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The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies That Benefit Employees, the Environment and the Bottom Line


As twenty-first-century companies realize they'll need to be green to compete, sustainability ideas are spreading like wildfire. Leigh Stringer, the go-to expert on greening your business, demonstrates how to create a greener work environment with cost-effective changes, including:

working from home, video-conferencing, and other ways to cut commuting costs;

increasing access...

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The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies That Benefit Employees, the Environment and the Bottom Line

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As twenty-first-century companies realize they'll need to be green to compete, sustainability ideas are spreading like wildfire. Leigh Stringer, the go-to expert on greening your business, demonstrates how to create a greener work environment with cost-effective changes, including:

working from home, video-conferencing, and other ways to cut commuting costs;

increasing access to natural light to save energy; and

using smart technology to encourage carbon footprint reduction.

Through solving key problems, green companies reduce costs, increase productivity, improve employee retention, and increase shareholder value, all while benefiting the environment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Provides a holistic, practical, and useful guide to developing green business practices in ways that benefit the organizations’ members and also enhance business profitability and long-run marketability. This well-written, easy-to-read work covers a wide range of topics and strategies related to developing a green business…Stringer provides unique insight into the ways in which well-known organizations have successfully adopted sustainable green workspace solutions. For anyone interested in creative, sustainable ideas for developing a green workplace, this book will serve as an excellent guide.”

"A must-read for any company, regardless of its place on the green spectrum.  The Green Workplace includes great information for companies just beginning to green their offices or for those who are further along in the process.  From alternative work options to the greening of actual buildings and spaces, The Green Workplace has it all!"
--Alicia R. Martin, Sustainability Manager, Sprint

"Leigh surfaces the many challenges businesses may face in their quest to 'go green.'  Her passion for the environment comes through with each turn of the page. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand environmental issues in the workplace, and how we can begin replacing destructive behaviors with practices that will ensure future generations enjoy the same pleasures we experience today."
--Randy Knox III, Sr. Director of Global Workplace Solutions, Adobe Systems Incorporated
"This book is a good compilation of the issues facing corporations today.  Fortunately, there are also examples of solutions that have been implemented.  Ms. Stringer recognizes that there is no silver bullet solution, but does a good job of highlighting some of the silver buckshot that can help businesses improve their ecological footprint. We must recognize the challenges and change our behavior in a controlled manner before it becomes imposed on us in a harsh manner.  The recent financial crises should have taught us this lesson--there is no bailout planet available for our ecosystem."
--Paul Westbrook, Sustainable Development Manager, Texas Instruments

"This is one of the most useful books I have ever read—Leigh Stringer has taken on 'green' in the most holistic of ways. To inform, educate and inspire while at the same time reeling off fact and after fact, and idea after idea, is no mean achievement, but that she did so in a way that is eminently readable is a wonderful bonus. Stringer’s passion and enthusiasm for the subject is infectious; no contemporary business organization should be without this book."
--Chris Hood, Program Manager, the HP Workplace

"Leigh Stringer hits the nail squarely on the head with The Green Workplace. Anyone designing a green building without full consideration of the people effect is missing the boat. Stringer shows how you can have a fully green building, highly energy-efficient, with a healthy and productive workforce, if we’re willing to rethink our assumptions and current practices. It’s never ‘either/or’ but always ‘both/and’ that we need to consider in designing and operating our workplaces."
--Jerry Yudelson, author of The Green Building Revolution

"From the newest cutting-edge green technologies to the small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference, The Green Workplace is an illuminating, accessible, and comprehensive guide that reveals how managers at every level across a wide variety of industries can make their offices and practices more sustainable, efficient, and well-suited to our complex, ever-changing world of business."
--Curtis Ravenel, Global Head, Sustainability Initiatives, Bloomberg, L.P.

