We like to consider Yozu as a forward-thinking business. So, in 2023, we set our sights on a sustainable future by launching the Yozu Green – Cultivating Change programme.
The gamification initiative has not only received widespread attention, but has also been nominated for a prestigious CSR award. The programme invited Yozu team members to embark on monthly quests, raising awareness of the company’s environmental impact and encouraging sustainable practices.
The heart of the programme lies in the accumulation of badges. These badges serve as recognition of the team members’ commitment to sustainability. For every ten badges earned, Yozu pledged to plant a tree via a future donation to The Woodland Trust, contributing to reforestation efforts and combating climate change.
As we bid farewell to 2023, the results of Cultivating Change challenges are now in, and Team Yozu has once again demonstrated its commitment to environmental responsibility with an impressive 260 badges earned over the last 12 months!
This means 26 trees have been planted, creating Yozu’s first contribution to a new woodland.🚀
The mastermind behind this initiative is Kasia Pikula from our Design team, whose passion for sustainable living, created this gamification programme and shared her eco-friendly spirit and good vibes with the rest of the team.
She engaged with them continuously during the 12 challenges, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts on the experience:
What inspired you to develop this gamification programme?
I used to be a scout leader, so motivating others to do better and volunteering is really important for me – as much as sustainability and being green. Changing habits through fun and team spirit is a key ingredient in scouting, so I thought it would be great to use it in our company’s context.
I work with like-minded people who are engaged, enthusiastic and willing to go further to create something meaningful. Not to mention we’re all bunch of geeks loving games, so it all simply made sense 🙂
Were there any unexpected challenges faced during the implementation of Cultivating Change?
When we started, I was very motivated and had plenty of ideas for the first quests. We set the first challenge with our Veganuary. It became obvious that not everyone is able or willing to stop eating any animal-based products. Imagine you’re playing a match in tennis and your first match is against Iga Swiatek (currently the world no 1. tennis player). You feel demotivated straight away!
The quests we prepared for a whole year had to be flexible, realistic, achievable and easy enough to add them to people’s daily routine. It was also challenging to ensure there is something for everyone each month – 12 months, 3 quests to choose from each month, it’s a lot! Hence why we always included a sports challenge, which motivated people to keep moving and stay healthy. ❤️
Looking ahead, how do you envision the Yozu Green initiative evolving?
I think December is a good moment for summaries, so, as a typical designer, I’ll gather feedback, analyse it and decide how we should move forward in the future. I have a few ideas about what to do next, but equally, every project has an ending – maybe we’ll do the same concept next year, or we may find a new way of sharing awareness of climate change and building better habits with our team.
We are also in the process of levelling up in these areas, so the business side of our change is already happening. Regardless of the next steps, I have a great team ready to jump into the next challenges. 😊
Our list of monthly challenges looked like this:
We supported the global movement of Veganuary, in which people all over the world try a vegan diet for a whole month.
February: Transport pledge.
We focused on reducing the use of private transport and encouraged ourselves to take public transport and walk more. We created a walking challenge to support Mind’s Mental Health Charity.
March: Grow your vegetables.
This month was all about gardening and cultivating our own vegetables at home and the office!
April: Plastic pledge.
We encouraged the team to raise awareness about all the plastic we use daily and reduce its usage.
May: Sustainable Shopping.
For this quest, Yozuers focused on testing the Impact Score Shopping App and shopping locally. We tried eco places where we had never entered before and shared our findings to create an eco-friendly, local and independent map.
June: Food waste.
Food waste in a huge environmental problem. During June, we shared facts about sustainable BBQs and cooking and tried the Too Good to Go App to get leftovers from local shops.
July: Not so Fast Fashion.
We watched The True Cost documentary and consider our own clothes choices to change our shopping habits. We also tested the Good on You App and shared what alternative brands are doing good for a more sustainable future.
August: Bringing nature into our lives.
Spending time in nature helps to build a connection with nature and an appreciation for the climate. We encouraged the team to be aware of nature in their walks and create a wildlife-friendly place at home.
September: Electrifying September.
September’s quest was all about energy efficiency. We compared our electricity tariffs to see if there were more eco-friendly alternatives, and we built energy-saving habits.
October: Reuse, swap, mix & match.
We tried to make conscious decisions of not buying anything we could get second-hand or DIY. We also created a Slack channel where we could lend, give away, sell or swap our belongings.
November: Clean tech.
We all know, especially as a tech company, all the environmental impact technology and servers have. That is why we cleaned our mailboxes and started to use eco-friendly browsers such as Ecosia and Duck Duck Go (which is carbon-negative!)
Every year, we spend more and more on Christmas, which never seems to be enough. We aimed to change this and to focus on the quality of the gifts we bought and the time we spent together.
Green for Good
Yozu’s commitment to sustainability is not merely a monthly endeavour but an ongoing journey toward a greener future. Yozu Green’s Cultivating Change programme will hopefully inspire businesses aiming to integrate sustainability into their corporate DNA.
By gamifying sustainability, we not only engaged our team but made it fun and ensured we made a tangible impact on the environment.
Yozu will continue to cultivate change, one badge at a time, and as the tally of trees planted grows, so does the hope for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future. 💚🌳
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