Skillsoft Blog

Are You Greening Your Training Strategy? E Learning is Eco-friendly.

By Darlene Frederick

Since today is Earth Day, it’s a good time to ask this question: Are you consciously applying green thinking in the way you design and implement training programs?  Considering the number of your company’s employees whom you touch each year with training management systems, practicing and promoting green training can demonstrate a practical commitment to support your organization’s “Ecological Intelligence.”  Daniel Goleman, author of the now-classic Emotional Intelligence, coined the new phrase to describe how a company’s awareness of the ecological impact of its products and services is vital to its competitive advantage.

In addition to enhancing a company’s external brand and reputation, with the potential for upside revenue as a benefit, green thinking can be an advantage in training and retaining talent.  A 2007 survey by staffing firm Adecco USA found that about one third of employees are more inclined to work for a “green” company.

When you ask employees to forego the workday escape to the brick and mortar classroom and flock to your computer based training solution, you may win extra points and increased usage by touting the eco-benefits of green training.  But even when face-to-face training is a critical part of the solution, you can remain true to your green ideals by supporting the paperless classroom concept.

So let’s talk about paper.  Although the concept of the “paperless office” has been a utopian vision since the early days of computing, a coalition called The Paperless Project presents some discouraging statistics. Despite the ubiquity of computer storage and use, the surprising facts are that

  • 85% of business documents are in paper form
  • 90% of a business’ information is in documents
  • Paper in the average business grows by 22% a year

Sources: Gartner, ARMA and AIIM

E learning courseware, digital books, online reference material, a virtual classroom – the tools are all out there in most organizations.  Is your commitment to green training bold enough to enable you to capitalize on what Green to Gold authors Esty and Winston label the Eco-Advantage mindset?  “Doing the right thing attracts the best people, enhances brand value and builds trust with customers and other stakeholders.”
Of course, going green in training, as in any process, product or service, has to provide a visible benefit when you’re asking people to change behavior.  Read this inspiring story of Ohio seventh graders thriving on a collaborative learning paradigm that leverages e learning tools and social learning in an online paperless classroom.

In Green to Gold, the authors encourage us to amplify the well-known Reduce, Reuse, Recycle strategies to include Redesign and Reimagine in order to mine the real gold from our green thinking.  Through our SkillSoft blog, Learning Re-Imagined, you’ll find ideas to stimulate your thinking about green training and more – and we hope you’ll continue to stimulate ours.

Are you promoting your e learning solution as a green initiative?  Let me know in the comments!

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