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May 01, 2008

The Green Team Challenge

This story was told in a story circle at the Learning History workshop in February 2008. It tells of how a team are currently trying to address waste in the offices of central government bodies and the challenges they face.

Chapter 2: The Green Team Challenge - Practising What You Preach
My example is something that I am working with a group of people towards one of the goals of which would be reducing the carbon use in our organizations X and Y. This hasn’t delivered anything yet so I am a little bit conflicted about talking about it but hopefully it will work.

The group was set up by AB, and this is star-fed group of people that came together to look at the environmental impact of the organizations I mentioned. These are various organizations, not all in the same building there are 2 buildings. There are some challenges there, different sort of management regimes involved in each organization. And AB the previous chair of this group left before Christmas and I stuck my hand up along with other colleague to chair this and take it forward. It is called the Green Team, I find it a slightly irritating name but we are stuck by the name. The idea is to look at various different environmental impact areas, one of the mains area is waste and recycling.

Now while this is not necessarily an explicit thing to reduce carbon, it will very much be something that will happen as a result of our work if we are successful, and we will be successful in some areas. This is looking at how we increase waste recycling within the organization, within the office, and how we separate waste. We’ve been looking at what we do particularly with organic wastes, so there is a fair amount of work in trying to secure some quotes from organic waste suppliers. There aren’t actually that many in London who can help with composting that kind of waste in a big office; there is too much waste to compost.

Establishing this sort of relationships with suppliers for this kind of thing is a challenge, but the other challenge is getting senior buy-in to give you the mandate to actually do some of this stuff. And that’s is where there have been some challenges. I had the meeting with the deputy chief executive of X a week or so ago to try and get his buy-in. And we are going to do a paper for him to present at the very senior board that is on top of all of these different organizations which we loosely call the central bodies.

He was very enthusiastic, needed to be bounced a little bit on the mandate issue but ultimately he is on board. So, that is moving forward, hasn’t deliver anything yet but certainly it will do.

Interviewer: So it is innovation in the making.

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