Good for the environment and your image too
How to organise a Clean Walk at your company
Everybody complains about litter – well, now is your chance to do something about it. By organising a Clean Walk, your company will be demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.
Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard about Clean Walks. Not a problem – we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
- The idea behind Clean Walks,
- How your company can benefit from them and
- How you can organise a Clean Walk.
What is a Clean Walk?
In a Clean Walk, or clean-up walk, the participants spread out across an area – a particular part of town, a park or the company premises, for example – and pick up any litter they find. This litter is then disposed of properly. Clean Walks are organised by environmental organisations but also by companies and as private initiatives.
Good to know:
Littering is a widespread problem in cities. Not only does it negatively impact the environment, it also costs local authorities a lot of money – in Germany, around 700 million euros are spent each year to remove single use plastics and cigarette butts from parks and streets, empty waste containers and dispose of the waste.
Why a Clean Walk is worth it for your company
Making a contribution to sustainability
Let’s be honest – who doesn’t prefer parks and streets that are free from cigarette butts, drinks cans and piles of plastic? Organising a Clean Walk is a way of doing your bit to create a cleaner environment. In addition, you increase participants’ awareness of how much waste is generated in day-to-day life. Sometimes this can encourage them to take steps to reduce their own waste, or at least to dispose of it in the right places.
Enhance your image
If you are doing good, it is perfectly legitimate to let people know about it. In fact, this is something that is becoming more and more important in a time when consumers are increasingly paying attention to the values a company represents. A Clean Walk is the perfect opportunity to boost your company image. Publicise your event in press releases and post a report on your website afterwards. You could also make a video and post it on social media.
Clean Walks boost team spirit. What sets them apart from, say, a football match or a group meal is that they give everyone the feeling of having done something good, and that can be a very bonding experience. But that doesn’t mean you have to cancel the group meal! How about offering it as a thank you for taking part in the Clean Walk?
Important pointers for organising the event
Simply setting off with a bin bag and starting to pick up litter isn’t the best strategy for a Clean Walk with multiple participants. Everyone gets more out of the event if it is properly organised. We’ve put together a few pointers that should help you organise a successful Clean Walk.
1. Choose the location
Company premises, neighbourhood or park? Think about where it makes most sense to carry out your Clean Walk. You’ll have more publicity if you do it in a public space, but you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the necessary permission from the local authorities. They generally don’t have any objections to a private company helping them clean up litter.
2. Get in touch with potential partners
It’s usually better not to carry out your Clean Walk completely on your own. Otherwise, there’s a risk that you’ll end up with a mountain of rubbish at the end of the day and not know what to do with it. Ask your local waste disposal provider whether they can provide assistance for collection points and disposal. Once again, it’s likely that they will be happy to help. Perhaps there are other groups that you can work together with, such as local charities or other companies. Or you can invite members of the general public to participate.
3. Find a date and coordinate with participants
Think carefully about when to hold your event. Plan it for a time when stress levels within the company are reasonably low and there are no important deadlines looming. Discuss with your staff who is taking part and who wants to help organise the event. Inform the relevant authorities. Weekends and public holidays are the best time if you want to organise a public litter pick and get lots of people involved.
4. Get hold of the right equipment
Picking up litter with your bare hands obviously isn’t a good idea for hygienic reasons, and is also unsafe, since objects may have sharp edges. So make sure you get hold of suitable equipment in good time. Essential supplies include gloves, litter pickers and bin bags, or even better, wheelie bins for the waste collected.
5. Publicise the event
Be sure to publicise the litter pick early enough that it gets the attention it deserves. Send press releases to local and regional newspapers and announce the event on your website as well as on your social media accounts. If it is to be a public event, send out invitations, for example to local associations. Provide the key details, beginning with the start time and place, and the planned route. Getting people to sign up to the Clean Walk has the advantage that you know how many people are going to take part and how many pairs of gloves you need.
6. Carrying out the event
Meet with key helpers before the event starts. Provide the participants with the necessary equipment (see above) and inform them of where the collection points are. Providing free refreshments is sure to strengthen morale! Once things get under way, don’t forget to document the event, and if possible put some photos on social media straight away, so that people can follow the Clean Walk online.
After the Clean Walk has been completed, be sure to document the results and, in so doing, boost your company’s image. Use all channels available to you and post good quality photos and videos as well as text. With a bit of a luck and a good PR department, you might even get a write up in the local press. If your Clean Walk was a success, there’s nothing to stop you holding another one.
How KAISER+KRAFT makes a contribution to a clean environment
KAISER+KRAFT regularly takes part in Clean Walks. In July 2021, we launched an international Clean Walk initiative. Staff at KAISER+KRAFT, gaerner, Gerdmanns, Runelandhs and Takkt were able to take three hours off to pick up litter with their colleagues.
Read how KAISER+KRAFT supports gardener Jan Kleen from Wilhelmshaven on his voluntary Clean Walks.