“We reach out to employees to encourage sustainability year-round,” explains Amy White, vice president, Communications at Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials, “And Sustainable September is our biggest, most concerted effort. For a full month, we communicate to employees globally through a variety of channels, and empower them to share their ideas, efforts and enthusiasm with their colleagues.”
This year’s campaign theme, “Together We Can," focused on moving from individual to collective action. The theme was a natural progression from “Change Begins with Me,” the theme in 2016, which underscored the idea that sustainability depends on the contribution of every individual. As a result of the campaign, 81% of employees reported having a better understanding of the company’s sustainability goals, and 84% said they planned to take action to operate more sustainably at work, at home, or in their community.
Avery Dennison is a materials science and manufacturing-industry leader in sustainability, focused on improving the social and environmental impacts of its own operations, as well as the impacts of its suppliers and customers. In 2015, the company announced eight sustainability goals it intends to reach by 2025, including at least a 3% absolute reduction in greenhouse gasses year over year; sourcing 100 percent certified-claim paper, of which 70 percent will be Forest Stewardship Council–certified; and becoming 95% landfill-free, with at least 75 percent of waste reused, repurposed or recycled and eliminating 70 percent of matrix and liner as waste from the value chain. The company’s progress is highlighted in its most recent sustainability report, All of Us, Every Day, a title that speaks to the importance of employee commitment in creating companywide change.
Other finalists for the Employee Engagement and Behavioural Change award include Hilton, Freedom Group,Landsec and UK Green Building Council, London Metropolitan University, Swansea University, University of London, Pukka Herbs and Do Nation, Unite Students and the NUS, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
“It’s an honor to be named among such a diverse group of organizations that are finding new ways to capture employees’ imaginations and engage them in effecting change,“ White adds. “Sustainability depends on the level of dedication among employees, from executive leadership on down. It’s inspiring to see so many companies demonstrating commitment across all levels of the organization, where the mechanics of sustainability happen daily. We’re proud to stand among them.”