Bullfrog Power’s Zero Waste Month challenge and more…

© Bullfrog Power

By Olivia Fernandez, Officer, Living Planet @ Work, WWF-Canada

An organic waste audit, a boycott of disposable containers and a printing reduction challenge are what you’ll find at the Bullfrog Power office this month. Their sustainability team deemed the month of July ‘Zero Waste Month,’ announcing one challenge each week to encourage staff to be even more “green.”

As Canada’s #1 green energy provider, Bullfrog employees work daily to help others reduce their environmental impact with green energy. Engaging employees in workplace sustainable actions seems like a no-brainer. However, after a few committee capacity changes, they took a short hiatus. In March, Bullfrog decided to reactivate the team by signing up to WWF’s Living Planet @ Work. I connected with Bullfrog’s Su Song, about the team’s challenges and why being a leader in the industry and in the office is so important.

What helped to kick start the team’s plans?

"A few green-minded employees re-ignited the sustainability committee with a commitment to completely green our office and reduce the footprint of our daily office operations. WWF’s Living Planet @ Work tools and resources helped the committee to re-visit previous initiatives and develop new goals."

What are some of the biggest challenges that your sustainability team faces?

Engaging staff and making initiatives fun and rewarding is always a challenge! We try to make our activities as simple as possible to minimize confusion and maximize participation. For example, we’ve encouraged staff to reduce reliance on “to go” coffee cups, and to adopt reusable kitchen mugs.  We held a “cup decorating” party so that staff could personalize their cup. We introduced a “litter bug jug”: staff who are caught with a disposable coffee cup are penalized $0.25/infraction. The money we collect will be donated to WWF.

What is “Zero Waste Month” all about?

We had some brainstorming meetings and realized most of our concerns were waste-related so we started planning mini weekly challenges for the month of July like reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, composting, minimizing printing and using Tupperware. The name “Zero Waste Month” just came naturally. To make it fun and engaging, each week’s challenge results are announced at Monday meetings along with the staff “MVP” whose contribution from the previous week stands out the most.

Besides July’s “Zero Waste Month”, Bullfrog hopes to develop new projects for a more sustainable office. Below, Su shared some easy ideas to kick start green team efforts:

- Distribute a ‘Green tip of the week’ to all staff?- Switch to green/recycled stationary for the office
- Host lunch-time screenings of sustainability-related shows and documentaries
- Organize a ‘Salad Lunch Club’ to encourage reusable containers and eating healthy too!

What does your company do to support your team’s efforts?

The office is quite green already, and many employees are committed to a sustainable lifestyle. However, Bullfrog does pay 50% for BIXI bike memberships for those looking for a greener commute to work. Bullfrog’s company car is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle- bullfrogpowered with green electricity. We also have staff green training workshops on sustainability and waste management. In addition, emissions from air travel are offset with Less Emissions, Bullfrog’s sister company. And, of course, our office is bullfrogpowered!

Why is it important for Bullfrog Power to implement sustainable actions in the workplace?

Since Bullfrog Power works with individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact and raise awareness about green energy and sustainability, it’s important for us to walk the walk by greening our internal office as much as we can. Participating in Living Planet @ Work inspires great ideas and is helping us build a greener office environment.

Inspired by Bullfrog’s sustainable actions at work? Join them and sign up to Living Planet @ Work to receive the free tools and resources to green your workplace too.

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