Our ‘Impact Team’ is a success story which should be replicated
Anyone who wants to anchor sustainability in their day-to-day operations must start with their employees – and their involvement must always be voluntary rather than obligatory. That’s why Zurich Convention Center decided last autumn to create its ‘Impact Team’ and ask employees who were interested in participating to offer their services. Fortunately there were eight volunteers who were immediately keen on contributing to the team, and they already represented every department and level in the organization: the perfect mixture. An interest in - and willingness to engage with - issues relating to sustainability are something that every member of the team has in common.
So the team exists – what now?
The task that awaits the team is huge, but not impossible: its job is to ensure that sustainability is a matter of course at Zurich Convention Center and is actually embodied in practice. In order to achieve this, it’s necessary to tackle some very specific shortcomings and challenges and look for solutions. Furthermore, the individual team members function as role models and ambassadors for their respective departments. Here’s a list of the tasks allotted to the Impact Team:
- Jointly discuss and identify measures (twice yearly)
- Examine shortcomings in the departments and find solutions
- Sensitize your team and those around you as they perform their day-to-day work
- Act as a role model for other employees in the various departments
- Be a source of knowledge in the organization when it comes to sustainability-related topics
- Suggest suitable projects and measures to management
- Implement these projects and measures, or help to do so
Everyone is equal
There are no hierarchies in the team because the focus is on specific everyday challenges and solutions, and this requires smooth and straightforward collaboration where everyone is on an equal footing. Acceptance within the departments will also be much greater if it’s clear that the measures and their content stem directly from the Impact Team and aim to improve sustainability – free of any strategic or financial concerns.
The team’s first meeting took place at the end of 2022. Numerous measures were discussed: 40 of them were proposed to management for implementation, and 16 are already underway. But what kind of measures are we talking about, and how should one picture them? For example, it was decided to greatly reduce the number of business cards, add QR codes to menus to indicate the amount of CO2 emissions linked to each dish, and programme light settings to have shorter switch-on times. Furthermore, anyone submitting an invoice is requested to send it digitally instead of printing it on paper. However, other measures also include the fact that Zurich Convention Center will participate in the ‘Clean-up Day’ and ‘Bike to Work’ initiatives. “There are so many good ideas – and the vast majority not only make sense, but are eminently feasible too,” says founder Maria Hess, and adds: “The work of the Impact Team really makes a difference. Everyone is enthusiastic, and they’re convinced that this is important – you can just feel it.”
The measures that have been decided are implemented by the people or departments responsible; alternatively, they’re directly driven by members of the Impact Team – depending on what makes most sense. Moreover, the measures are approved in advance by management, which is constantly informed about their status. This also serves as a regular reminder that sustainability is being considered in every area. “I’m always delighted to hear about the Impact Team’s ideas and positive effect; it’s truly inspiring. This is how we’ll reach our goal together,” says Roger Büchel, CEO of the Convention Center.
We’re excited too, and we’ll be sure to report on further developments: Go Impact Team!
“The vast majority of the ideas not only make sense, but are feasible too. They really make a difference!”