Why forming or leading a green team can transform your career

  • Exposes you to a wide range of sustainability and social impact issues businesses face.
  • Gives you practical project management and leadership experience.  (Be sure to add your course experience to your resume!) 
  • Builds relationships and trust with peers across your organization. (You never know who in your network will be the key to a future job or promotion.)
  • Shows managers you are capable and willing to go above and beyond. Many course participants have expressed how the green team garnered them more attention from their boss and more responsibility. 
  • Enables you to have the kind of purpose-driven work that so many of your generation desire but so few proactively pursue.

Why are green teams so vital to organizations who wish to not only survive the rapidly changing and competitive world we are in but who wish to thrive and be a place the most passionate and talented people seek out?

A green team eradicates the barriers that prevent growth and innovation, improves teamwork and culture, and delivers social, environmental, AND economic results.

This is the relaunch of a course that has already helped more than 120 people start and manage green teams!


This course is a step-by-step roadmap for recruiting and launching a green team, prioritizing initiatives, gaining traction, and overcoming objections. In this course, Learners are Doers! If you follow the playbook you will launch a sustainability team! 

The course contains 19 lessons with bite-sized content (videos 10 minutes or less); a 90+ page workbook with team and leader exercises and activities, tips, tools, and resources; and exercises that help you take a Sustainability Team Toolkit spreadsheet that accompanies many of the lessons. There is also bonus content including interviews with sustainability experts. 

Course outcomes

  • Develop a business case and strategic justification for a green team.
  • Build a cross-functional, representative, and productive sustainability team.
  • Prioritize social and environmental issues for the team to address.
  • Plan and implement sustainability initiatives, such as volunteer outings, waste audits, and more.
  • Set goals for both team performance and triple bottom line performance.
  • Manage expectations and lead the team through obstacles and objections.

NOTE: your college professor will provide you a syllabus indicating which lessons and activities you should complete, according to your institution's academic calendar. 

Course Curriculum

  • 3

    Lesson 2: Sustainability Overview

  • 4

    Lesson 3: The Sustainability Team

  • 5

    Lesson 4: The Sustainability Business Case

    • Lesson 4 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 4 Checklist

    • Lesson 4 Video: The Sustainability Business Case

    • Lesson 4 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 4 Practice Quiz

    • Sustainability Team Toolkit

    • Leader Activity: Business Case Brainstorming

  • 6

    Lesson 5: The Sustainability Stakeholders

    • Lesson 5 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 5 Checklist

    • Lesson 5 Video: The Sustainability Stakeholders

    • Lesson 5 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 5 Practice Quiz

    • Leader Activity: Stakeholder Inventory

  • 7

    Lesson 6: Green Team Benefit - It's Strategic!

    • Lesson 6 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 6 Checklist

    • Lesson 6 Video: Green Team Benefit - It's Strategic!

    • Lesson 6 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 6 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Strategic Sustainability

  • 8

    Lesson 7: Green Team Benefit - It's Popular!

    • Lesson 7 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 7 Checklist

    • Lesson 7 Video: Green Team Benefit - It's Popular!

    • Lesson 7 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 7 Practice Quiz

    • Leader Activity: Draft a Pitch to Launch the Green Team

    • Team Discussion: Organizational Culture and Employee Engagement

  • 9

    Lesson 8: Green Team Benefit - It's Actionable!

    • Lesson 8 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 8 Checklist

    • Lesson 8 Video: Green Team Benefit - It's Actionable!

    • Lesson 8 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 8 Practice Quiz

    • Leader and Team Activity: Plan the Steps for an Initiative

    • Team Discussion: Greenwashing

  • 10

    Lesson 9: CREATE the Team

    • Lesson 9 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 9 Checklist

    • Lesson 9 Video: Team Characteristics

    • Lesson 9 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 9 Practice Quiz

    • Leader and Team Activity: Assess Departments for a Cross-Functional Team

  • 11

    Lesson 10: Team Characteristics

    • Lesson 10 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 10 Checklist

    • Lesson 10 Video: Team Characteristics

    • Lesson 10 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 10 Practice Quiz

    • Leader Activity: Collaborate with Human Resources

    • Team Discussion: Representation Matters

    • Team Activity: Personal Assessments

  • 12

    Lesson 11: Team Recruitment

    • Lesson 11 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 11 Checklist

    • Lesson 11 Video: Team Recruitment

    • Lesson 11 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 11 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Engaging Communication

