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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


Do you need a dream team?

Do you feel like the only person working on recycling, and going green, at your workplace?

We bet there are others at your workplace who care too, and by joining forces, you’ll be able to make bigger, faster changes at your workplace, and get to know your coworkers better.

Finding your team

If your workplace already has employee teams, like Health and Wellness, Community Engagement, or Safety, ask if you can put the word out about starting a Green Team, and see who responds.

Or, ask around to find one or two other people, and then build up from there.

Get the Green Team Guide

Download the Green Team Guide

Tips from our Green Team Guide

Here’s what we’ve seen leads to successful green teams:

Get support from the top

Ideally, you want management support in the form of an approved employee green team, a budget, and endorsed initiatives.

Make the case for the green team’s benefit to the organization, such as:

  • Cost savings – reducing costs associated with waste, energy, transportation and water.
  • Attract and retain talent – increasing employee morale and satisfaction.
  • Customer expectations – strengthening brand and increasing market share.
  • Regulatory compliance – staying ahead of legislation.
  • Align practices with values – walking the talk.

Even if you lack official support, a volunteer team can accomplish no-cost, easy actions such as setting up basic recycling and educating coworkers about behaviors that save energy or resources.

Build your team

Recruit team members from all levels and departments within your company, especially those involved with operations, such as office or kitchen managers, and procurement staff.

Set goals

Dream big, but start small. While turning your building’s roof into a garden would be impressive, you’re probably better off starting with smaller goals that can be reached more easily, and build enthusiasm and momentum.

The Sustainability at Work certification application is a great checklist of actions to start from – check off what you’re already doing (or task team members with looking into it), and then choose from what’s left.

Promote your accomplishments

Companies large and small have discovered that informing customers of their sustainable practices can
set them apart from their competitors.

Ready to get started?

Find more in-depth how-to and examples in our Green Team Guide.

Read how one Green Team started big (maybe too big) and then re-started with great success.