Greenhouse Grower recently asked Marcelyn Buist-Byl, President of Micandy Gardens Greenhouses in Hudsonville, MI, the following question:
How do you encourage buy-in from your employees on your company’s big initiatives?
Here is Marcely’s reply:
When we became energy-efficient certified through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, we had to make structural changes as a company. But we also encouraged our employees to be responsible themselves. Composting and recycling is a way of life at our facility because of this. It’s our lifestyle to take care of the earth as much as possible.
The younger generation is highly conscious about being earth friendly, and that’s a large percentage of our employee pool. Once one person initiated recycling, then our plastic and greenhouse film recycling took off as well. The Home Depot has a plastic recycling program at retail, so we bring back the plastic from retail and recycle it.
We went from using multi-colored containers to black recycled plastic. Employees noticed this effort to be more resourceful.
Employee buy-in was also a critical part of our decision to stop using neonicotinoids. Our biggest customers were getting pressure from consumers, and we saw the emotional connection to neonics and bees and pollinators.
We wanted to do our part to go neonic free until more research is done and until there’s more proof of the direction we should be going in as a company. Our entire staff is in the business of providing beautiful plants for people to enjoy and better their lives, and we want to be good stewards of the earth in doing so.