Sustainable Shopping: Creating a local lululemon Green Team

Written by Kevie Wierzbowski

My internship is less conventional than the average clock-in clock-out on a set schedule. I have been an employee at lululemon on 6th and Lamar for two years and thanks to my leadership team, we have created a Green Team at my store. As an intern, I initially investigated any internal certifications or standard procedures within lululemon that I could follow but there were none. After that I located the Green Business Leaders certification program with the City of Austin.

Lululemon - Music Lane | South Congress

Per the City of Austin’s website, Austin Green Business Leaders is for any business looking to cut costs while socially and environmentally improve Austin. The program consists of seven sections:

  1. Communication and Outreach
  2. Resource Management
  3. Water
  4. Energy
  5. Healthy Work Environment
  6. Transportation
  7. Community Stewardship

Each initiative varies on the number of points and correlates to the amount of effort and dedication needed to complete it. Regardless of the number of points, participants must complete one task in every section.  Businesses obtain different statuses depending on the total number of points accomplished:

  1. Silver— 40 to 59 points
  2. Gold— 60 to 99 points
  3. Platinum— 100 to 160 points

Overall, participation helps your business attract new customers, protect the environment, save money, and strengthen your team.

My initial duties include researching and applying to join the program. Once I received the deliverables, I annotated each section for feasibility. My next moves are to meet with my supervisor to go over what is needed and what we can do. Once I have my bearings set, I can ask my fellow employees to join the Green Team and assist me with my project and look for further ways we can operate sustainably. Hopefully I will present my project in the next staff meeting to communicate to my entire team what I am doing and update them on the Green Team’s efforts. In the long run, I hope to meet with the other stores in our region to participate in the program and create a network with them.

I was surprised to find out that lululemon did not already have its own sustainability guidelines for stores. In general, lululemon is a socially progressive business that goes beyond the sale. My own experience as an Educator is proof of that. From internal communications to employee benefits, I know that I work at a company that cares about people and the planet. It was also surprising to find out that there are currently no other retail/clothing businesses in the program. When scrolling through the directory of Austin Green Businesses, there we none on the map or even an option to filter the results by “clothing/thrift.” The technology category make up the majority of the listed businesses. This is most likely due to the fact that some businesses are limited to the criteria that they can satisfy. For example, I found that the transportation category is the most difficult section for me to work with since I am just an employee at lululemon with limited control. I cannot create an official program for the company or allocate funds that are not there.

Serving as an intern and making a Green Team is an eye-opening experience because of the immediate support that I received from my team. They have given me full reigns of the project and will give me the necessary resources. This is my baby and something that I am proud of, beyond this satisfying this course. I get to set my own hours as I see fit and commit to communicating with my supervisor. Ultimately, I get to showcase who I am professionally and personally.



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