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PLANT

Green manufacturing: Playing to win

Many companies realize that leveraging “gamification” to engage employees, suppliers and other stakeholders involved in green and sustainability efforts leads to epic wins.


March 14, 2012
by BRETT WILLS

Who says games are just for kids? With the proliferation of social media, smart phones, tablets and other devices, many companies realize that leveraging “gamification” to engage employees, suppliers and other stakeholders involved in green and sustainability efforts can lead to epic wins.

Take the Partners in Project Green “People Power Challenge.” Companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are awarded points for completing tasks across three categories in three different challenges related to energy, waste and water. A live leader-board shows which of them are currently “winning” and at the end of the game, the leaders in each challenge along with an overall leader receive cash prizes that go towards a green initiative suggested by an employee during the game. The result: companies drive employee engagement and awareness, receive innovative ideas for projects, have the opportunity to raise capital for green projects and have a positive impact on the environment.

The success of this program shows just how much interest there is in gaming. With more than 500 million players in the world, harnessing this power will help raise green and sustainability programs to the next level. Here are a few game ideas:

1. Carpooling. Set up a board or web page that connects employees and match up routes to encourage carpooling with points awarded based on distance travelled, trips taken, etc.

2. Acts of green. Similar to the CBC’s Million Acts of Green, employees are awarded points for completing acts of green at work or home.

3. Pay it forward. Looking at social sustainability, design a game that awards employees for completing random acts of kindness for colleagues or even strangers.

4. Biggest loser. Award employees points based on “losing” waste from their desks, work areas, departments, and across the plant for prizes or awards.

Brett Wills is the director of the Green Enterprise Movement and a senior consultant with High Performance Solutions in Cambridge, Ont.

This articles appears in the January/February 2012 issue of PLANT.