It’s Not Easy Going Green: Employee Reactions to a Sustainability Initiative


A mid-size credit union decides to incorporate environmental sustainability into the organization’s practices, policies, and culture. The organizational change is sparked when a large-scale renovation is undertaken at the credit union’s main branch. The president of the credit union decides that the newly renovated building should be built to LEED standards (the most widely used green building rating system in the world), and therefore, the rest of the organization’s values and practices needed to change to align with the new sustainability-focused image. This case is based on an actual organization and the details of the organizational change are described through the words of real employees and organizational leaders. All individual and organizational names have been changed to provide anonymity. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of the change implementation and identify strategies that could have improved the adoption of sustainability within the organization.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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