Getting motivated with the Centre for Dementia Prevention (CDP)
Read about the experience of a new bronze level Sustainability Awards team for 2016. They worked through the criteria to make sure that the sustainability basics were all in place. This included organising a bring-and-share lunch, promoting the Cycle to Work Scheme, arranging a walking group, and starting a stationery amnesty.
We are a team of five people working together on the Office Awards submissions. We meet every four to six weeks and try to share responsibilities and tasks between us. We found the best way to decide on what to do for the Awards is to go through the criteria together, talk about what actions will work best at CDP and delegate them to whoever is most interested.
We are a quite small department, so we are in the lucky position that it is quite easy to agree actions on the day and do them straight away. We’ve found that taking notes is a good way to keep track of our progress and record what has been agreed during our Sustainability Team meetings.
CDP participated in the Office Awards in 2016, achieving Bronze. We are currently working towards Silver, which has given us more flexibility to pick what actions to focus on in our department. We are enjoying doing a variety of activities together, and we have already had a bring-and-share lunch and a successful stationery amnesty.
Since taking part in the Awards we’ve organised a number of activities such as:
- Bring-and-Share Lunch
- Promoting the Cycle to Work Scheme
- Walking Group
- Stationery Amnesty
It’s been great to see how people’s awareness of sustainability has increased since CDP started taking part in the Office Awards. We were really able to improve recycling rates and educate people on how to recycle things such as batteries and cartridges. If anyone is confused about how to dispose of something, they now know that they can come to our Waste and Recycling Coordinator for advice.
We also have an Active Travel Champion who has educated staff about how they can travel to work more sustainably. We were glad to see cycling rates improve as a result of this.
We hope that over time other activities we have introduced, such as our Walking Group, stationery amnesty and use of the Warp It materials sharing website, will become part of our office culture. The Awards also motivated us to write an energy responsibility plan. We have some communal lab equipment and a communal printer in the department, so this plan helped to clarify responsibilities and ensure items of equipment are switched off when possible.
In general, sustainability has become something we are committed to working towards. We have even started recognising people’s contributions by naming a Sustainability Champion of the Week on our sustainability notice board.
Tips and advice
Find a few motivated people to help out
At the beginning of the year, we were worried about the time and effort involved in submitting for an Award. However, as we were a motivated team, it was easier than we originally thought to fulfil the criteria and upload the required evidence.
Communicate in a way that works best for your department
The Sustainability Team decided it would be best to avoid sending emails as much as possible. Instead, we bring up anything related to the Sustainability Awards in our regular team meetings or in daily team ‘huddles’ where we discuss day-to-day work tasks.