Fostering Employee Engagement in Environmental Stewardship
Employees at Alabama Power’s Plant Barry have taken environmental stewardship into their own hands through creation of the Barry Environmental Stewardship Team (B.E.S.T.).
B.E.S.T. team members meet monthly to discuss, plan, and participate in environmental stewardship, awareness, and educational events both within the plants themselves and in the surrounding communities.
Environmental stewardship is a family affair at Alabama Power. “Entire families have come out to help the Alabama Coastal Clean-Up and Renew Our Rivers,” said Tiffany Mackin, compliance and support manager at Alabama Power. “Many of the organizations and initiatives which BEST supports come from recommendations from employee’s family members.”
In the three years since inception, B.E.S.T. has provided nearly 5,400 hours of volunteer support to numerous agencies and projects in the Gulf Coast region. Highlights from 2017 include installation of wood duck boxes around the plant site, and participation in Renew Our Rivers, Alabama Coastal Clean-Up, and Earth Day activities. B.E.S.T. also provides innovative outreach and education through their Environmental Stewardship Day.
B.E.S.T. has set a standard and established a template for how other commercial and industrial facilities can sustainably increase employee engagement in environmental stewardship and contribute to a healthier Gulf Coast ecosystem. “Educating employees about service opportunities and taking into account their interests is key,” said Mackin. “Also, having a strong volunteer leadership team is extremely important. The passion and commitment of our chairperson, Paige Aplin, bleeds over to our entire plant.”