Changing behaviour is one of the most challenging things about working in Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility (CSR). There are many simple actions that employees can adopt on a daily basis that can reduce the environmental footprint of the organization. The question is how can a CSR program motivate employees to adopt more sustainable practices, and do so in a way that is fun, yet educational?
That is exactly what the No Impact experiment is all about. The week-long challenge aims to raise environmental awareness about the impact from our daily activities in a way that fosters long-term behavioural change. More importantly, it’s not just about the environment; it’s about promoting a healthier lifestyle and strengthening relationships with family, friends and the community.
Each day presents a new challenge, which is carried over to the next during 8 days:
- Sunday is consumption: Try not to buy anything new (except for food). If you need something try and see if you can get it second hand.
- Monday is waste: Use a reusable coffee mug, water bottle and bring Tupperware and utensils for your lunch. Don’t print unnecessary documents and promote paperless meetings by using your laptop/ I-pad to take notes and emailing the agenda ahead of time.
- Tuesday is transportation: Walk, bike, take the metro or bus, find a friend and carpool.
- Wednesday is food: Eat local and less meat. Visit a farmer’s market to see what is in season and try to reduce the amount of diary and red meat in your diet and ensure that the fish you do consume is not listed as endangered.
- Thursday is energy: Turn off the lights and computer monitor! So simple and yet people still forget.
- Friday is water: Turn off the tap when brushing teeth or washing the dishes. More than that think about how big your water footprint is, a pair of jeans equals 10,000 litres of water! One cup of coffee is 115 litres!
- Saturday is about giving back: Go out into your community and volunteer.
- Sunday is the day of rest: Perhaps the biggest challenge of the week, you do nothing! Go to the park, have a potluck with family and friends, relax and discover all the things you can do that have little or a reduced impact!
During the No Impact week employees are provided with the opportunity to learn about each of the environmental topics through a series of different channels, including a “No Impact” guide, panel discussions and exhibits that take place within the organization.
The purpose of carrying out the No Impact challenge in the workplace is to try and foster lifestyle changes that will reduce the environmental footprint of the organization and improve the health and well-being of the employees. Rather than being viewed as a “challenge”, the No Impact Week should be viewed as an opportunity; an opportunity to learn about yourself, your community and your environment.
The IDB will be carrying out the No Impact Week in Washington D.C from September 28th-October 5th and in Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 9th to the 16th.
Maybe it’s time for you to promote a No Impact Week in your organization!
Check out this video to learn how our No Impact week at the IDB works: