouettes don’t own their home stadium: they lease it for just 10 days a year. However, when the stadium underwent renovations in 2010, the club paid to install ultra-low flush toilets, plant extra trees and shrubs, and build a green roof on the ticket office.

Let Employees Experiment and Explain How Sustainability Affects Them

A few times a year, the club does a garbage audit in its administrative offices. Paré sorts through everything the 45-person administrative staff has thrown away, separates waste from recyclables, and emails his colleagues a one-page summary of the results. The activity raises awareness among Alouettes employees about their personal actions and reminds them of the company’s goals.

Environmentalism is so engrained in the Alouettes’ culture, they even take it with them: “We brought our own recycling bins to a company golf tournament once,” said Paré with a shrug. “We didn’t think it was unusual: sustainability has become automatic.”

About this Guide

This guide is based on research by our team and Dr. Stephanie Bertels, Associate Professor, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University.

Related Resources

To read the Alouettes’ “EnvironmentALS” sustainability report, visit www.montrealalouettes.com. Check out the 2016 article on how the team is tackling climate change

Contributors

The following people contributed to this guide: