Conclusions and Next Steps from the Beyond the Recycling Bin Report
The G4 Committee’s goal is to help educate GMN members on how and why to implement more environmentally-friendly practices and help grants managers move beyond the recycling bin.
In 2009, the Committee polled GMN members to learn more about the importance of greening at their organizations, the greening practices their organizations were implementing, and any barriers they encountered. We received responses from 279 members, and a report on the findings, Beyond the Recycling Bin: Greening Practices of Grantmakers, has been published. While respondents represented a broad spectrum of grantmaking organizations, they shared many commonalities. The following are some of the conclusions from the report.
Greening is important to GMN members.
Almost all respondents thought that environmentally-sustainable practices should be a priority for their organization, and all respondents have implemented some greening practices.
We can do more to make our organizations more environmentally-friendly.
The report found a wide array of low-hanging fruit and ripe opportunities for greening our organizations. These include using more energy-efficient lighting and office equipment, buying recycled supplies, and accepting more types of documents electronically.
Grantmakers with formalized greening policies and goals are significantly more likely to successfully implement greening practices.
When management makes a commitment to more environmentally-friendly operations (e.g., establishing a greening committee or adjusting policies), the organization is much more likely to successfully change its practices to be more sustainable.
Grantmakers need specific information and tools to build support for and implement greening practices.
The biggest barriers to change are budget constraints and an organizational culture that is not open to greening.
Grantmaking organizations that are greening do not have a forum to share their experiences and lessons learned with their colleagues.
The G4 Team is working on creating a forum for GMN members to share their experiences and lessons learned, stay tuned!
The G4 Team’s focus in 2011 will be to develop tools to help GMN members green their organizations; share best practices and the benefits of greening, and help you build a case for greening within your organization. In addition, we are preparing a session for the March 2011 GMN conference in Seattle -- Beyond the Recycling Bin: Making the Report a Catalyst for Change, which will review some of the essential findings of the report, highlight impactful and cost-effective ways to green your grants process, explain the benefits of greening organizational operations, and provide you with tools and examples to bring back to your organization.
The GMN Examiner Editorial Team
The GMN Examiner is published three times a year through the dedicated efforts of GMN members and volunteers.
Ericka Novotny – Co-Editor
Allison Gister – Co-Editor