Ken Harris from icebreaker started with the simple question many of us have relating to climate change and sustainability ‘practically, what can I do about it?’. He decided to channel frustration into action and started the office sustainability group ‘The icebreaker Sheep Dogs’.
Sheep Dogs started as a means to empower the staff to make positive change in their workplace. They are constantly looking for new opportunities to make the day-to-day office a more sustainable and eco-friendly place: Examples include, switching to ‘SmartAss Toilet Paper’ (made solely from sugar cane and bamboo), buying ethically sourced coffee, planting an edible office garden and gifting everyone a keep cup (no excuses). Simple initiatives like removing personal rubbish bins so that people need to dispose of waste at a centralised waste area, which includes recycling and compost, have made a significant impact on waste reduction.
But the Sheep Dogs didn’t stop there, with support from icebreaker, they commandeered the office blackboard, a giant world map, to inform staff about sustainability challenges around the world. They host quarterly documentary movie nights on relevant issues and get out of the office for local beach clean-up and tree planting events. Alongside all of this they have also supported the growth of indigenous carbon forests by offsetting their Shanghai conference flights with Ekos.
Next on the horizon is to embed the Sheep Dog initiatives into an icebreaker Sustainability Policy globally, throughout offices and retail spaces. Ken says that ultimately the formation of the Sheep Dogs has improved the office culture and that others in the organization have responded really well to the changes being made and have been very supportive. He says he never expected that it would grow this big or that making positive environmental changes in the workplace could be such fun.
At Ekos it is inspiring to work with so many businesses and individuals who want to take the extra steps to ensure a positive-sustainable future for the planet.
Tēnā koe to Ken and the Sheep Dogs for the work that you are doing at icebreaker, we look forward to hearing about more innovative steps you will be taking in the future.