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Process Mapping


Apple has committed to solar power, DuPont has hired an ex-Greenpeace directive as an adviser on its board, and Coca-Cola has embraced sustainable practices in water stewardship and climate protection. What was once seen as an innovative, laudable step to take is now the only logical one: that of going to a green workplace. Customers in both the U.S. and abroad have shown a desire to pay more in order to support green companies. For the average company without a large infrastructure or budget behind it, taking the leap towards eco-friendliness can be challenging. It is therefore vital to adopt business process mapping principles to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Which Process Are You Mapping?

One of the first steps when it comes to successful business process mapping involves selecting the correct process to be mapped. When it comes to a green workplace, the gamut of possible actions is certainly wide. It can involve everything from reducing plastic use in your office right through to going solar, undertaking recycling efforts, and committing to the more responsible use of water. In order to select a process to map out, it pays to calculate your company’s carbon footprint or create a waste audit so as to see which areas need to be addressed first. It is as important to select a process that engages and interests employees so they can get involved in tasks such as plastic recycling.

Choosing The Right Team And Sourcing Information

The input of your employees can be priceless when you're moving to a green workplace. Business process mapping states that involving key players (including those from senior management) and then listening to their feedback is key if progress is to be made. The team you select should either have previous knowledge/experience in key areas like renewable energy or be committed to conducting research into various options. This core team can then present findings or suggestions to the rest of your team.

Talking To The Right People

Part of information sourcing in business process mapping involves compiling the right information. If you're switching from standard to renewable energy, for instance, you will need to visit various professionals, since your choices can range from simply contracting electricity from a green energy company to going all-out and installing solar panels for everything from central heating to underfloor heating in your building. Information obtained needs to be recorded, stored and summarized so it can be presented to the executive team and decisions can be made.

Drafting Your Business Process Map

Once vital decisions have been made, you can get to the task of drafting your map. It should include items such as process, roles of respective staff members, tasks to be completed and participants who will be involved. The map should be as well defined as possible so everyone knows where they're heading and is aware of the part they're playing in making changes happen.

Building a green workplace

The principles of business process mapping – which include identifying roles, goals, and workflow – can be applied to any major project, including that of making the transition to a greener business. It all begins with selecting the right process and ends with due monitoring of whether or not your plan is working. Be open to refinement and improvement over time: going green may place a few unexpected obstacles in your way, but if the rest is well organized, you should be able to adapt as required.

by guest contributor Jennifer Hole

 

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