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Do you have any tips for engaging employees and tenants? Follow

Yes! Here are 15 fun ways to engage your employees and tenants in saving energy

  1. Encourage them to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ask building occupants to sign a pledge to take the stairs at least once a week. Then post motivational signs in the stairwell to remind them that they’re doing their body—and the environment—good.
  2. Give them energy “citations” to hand out. You can’t be everywhere at once. Why not deputize your building’s occupants to be your eyes and ears, like Kelly Creek Elementary School did with their students? Your occupants will have fun with it, but it will also train them to keep an eye out for wasteful behaviors.
  3. Give out prizes. You’ll be amazed what people will do for free stuff. You could host an ice cream social to tell tenants about energy-saving efforts, while also bolstering goodwill. Some organizations aim even higher with free ENERGY STAR certified flatscreen TVs or appliances. Or simply give out $5 gift cards to anyone who suggests an energy-saving idea.

  4. Teach them how to enable power management settings. Computer power management settings are a no-brainer when it comes to energy efficiency. But many of your occupants may be scratching their heads at the idea. Unless you can activate sleep settings across your organization’s network, be sure to give them step-by-step instructions using the off-the-shelf tools from our Low Carbon IT Campaign. Helpful reminders like this one from Food Lion’s energy team can help reinforce the instructions.
  5. Use peer pressure to your advantage. Kenton County School District posts each school’s energy performance on a public webpage for all to see, including students, staff, and the community. This motivates everyone at the schools to take action when they slip or continue to outperform the other schools.
  6. Give them sticky note reminders. This one is easy. Print up some sticky notes, like New York Presbyterian did below. Give them out to your occupants and tell them they can stick the notes all over your building. Then sit back and watch as they do your job for you.
  7. Host an energy fair. Invite local vendors to set up booths, give away free LED bulbs and ENERGY STAR materials, and then use the opportunity to share your organization’s energy reduction goals and how you need their help.

  8. Post performance for all to see. You can’t expect your employees and tenants to care about saving energy if you don’t give them any information about what you’re doing. This Seattle office building hung this sign in its window, prompting an employee to take a picture and put it on his blog. He thought it was great and was excited to share the news with his friends.
  9. Let them engage each other. These students at NC State University made a series of YouTube videos explaining how to save energy in their dorm, Tucker Hall. Studies show that people tend to trust messages more if they come from people who are similar to themselves. So find a few enthusiastic employees to help spread the message to their peers.
  10. Show them the results of their actions. During Operation Shutdown at Crystal River Middle School, students ran around the building shutting down all non-essential lighting and equipment for one hour. The next day, they were all shown the graph, below, which shows the results of their actions: a 73% reduction in energy use during that hour. Show them that their actions really DO make a difference, and it will be easier to get your buildings occupants to take those actions.
  11. Get the champions to team up. Chances are, your employees and tenants run the gamut from die-hard environmentalists to climate skeptics. Your job is to identify the champions and empower them to form a green team. Give them a place to meet, educate them, give them support, and they’ll probably deliver great results that support what you’re trying to do.
  12. Let them know you value their actions. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to show your appreciation once your goals are reached. But by letting your employees and tenants know that their efforts are valued and appreciated, you’re more likely to get their support the next time around.
  13. Host a competition. A great way to make saving energy exciting and bring out your occupants’ competitive spirit is to host a competition. Depending on your metering, consider pitting tenants against tenants, floors against floors, or sister buildings against each other. L’Oreal hosted the “I’ve Got the Power” campaign among floors, and gave a $5,000 prize to the winners. The winning floor reduced energy consumption by 37% over the six months, and L’Oreal saved $16,500 in energy costs for the building.
  14. Communicate, communicate, communicate. You occupants won’t help unless you ask them for it. Use all the channels you have to help get the word out, whether it’s sending monthly blast emails with tips, posting on social media, hanging up posters and reminders around the halls and common areas, or creating an energy team bulletin board, like Intertape Polymer Group did, below.
  15. Don’t underestimate them. They DO care. They have good ideas.  All you need to do is give them the opportunity.
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