Green Gown Awards 2016 Sustainability Staff Champion Nan Taplin Finalist

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Nan Taplin, Environment and Energy Coordinator - University of Cambridge

As a proactive Environment and Energy Coordinator at the University of Cambridge, Nan Taplin has encapsulated the true spirit of a sustainability champion.

Nan has acted as the glue holding together one of the University’s most successful ‘green teams’, leading their success through the bronze, silver and gold Green Impact awards. Her efforts have earned her many plaudits for her dedication and enthusiasm, including the University’s Environmental Hero Award. One Green Impact auditor recently stated “I have never met someone so passionate about the environment in my life!” Perhaps more astonishing however, is that all of Nan’s environmental achievements have been completed on top of her role as a busy Senior Secretary in the Department of Italian and Modern Greek.

Nan truly demonstrates how one person can successfully embed ‘green’ thinking into the culture of a workplace by enthusing and motivating staff, and using an inclusive, collaborative approach.

Top 3 learnings

1 Build a team around you

One-man-bands can only do so much; the key to everything is working in at team, particularly with representatives from the key areas of your operation.

2. Don’t get disheartened on the ‘thankless task’ days.

Not everyone is going to share your passion, many are busy and have different priorities, and there will always be someone who gets fed up of hearing you speak about turning off lights, recycling and sustainable travel. However the vast majority of people will be on board with your objectives!

3. Celebrate your successes

Always remember to celebrate your successes. Tell people about the improvements which you have all made together. Thank them for their commitment. Gather their support for the next change you are going to make, and the next one, and the one after that. Little by little, day by day, month by month you will make a difference – slowly but surely, change will happen.

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