Sustainable Systems at (our) Work

Is sustainable consumption relevant to your organizational goals?

Is your organization in a position to affect change industry wide?

How might you lead by example?

For a non-profit like NWEI that develops sustainability education course books intended to Inspire people to take responsibility for Earth, these questions might seem a bit redundant. However, these are only a few of the many questions that helped stimulate discussion among the NWEI staff every Wednesday during the lunch hour, over the course of five weeks, as we participated in our own newest course Sustainable Systems at Work.

It was truly inspiring to see an organization whose entire existence is based upon the concept of sustainability, walk away with so many great initiatives. Imagine what results would come from an organization taking the course that has yet to fully embrace the importance of sustainability!

Our valuable take-aways from the course included, but were not limited to:

  • Creating a comprehensive power-saving strategy implemented among staff and office, as well as delivering suggestions for the entire building.
  • Initiating two NWEI discussion courses within our building and among tenants, with the aspiration of creating an Olympic Mills Building Green Team in the future.
  • Evaluating all forms of natural and human capital necessary to run NWEI, and assessed how to responsibly account for those resources. One example: we made plans to plant trees on a regular basis, as a staff, in order to offset the paper needed to produce our course books, and also simply to have a fun outing as a staff!
  • Integrating a carbon footprint calculator into our website, with the future plan of evaluating the average impact of our course books (from the tree to your doorstep) in hopes of encouraging participants to purchase offsets for that footprint.
  • Making plans to create a roof-top garden

As a new member to the NWEI team, I was at first surprised by the concept of taking our own course, and then I quickly became thrilled by the idea. The discussion course got our wonderful, intelligent staff talking, and most importantly, helped to further develop our action plan in order to advance organizational change towards a more sustainable future.

What better way to lead than by example, right? Be the change!


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