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Guide for Starting a Green Team

Green teams are instrumental in creating positive environmental change in businesses and organizations. To help organizations establish effective green teams, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) developed a useful guide that offers tools, advice, and resources. The Guide for Starting a Green Team was funded by the Washoe County Health District.


The first step in starting a green team is to gain management support. One way to gain management support is to illustrate benefits that resonate with organizational goals and priorities. Green practices offer a range of benefits, including:


  • Cost Savings. Reducing costs associated with energy, water, waste, and transportation.
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent. Improving employee morale and satisfaction.
  • Customer Expectations. Strengthening brand and increasing market share.
  • Regulatory Compliance. Staying ahead of new regulations and requirements.
  • Aligning Practices with Values. Demonstrating commitment through actions.


Today, an organization’s commitment to environmental practices is more important than ever. In fact, a survey found more than 80 percent of U.S. workers believe it is important to work for an organization that makes the environment a top priority.


Once the green team has been established, setting goals and priorities will help to keep the team focused and motivated. Consider aligning actions with the Nevada Green Business Program measures, which include:


  • Energy Efficiency
  • Green Cleaning
  • Recycling and Composting
  • Environmental Procurement and Sustainable Packaging
  • Reduce Single-Use Plastics
  • Employee Commute Alternatives
  • Watershed Protection
  • Water Conservation and Native, Drought-Tolerant Landscapes


Waste prevention and recycling is a common goal for many organizations. Waste prevention saves resources and cuts costs by encouraging more efficient use of materials. It also reduces pollution associated with all phases of a product’s life cycle, including disposal. Waste reduction strategies range from reducing consumption of paper and single-use plastics to eliminating disposable dishware and replacing it with reusable dishes and utensils. The Intuit Reno office was able to save $40,000 after switching from paper cups and plates to reusable dishware in their cafeteria and break rooms.


Green teams may find they need to create strategies for keeping team members, management, and staff engaged. The guide offers a variety of ideas for inspiring and motivating staff. Regular communication is essential to keep coworkers informed about the team’s goals and activities and how they can contribute to the program’s overall success.


It is also important to report achievements and recognize the efforts of individual employees or teams that helped to make them possible. Some organizations even host friendly challenges to engage employees’ competitive spirit.


KTMB recommends to keep it simple, fun, and positive.


The guide highlights the many ways to share a green team’s and organization’s achievements to both internal and external audiences. And in today’s business environment, where more than 70% of customers want to buy from businesses that are helping to protect the environment, communicating efforts can offer a competitive advantage.


Start your green team today and get help from KTMB’s Guide to Starting a Green Team by visiting the Nevada Green Business Network’s Resources webpage here.


Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful is dedicated to creating a more sustainable and beautiful region through waste reduction, education, and active community involvement. For more information visit www.ktmb.org.


The Washoe County Health District has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making District Board of Health. The Health District’s strategic priorities are: Healthy Lives, Healthy Environment, Local Culture of Health, Impactful Partnerships, Financial Stability, and Organizational Capacity.

Written by Lynne Barker. 2021.

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