The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) formed its Green Committee in 2005 and has been a force for environmental protection ever since.
From the outset, the committee implemented within OCIO a focus on procuring environmentally responsible equipment and supplies, and helped the office get ahead of the curve in practicing efficiency with respect to energy and water use, and managing waste. In 2015 the Greening Government Action Plan (GGAP) re-invigorated the Green Committee, and its members began working together to research and develop new strategies for success.
Chief among those strategies was a concerted effort to impact the culture of the office. The committee, through its passion and creativity, made the greening of the office space a fun and inclusive activity. Using humour to engage staff, the committee created an entertaining and compelling promotional campaign which included contests, an internal ‘tv’ channel, celebrating office champions, and even a frog mascot named Dennis Hopper.
That recognition of office champions has given staff an opportunity to feel pride in their individual contributions. Committee members who find there are few opportunities to demonstrate creativity or leadership in their day to day jobs are also able to shine, while new arrivals see the organization as progressive, forward-thinking and refreshingly different.
As a result, buy-in by staff continues to grow across the organization. 10 volunteers from all branches run the green committee program which has earned the enthusiastic participation of the entire department. The organization thinks green at all levels and proudly embraces future initiatives, continuing to be a leader in Government’s green efforts.
Also key to the green committee’s success has been the relationships the committee has formed with the Multi Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) to address waste challenges and and the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL) where the OCIO sends its organic materials. The results are not to underestimated; the 70,000 beverage containers and 4,500 pounds of copper wire that the office has recycled since 2009 is just one example of the impact the green team has had – generating $4,355.27 for charity in the process.
Congratulations to the OCIO and its green committee for being recognized for their leadership with a Public Service Award of Excellence.