Does the current state of our global environment worry you? How can we take immediate remedial action to help the environment heal from the harm already inflicted? Gillian Hrycko, Manager of Occupant Engagement at CD SONTER Ltd. believes that sustainability ensures our communities and society move forward.
If you agree with Gillian, you’ve probably experienced some frustrations in your daily office life: misplaced garbage, unnecessary printing, inefficient energy usage and so much more. Not only does it upset you on a personal level, but studies have shown that it may also be impacting your productivity at work.
So, what can you do to help? Let us introduce you to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Canada) Living Planet @Work Program.
Living Planet @Work is WWF-Canada’s workplace engagement platform that offers free resources and ideas to help you to lead sustainable initiatives at work. Their aim is to help you activate office sustainability challenges, participate in conservation campaigns and raise critical funds for WWF-Canada’s conservation work.
We had the chance to connect with two champions of the LPW program. We got their insights into why it’s so important to give back and how you can be inspired to do the same.
Gillian Hrycko spends every day working with some of the largest property managers across Canada (think: offices, shopping centres, and campuses!) and helps them embed sustainability into their spaces. “According to the United Nations, there will be more than 11.2 billion people living on Earth by the year 2100. The only choice is to do things smarter,” Gillian says. She believes that every position in any organization touches on sustainability in some shape or form. Having experienced it first hand, Gillian also knows that bringing sustainability into the workforce increases productivity, satisfaction and motivation.
Joining the LPW program began a life-long journey for Gillian. One of the first initiatives she implemented was staying in the office half an hour overtime every day to write ‘thank you’ notes to those who turned off their monitors. Not only was Gillian able to make our world a bit better, this also made her stand out in the workplace and demonstrated her ability to take initiative beyond the scope of her job description.
Perhaps Gillian’s upbringing had a lot to do with her career. “Growing up, while most of my friends would travel to Florida or various all-inclusive resorts for their summer breaks, my family would hop in our camper van and head to a new park to explore. This time in nature led me to feel a deep interconnectedness to the world around us, and a lifelong passion to protect it,” she shares. Even if you haven’t spent your summers in national parks, getting involved is for everyone. “There are no barriers to joining, so go for it!”, says Gillian. The LPW toolkit provides ample guidance, including templates, posters, memos, policies about energy reduction, “How to Run Engagement Campaigns”, and so much more.
For Ashley Fill, an Account Executive at P&G, implementing change hasn’t always been easy. She has faced her fair share of challenges and barriers; however, Ashley’s dedication ultimately helped P&G earn WWF-Canada’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Employee Engagement.
It all started in university when Ashley became intrigued by the impacts the agriculture sector was having on global climate. Her research and passion led her to create on-campus sustainability initiatives, and eventually resulted in her running the Sustainability Network at P&G Canada. “I believe making small changes can make a world of difference! Influencing more sustainable practices is what motivates me both at work and in my personal life”, Ashley says.
Ashley learned about the LPW program at WWF-Canada’s 2016 Annual General Meeting. Inspired by their 2016 Living Planet Report, Ashley helped launch the first annual shoreline cleanup. Since then, she has assisted with implementing small changes, like bringing reusable cups to the office, to supporting big events, like the WWF-Canada CN Tower Climb.
Ashley reminds us that sustainability can be a win-win for everyone. It helps protect the planet and saves money! Ashley recommends presenting the full range of benefits, securing senior leadership support, and just going for it.
Now it’s your turn to lead change in your workplace! The WWF-Canada Living Planet @Work program will provide you with free resources to spread the message and lead by example. When you take advantage of these, you’ll not only improve the sustainability of your workplace, you’ll also feel like you’re part of the solution. Find out how you can leave your legacy at work – explore the WWF-Canada Living Planet @Work program here.