Purpose of the project:
Our 201 3rd ST building wanted to do something that would create a sense of community among its tenants around Earth Day. Instead of traditional tenant engagement strategies such as memos and lobby displays, for the second year in a row the building decided to host a week-long Earth Day Twitter Challenge for its tenants. This approach is in keeping with the character of the building because most of the tenants are tech companies. Participants used the challenge as a way to engage in the spirit of Earth Day for an entire week, and hopefully beyond.
For Earth Day 2013, the building decided to take advantage of the tech-savvy nature of its tenant base, and held a week-long Earth Day Challenge on Twitter for tenants. From Monday to Friday of Earth Week, participants tweeted each of their earth-friendly activities to a secure Twitter account. Tenants then received points for each tweet activity they did at work or at home, such as: Turning off lights, Planting a tree, Unplugging an office printer, Using cold water for laundry, Not driving to work, and Going on a hike. Prizes were given to participants with the most points. First prize was two tickets to a Giants game. All of the prizes offered were service-based, and supported businesses in the building’s neighborhood. The building also supported its own retail tenant, Starbucks, by giving everyone who participated in the challenge a Starbucks gift card. To encourage participation, the building advertised the challenge via email and on elevator cab screens. We were aware that there are challenges with using social media in the workplace, so the building created a secure, private Twitter account that only its tenants could access and see. The building wanted to create a fun and engaging environment for our tenants, but it also needed to make sure everything was kept professional and respectful, which took constant monitoring.
The feedback from tenants was very positive, and tenants engaged in some friendly competition between companies and co-workers that prompted even more participation. One of the tenants approached the building to share their own idea for how to continue Earth Day all year long, and they’re encouraging the entire building to participate. Another tenant, Entercom, who owns radio stations such as KOIT and 95.7 The Game, will be doing a green-out every month where they turn out all the lights on their floor for one hour in the afternoon. The building also had another tenant hold a company-wide trash pickup in Yerba Buena Gardens on Earth Day this year. The tenants are more proactive than they were since the 2012 Earth Day Twitter Challenge and proud of their own Earth Day ideas. For this project, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco awarded the building its Innovative EARTH Award, which created excellent publicity for the building and its sustainability efforts.
“It’s really great to see how involved and proactive our tenants have become since last year’s Earth Day Twitter Challenge and how proud they are of their own Earth Day ideas which they have implemented for this year all on their own.” - Brooke Barnecut, Assistant Property Manager