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Is Your Company Up for the Challenge? People Power Challenge Energizes Employees into Environmental Action

Aug 15, 2012

For Immediate Distribution


(August 15, TORONTO) -Employees are a company's best resource for new and effective ideas to reduce costs and improve processes. In addition, employees are a critical component to the success of any organization's sustainability strategy, as they are the ones implementing projects on the ground.  But employee engagement in sustainability has proven to be difficult for many organizations, and businesses are struggling to answer the question: how do I get my employees to drive the sustainability agenda forward? 

Partners in Project Green has sought to provide a solution to that question with the People Power Challenge. There is no cost to compete in this year long Challenge, and it is designed to encourage staff to generate ways to improve their company's environmental performance and reduce its costs. Building on the success of the 2011/12 Challenge, Partners in Project Green is getting ready to kick off its 2012/13 People Power Challenge with the first sub-challenge beginning on November 1st.

 "Employee engagement was one of the key topics for us when we signed up for the People Power Challenge," said Philipp Haderer, Ontario Natural Food Co-op. "In the preceding couple of years we had been able to establish our key sustainability baselines and targets and even had managed to harvest some of the low hanging fruit. But then we were faced with the bigger issues, that needed a wider organizational support and by joining the People Power Challenge, we all of a sudden had a blueprint for how to address them in our hands. Not only was the scorecard an easy-to-follow-check list; all the templates that were offered saved us a lot of time - crucial for a medium-sized organization with an ambitious but nevertheless finite sustainability budget. And the Challenge definitely got things rolling: the competition aspect helped us to emotionally engage our staff and management and the deadlines amplified the priorities on some of the initiatives. In the end, we had turned a number of staff suggestions into a list of initiatives that our management reviewed and acted on."

The first People Power Challenge was received enthusiastically and has 22 companies competing to get lean and green. During the Waste Challenge, participating companies collectively received 299 waste reduction and diversion ideas, 50 of which were implemented immediately, and 168 which were planned to be implements with the next 12 months. During the Energy Challenge, companies received 296 energy efficiency suggestions from staff, 70 of which were immediately implemented. The Water Challenge is still going, but amazing results are expected here as well. The 2011/12 People Power Challenge winner will be announced at the Partners in Project Green fall networking event on October 11. 


There are three new Challenge areas planned for the upcoming competition-Green Procurement, Green Building and Transportation. Companies can compete in one, two, or all three Challenges. Each Challenge will have one winner per size category based on points they've earned. Challenge winners will receive $1,000 and a plaque to celebrate their success with their stakeholders. At the end of the year, one company in each size category will be declared the People Power Challenge Campion 2012/13 and awarded $2,500, a plaque, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The People Power Challenge is open to any company in the GTA. For more information, or to register your company for the 2012/13 People Power Challenge please contact Jennifer Taves at or 416-661-6600 extension 5570.



Partners in Project Green is a growing community of businesses working together to green their bottom line by creating an internationally recognized eco-business zone around Toronto Pearson. Through new forms of business-to-business collaboration, Partners in Project Green delivers programming that helps businesses reduce energy and resource costs, uncover new business opportunities, and address everyday operational challenges in a green and cost-effective manner.







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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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