Corporate Responsibility at Ecova: A Team Effort

Hester Yorgey

As a Total Energy and Sustainability Management company, Ecova’s mission is to provide best-in-class efficiency services that facilitate our clients’ efficient use of environmental and business resources. In recent years, we’ve also taken steps to ensure we ‘walk the talk’ by developing a cohesive corporate responsibility program. Corporate responsibility is more than a marketing tool for Ecova – it is an integral building block of our business – and is focused on four areas: our employees, our clients, our community and our environment.

Ecova has experienced many of the same challenges of growing companies; namely, bringing geographically diverse employees together into a cohesive culture while taking advantage of their incredible individual talents. As such, employee engagement is a high priority for our program’s success, and the corporate responsibility program has been a great way to connect employees under a common ethic.

Ecova’s engagement strategy is a multi-tiered approach, with a goal of involving employees across all locations, departments and management levels.  Ecova’s corporate responsibility program is championed and managed by more than 150 employees (about 10 percent of our workforce) across the company. This group works to define, manage, and lead Ecova’s overall corporate responsibility strategy, embed best-in-class sustainable practices into how we do business, and engage their colleagues in being part of the journey:

  • Corporate Responsibility Manager: Ecova created a full-time position to drive corporate strategy and initiative implementation, coordinating efforts with Ecova’s parent company, ENGIE, and regularly engaging Ecova executive leadership.
  • Corporate Responsibility Advisory Board: Ten senior leaders work with the corporate responsibility manager to define the vision and long-term strategy, and to ensure our internal program is directly linked to Ecova’s business strategy.
  • Ecova Impact Leadership Team: This group represents employees from various locations, departments and management levels, and is given dedicated time to manage corporate initiative implementation and lead local office teams.
  • Ecova Impact Teams: Local teams customize engagement activities to match local interests and needs. Team members develop competitions, educational activities and volunteer opportunities for all employees.
  • Subject Matter Experts: Subject matter experts across the company are instrumental in the successful implementation of corporate strategies, increasing opportunities for employees to impact the direction of our company’s strategy and culture.
  • Ecova Leadership: Executive and Senior Leadership support the integration of corporate responsibility into company policies, decision-making strategies, employee experience and brand.

Specific engagement activities are developed with the goal of building awareness, helping employees take a personal interest in corporate responsibility and connect the dots between internal culture and the services we offer to clients. A few examples from the last year include:

  • Volunteer Opportunities
    Ecova gives every employee eight hours of paid time per year to volunteer at a nonprofit or educational organization of their choice, or through group volunteer opportunities. More than 72 percent of employees have volunteered each year this benefit has been offered.
  • Donation Drives and Challenges
    Teams hold drives for a community organization that has local importance, engaging employees to get involved through shared information, raffles, and inter-office challenges.
  • CR Video Challenge
    We challenged employees to make 60-second videos that talked about what corporate responsibility meant to them, which generated many creative, funny and thought-provoking entries.
  • CR Report Launch Parties
    In April, all offices held local “CR Report Launch” celebrations with presentations by Ecova leadership, informational sessions, trivia, raffle prizes and more (one office even include a pie toss).
  • Educational Brown Bags
    Local teams select topics that are particularly interesting or relevant to their offices, or call upon local experts to come in and speak.
  • Energy Consumption Dashboards
    We recently installed energy submeters at our seven major offices, and are showcasing our consumption information prominently in our offices. On tap is an energy reduction challenge between our offices.

Ethical Corp ShortlistedOur efforts have enabled increased learning and greater results—and the more employees we continue to engage in our efforts, the stronger the program and the broader the impact we will ultimately have.

We’re pleased to announce that this year Ecova has made the shortlist for Ethical Corporation’s 6th Responsible Business Awards in three categories, including Internal Engagement: Best Employee Engagement. It’s exciting to have our employees’ efforts recognized, and we’ll find out if they’re rewarded this September at the awards ceremony in London!

More details about our CR story can be found in Ecova’s Corporate Responsibility Report.

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