Poppulo Q&A: Empowering a More Sustainable Workforce

The Green Awards 2020 recognise the most sustainable businesses in Ireland and how they are contributing to Ireland’s greener future.

As part of Cpl’s upcoming sponsorship of the Sustainability Team of the Year award, we interviewed Alice Glendinning, Project Manager at Poppulo.

Poppulo is a leading provider of internal communications software that create more connected, aligned and successful organisations globally. We asked Alice about the some of the ways in which Poppulo has become a sustainable workplace.

Can you give some examples of the greener ways of working you have adopted in your organisation?

Our sustainability initiatives are based around three main pillars; to educate, empower and inspire.

Educate:

  • We use our own internal communications platform to send out monthly newsletters to our employees.
  • We create content around sustainability issues for posting on the Poppulo mobile app.
  • We publish articles to encourage waste reduction at Easter, Christmas, Halloween.

Empower:

  • We separate our waste streams into general waste and recycling
  • We have introduced composting bins for all compostable and food waste
  • We created signs that share knowledge for both our in-office waste streams and advice for colleagues to use and apply at home
  • We set up a popular communications channel for Freecycle, a way of regifting resuable goods
  • We have implemented measures to reduce our printing
  • We work with catering partners to omit plastic cutlery and individual condiment sachets
  • Sustainability has been added to our induction program for new starters
  • Reduction of chemical products in the kitchen and bathrooms has been implemented
  • We conducted a beach clean
  • We signed the Smarter Travel Charter in partnership with SmarterTravel.ie

Inspire:

We try to post articles about what our own people are doing to promote sustainability. These have included topics like ‘how to make your own cleaning products’ and ‘going bin free’. We want to acknowledge the work of our people and their own sustainability goals.

You have been nominated for Sustainability Team of the Year at the 2020 Green Awards. How has your team worked together to make your organisation a more sustainable place work?

At Poppulo, our sustainability team is made up of employees from multiple functions across the business. This means we get input from all departments on how we can best meet the sustainability needs of the business. We have regular meetings with clear agendas in place.

We created a campaign which ran over six months with the goal to; Educate, Empower and Inspire. We utilised our own software to send out regular surveys to our staff about our corporate sustainability. We also used our latest product, a mobile app to share stories about our colleagues and their sustainability stories.

We have hosted several events including talks with Voice Ireland and Change by Degrees to help educate our people.

 

What 3 pieces of advice would you give companies in your industry who are trying to become more sustainable?

Start small. Try to incorporate different areas of sustainability into your mission so that you can engage as many stakeholders as possible. Empower your people to take ownership both at work and at home to become more sustainable.

How important are the people you hire and those in leadership in creating a sustainable company?

From day one, new hires are educated about our values – one of which is our ambition to become a more sustainable business.

Our success is driven from the bottom up. We also have great support at senior management level to inspire sustainable thinking across all levels and disciplines within our business.

Have you experienced any hesitations from within your business on become more sustainable, how have your overcome these?

At times when we are asking the business to work in a different way, we have encountered some push back. However, putting together a fact-based business case that highlights the benefits of change has enabled us to persuade decision makers. The business has been very supportive.

What do you see as the top sustainable working trends for 2020? 

I would hope to see the way we commute to work becoming more sustainable. Remote working is on the rise which is a great way of reducing our environmental impact.

Once an organisation has the appropriate communication platforms in place to engage remote workers, this could be key in driving a sustainable future.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for sustainable working in the coming years?

The prevalence of greenwashing can often make people more cynical which is a big challenge.

Also, the cost of sustainability is often an issue. All sustainability spend must be backed up with return on investment and long-term business value.

Alice Glendinning is a Project Manager at Poppulo. The winner of the Sustainability Team of the Year will be announced at the Annual Green Awards 2020 on the 25th of February. Visit greenawards.ie

If you’re interested in learning about how to implement sustainability initiatives in your business, download Cpl’s Responsible Business document. For more information on hiring trends or your talent requirements, get in touch, our consultants would be delighted to advise.