The Corporate Green Team Network started as a volunteer group of individuals from a number of private and public sector companies and organisations in the Cayman Islands. Initially, the group was created in June 2009 as the result of a partnership between Deloitte and the Department of Environment.
“We went to Deloitte with the DoE Sustainability Unit series of guides on sustainability issues in the office space,” says Gina Ebanks-Petrie. The DoE was aware of Deloitte’s internal green efforts but also as a frequent contributor to sustainability issues. “We approached them to see whether they would be interested in sponsoring the guides.”
The outcome of a conversation with Deloitte Chief Operating Officer Alee Fa’amoe was that Deloitte was interested in the issues in general and attracted by the fact that the DoE saw this as part of a bigger plan to get buy-in for on the political level and not just a one-off project, she says. “And that really our goal is to move as a country to a national sustainability strategy.” Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to participate in other sustainable development initiatives.
The network was formed from corporate “green teams” that already existed within the member companies to establish environmentally responsible practices in the workplace. Members use the network to exchange ideas and experiences, for example with regard to waste reduction, recycling and energy efficiency, and join their efforts to promote environmental responsibility both on a business and personal level. The network members are keen to use their experience to spread the word to other companies, says Halford. And in the business community it is valuable to have this information coming from other business who can for example quantify what they have done and how much money they have saved.
In addition members also committed to highlight specific sustainability issues in the wider community and encourage environmental responsibility. As sustainability is a complex issue the group decided to focus on individual issues, such as the increasing number of single-use plastic bags used in the Cayman Islands. The objective is to “find ways to do small projects to make the public and the political leadership understand what it is we are talking about,” says Ebanks-Petrie.
Overall, the initiative wants to encourage the community to become aware of how their actions affect the environment and how to become smarter consumers.
The plastic bag initiative is seen as a spring board for other efforts. “We would like it to be a canvas project for the whole of the Cayman Islands,” she says.
Other projects could include highlighting green products and services that are available in Cayman and the sharing of information on greening the workplace with as many non-members as possible.
In the future, there are plans to turn the network into a non-profit organisation at some stage. A branding for this has already been established under the Cayman Become logo.
List of organisations involved at present:
Cayman Eco, Cayman Free Press, Deloitte, dms Organization, Department of Environment, Department of Tourism, Island Heritage, Island Supply, KPMG, Liberty, LIME, Maples Finance, Ogiers, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Rawlinson & Hunter.