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Green & Healthy Events Program Engages Employees in Climate Action

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2016

Alameda County’s Green & Healthy Events & Meetings program engaged all twenty county agencies, hundreds of employees who plan events, and over 18,000 community and employee event participants to build a new county culture of sustainable and healthy gatherings. This was achieved through the first, model campaign in a broad effort to engage the County’s 9,500 employees and create the cultural shifts needed to reach ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets set in the Climate Action Plan for Government Services and Operations. The successful, replication-ready employee engagement approach was applied to greening the many meetings and events crucial to serving the community. Events have a significant climate impact through travel, waste generation, and emissions from manufacturing and delivery of food and supplies, yet planning is decentralized. To address this challenge, in 2014 a cross-functional team – with executive sponsorship and grassroots input – developed green event resources, training, and a recognition program to achieve resource conservation and health benefits. Subsequently, the Green & Healthy Events & Meetings program was promoted through an intensive, human behavior research-based campaign. Participation exceeded the target by a factor of five, thanks to the innovative application of community-based social marketing tools to engage government employees to take action.

Ms. Myrna Lopez
Intergovernmental Affairs and Civic Engagement