"The Green Workplace is a smartly articulated and comprehensive strategy to transform the way you do business. Stringer attacks this critical challenge in the most intelligent way: by understanding how to use design thinking to change behavior. Recommended for anyone who wants to make change at work."
--Valerie Casey, Founder and Executive Director, The Designers Accord

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230103368
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,369,596
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Leigh Stringer is a LEED® Accredited Professional and a workplace and sustainability expert at HOK, a global architectural firm. She has been a featured speaker at numerous design and construction industry events for the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and CoreNet Global. In 2007, she was named to the list of “40 Under 40” top industry professionals by Building Design + Construction magazine.

In addition to appearances on CNN, published articles in USA Today, CoreNet’s Leader magazine, Building Operating Management, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Stringer is the founder and editor of, a blog dedicated to sharing ideas about greening the workplace through space, technology and change management.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures ix

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1 The Case for Change 1

Driving Forces for Change 5

The Workplace Challenge 7

New Ways of Working 7

Consider the Commute 8

The Impact of a Green Workplace 9

Creating Value 9

Mitigating Risk 14

The Future Has Arrived 18

Chapter 2 The Global Picture 21

Our "Supersized" Ecological Footprint 22

Our Addiction to Oil 26

Throwing It All Away 29

Poor Indoor Air Quality 31

Emissions 33

Chapter 3 Greening the Organization 37

The Power of the Grassroots 38

Reward Systems 39

Measurement 42

New Roles and Responsibilities 46

Partnerships 51

Centralized versus Decentralized Structure 53

Making Green Stick 54

Chapter 4 Your Green Road Map 59

Getting Started 60

Step 1 Mobilization 61

Step 2 Diagnosis and Discovery 65

Step 3 Strategy and Program Development 68

Step 4 Implications and Recommendations 71

Step 5 Implement, Measure, and Adjust 73

The High-Performance Green Workplace 75

Chapter 5 Encouraging Green Behavior 77

Green Change Management 78

Benefits of Change Management 79

Green Profiling 80

Identifying Resistance 86

Tying Green Behavior to Process 89

Actions You Can Take Today 99

Chapter 6 Green Recruiting 101

Green Branding and Organizational Culture 103

Recruiting Venues 106

Job Descriptions 106

Green Benefits 108

Greening the Recruiting Process 110

Keeping Green Talent 112

Actions You Can Take Today 113

Chapter 7 Leveraging Technology 115

Enabling More Efficient and Effective Work 116

Mass Collaboration 124

Technology Influencing Behavior 127

Smart Buildings 130

Alternative Energy Technology 134

Actions You Can Take Today 135

Chapter 8 Greening Operations 137

Measure Twice, Cut Once 138

Buying Wisely 140

Saving Energy and Water 144

Waste Not, Want Not 147

Unusual Partnerships 150

Actions You Can Take Today 153

Chapter 9 Transformative Design 155

New Ways of Thinking 156

Transformative Design in Buildings 161

Design Influencing Green Behavior 165

Designing a Productive, Green Workplace 168

Actions You Can Take Today 175

Chapter 10 Changing When, Where, and How You Work 177

The Shift 178

What Is Alternative Work? 182

Candidates for Alternative Work 188

Cultural Assessment 190

The Implications of Alternative Work 190

Transportation Demand Management 194

Corporate Travel 198

Integrating TDM into the Business 198

Actions You Can Take Today 201

Chapter 11 The Green Workplace of the Future 203

Predictions 205

Moving Forward 213

Notes 217

Index 229

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Useful look at why green is good practice

    The business case for sustainability is now fairly well-established: Doing good is good business. Building sustainability into your firm requires change, which human nature resists. Leigh Stringer describes how companies can solve pressing environmental problems while increasing profits and providing a happier workplace. getAbstract recommends this book as a solid starting point from which to address sustainability changes. Stringer covers a full range of promising solutions and provides a "green" take on change management, but other books in the field may offer more depth on implementation. "Design thinking" is all about solving multiple problems at once, and Stringer persuasively argues that this approach can meet the demands of the emerging idea-driven marketplace.

    To learn more about this book, check out the following web page:

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