    • Leader Activity: Announcement and Recruitment Communication Plan

    • Leader Activity: Targeted Recruiting

    • Team Activities: Recruitment Video and Event

  • 13

    Lesson 12: Mission and Charter

    • Lesson 12 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 12 Checklist

    • Lesson 12 Video: Mission and Charter

    • Lesson 12 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 12 Practice Quiz

    • Team Activity: Create a Team Charter (External and Internal)

    • Team Discussion: Mission Statement

  • 14

    Lesson 13: Roles and Responsibilities

    • Lesson 13 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 13 Checklist

    • Lesson 13 Video: Roles and Responsibilities

    • Lesson 13 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 13 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Team Roles

    • Leader Activity: Team Roles and Responsibilities

    • Team Activity: Research Assignment

  • 15

    Lesson 14: Priorities and Causes

    • Lesson 14 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 14 Checklist

    • Lesson 14 Video: Priorities and Causes

    • Lesson 14 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 14 Practice Quiz

    • Team Activity: Organizational Priorities

    • Leader ADVANCED Activity: Weighted Decision Matrix

  • 16

    Lesson 15: Meetings and Activities

    • Lesson 15 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 15 Checklist

    • Lesson 15 Video: Meetings and Activities

    • Lesson 15 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 15 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Meetings Best Practices

    • Team Activity: Initiative Assignments

    • Team Activity: Volunteer Outing

  • 17

    Lesson 16: Resources and Rewards

    • Lesson 16 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 16 Checklist

    • Lesson 16 Video: Resources and Rewards

    • Lesson 16 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 16 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Giving Gratitude

    • Leader Activity: Document a Rewards and Recognition Plan

    • Team Activity: Prepare a Budget for Team Activities

  • 18

    Lesson 17: Managing Expectations

    • Lesson 17 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 17 Checklist

    • Lesson 17 Video: Managing Expectations

    • Lesson 17 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 17 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion: Brainstorm SMART Goals

    • Team Activity: Baseline Metrics

    • Leader Activity: Set up a Reporting Dashboard

  • 19

    Lesson 18: Overcoming Objections

    • Lesson 18 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 18 Checklist

    • Lesson 18 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 18 Practice Quiz

    • Leader Activity: Get Empowered!

    • Team Activity: Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

    • Team Discussion and Activity: Trade-offs

    • Lesson 18 Video: Overcoming Objections

  • 20

    Lesson 19: Maintaining Momentum

    • Lesson 19 Outcome and Description

    • Lesson 19 Checklist

    • Lesson 19 Video: Maintaining Momentum

    • Lesson 19 Workbook Section

    • Lesson 19 Practice Quiz

    • Team Discussion and Activity: Troubleshoot Lack of Momentum and Commit to Action

    • Leader Activity: Sustainability Learning & Development Plan

    • Leader Activity: Deal with Turnover

  • 21

    Resources and Extras

    • Sustainability is a Team Sport Complete Workbook

    • Sustainability Team Toolkit spreadsheet

    • Activity Supplement: Team Strengthening

    • Course Acknowledgments, Disclaimers, and Additional Information

  • 22

    Interviews with Sustainability Experts

    • Collaborating with HR (Interview with Dr. Melonie Boone)

    • Inspiring with a long-term vision (Interview with Joan D. Plisko, PhD)

    • Engaging customers in sustainability initiatives (Interview with Vivian Belzaguy)

    • Multi-organizational Green Team - Part 1

    • Multi-organizational Green Team - Part 2

    • Multi-organizational Green Team - Part 3

About the course author

The Change Maker

Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton

Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton is Founder and Chief Change Agent of Astrapto LLC, which offers courses, coaching, and consulting to advance sustainability in hospitality, events, travel, and other services industries. Her passion is to make sustainability practical and positive for people whose job title is not sustainability, but who have a passion to drive positive impact in and through their organizations and supply chains. Aurora loves helping people realize their potential while discovering a greater purpose for good in business. She has helped over 120 young professionals launch green teams and perform sustainable procurement audits. Her clients include World Wildlife Fund (Hotel-Kitchen), Centerplate, Baltimore Convention Center, Green Seal (hotel eco-certification), the Events Industry Council, and various hotels and restaurant groups. She has been a thought leader and volunteer in industry organizations, including the Events Industry Council and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Aurora has a doctorate degree in Social Impact Management.

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