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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


Getting buy-in: Suggest a pilot

How do you get the green light to go green?

If your efforts to implement new sustainability measures are hitting a wall of “No” from decision-makers, try something that has worked well for others:

Getting buy-in

Suggest piloting a new initiative.

It's easier to get sign-off on a trial run.

A pilot could be a short amount of time or a small amount of staff, or both. By starting small, when challenges arise, they’ll be on a smaller scale, and you can find solutions before rolling out full force.

Disprove the nay-sayers.

Often people’s perceived fears of what could go wrong are bigger than reality. Once you’re able to demonstrate that the wort-case-scenario didn’t happen, it will be easier to get buy-in.

Track complaints and compliments, issues and resolutions, as well as outcomes during the pilot. If you have a few vocal dissenters, their voice is put into the broader perspective of the whole workplace.

Once you’ve shown it can be done, it'll be easier to get the go-ahead to take it workplace-wide.

More tips for getting buy-in: Speak to their interests