Part of the Green Company Initiative is the Green Team concept. Green Teams are dedicated employees who promote environmental initiatives and motivate other employees. Their efforts are vital if we are to meet our Green Company targets.
Green Teams are established in several locations including in Canton, Portland and Mattapoisett in the USA, in Argentina and Panama, in Hong Kong and Thailand, in France, Turkey and Amsterdam, and of course at our headquarters in Germany.
Achievements in 2010
Here are some examples for what the Green Teams have achieved in 2010:
In Portland, one-way cups and dishes were a big problem. Now there are reusable mugs for sale at all coffee shops at this location and no one-way dishes available in the kitchens around the buildings. This reduces the amount of waste significantly.
The Mattapoisett Green Team has started a great recycling and reuse programme with plastic and glass recycling as well as recycling empty toner cartridges and buying remanufactured ones.
In our office in Bangkok, Thailand, where many employees regularly visit factories, the Green Team introduced a carpooling scheme to reduce the number of trips made by car to each particular factory.
Our French colleagues in Landersheim have successfully had solar panels installed to heat the water used in all showers and in the staff restaurant.
In our Istanbul office, the Green Team managed to reduce water consumption by 14%, compared to 2009. They also saved energy by only using those appliances which were really needed.
In Amsterdam, the Green Team worked mainly on the tough task of changing people's habits. They organised special awareness-raising events such as the ‘Tour de Commute' month which coincided with the Tour de France and was aimed at getting people to take the bike to work instead of their cars. Altogether, they rode 5,334 km in that month.
These and other locations participated in Earth Day celebrations on April 22 to raise awareness of and to engage people for a clean environment. The Green Teams came up with great ideas to support the spirit of the day. At our headquarters in Germany they organised a paper road and a rubbish mountain to show how much waste we produce. Additionally, old mobile phones were collected and sold to a company which specialises in refurbishing them. The proceeds from this went to a charity.
What team members say
“A Green Team is a small tactical unit where we can take decisions and actions quickly. I think it should be a key strategic driver for the future of our company,” says Benjamin Devillard from France.
And Alissa Leeper from Portland says, “It's great to be a part of a team of volunteers who get things done and take action in their own free time to make small changes that are impactful in a big way for our community and company.”
Jenna Meaney, Alissa's team mate adds, “The group has made a big contribution to adidas America. It's wonderful to see how many things have changed since the Green Team was established: additional recycling, using reusable containers and general awareness of eco issues.”
“Just watching TV or reading the paper and seeing all this pollution keeps me motivated to improve my own environmental footprint and to try and convince my colleagues,“ says Tanja Schmidt from Germany. “Through the work in the Green Team I can reach them.”
And what are the challenges?
“One of the biggest challenges we see is changing the hearts and minds of those who do not want to change. You have to be willing to accept the challenge and work past ‘No',“ says Ed Musho, also from Portland.
Keeping the motivation high at all times is also a big challenge for Gul Uguryol from the Istanbul team. "But seeing the achieved results keeps me motivated!“ she adds.
“adidas is a big company and it is not easy to implement changes quickly,“ Tanja thinks. “This frustrates people but we should never give up working together if we want to change something!“
And are there any special strategies for success?
“We try to mix fun and rewards in order to interest our colleagues and be positive rather than pointing a finger at them,“ says Benjamin. “You have to have faith in people, be passionate about your mission and be creative.“
And his colleague Romain Prigent adds, “We have to be patient and persuasive and manage to change habits and the mentality of people.“
Jenna agrees: “We need to remember that small changes can make a big difference!“