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Silicon Valley Employees Sowing Green from Within

October 14, 2008


An emerging trend in Silicon Valley has employees of companies both giant and small forming volunteer green teams to push peers and employers to become more environmentally aware.  These volunteer teams are promoting recycling, carpooling, biking and public transportation, as well as seeking ways for the company and its employees to cut carbon emissions.  

According to Sustainable Silicon Valley, a local environmental collaborative, at least 60 green teams are known to exist in the area. While the companies themselves seek to lighten their envirnmental footprints through renewable energy buys and and other efforts, green teams work to promote awareness of what fellow employees can do at work and home.

At Yahoo,  a 300-strong green team was instrumental in convincing Yahoo to set all of its copy machines on duplex (double sided) printing mode, resulting in a drop in paper consumption from 1.6 million to 750,000 sheets a month.  At LJ Engineering, a newly formed 13-member green team hopes to persuade customers to return packaging, and urge the company to use recycled paper for business cards and stationery and do business with other green companies.

Don Bray, with AltaTerra Research, says voluntary green teams are free from the political or hierarchical nature of company-organized task forces. "Team members have a shared identity, a common purpose and a sense of empowerment to jointly create and deploy innovations that will improve the environmental performance of the business and the community at large."

More on this story from the San Jose Mercury News


Business owners who want to show their employees they are serious about going green can turn to RPN Consultants.  RPN’s team of staff and consultants is available to develop creative, outcome-oriented strategies to help clients improve their bottom line while meeting sustainability goals.

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