chris finleyBy Chris Finley, Digital Engagement Analyst


When I founded the Green Team earlier this year, I brought together a group of 15 or so people to brainstorm how we could improve our office processes at Pizza Hut to be more sustainable. Armed with some great ideas and momentum from the brainstorm, we defined our mission statement and goals, and set to work. Some early items on our mission toward greater sustainability included a waste audit (fun, fun), Earth Day events such as the Go Dark Hour, education and awareness, and careful resource management in our headquarters. As with anything in the corporate world, we needed a way to track and measure our success. One suggested method was to win an award…and seven months after we started our green mission, that’s exactly what we did.

Much to my delight, we were recently awarded the Environmental Star of Excellence Award by the City of Plano. The team WON Environmental Commitment in the business category.

The Environmental Commitment category recognizes a company’s commitment to implementing an environmental initiative that goes beyond impacting its immediate organization. Myself, along with Green Team members, Dwight Forte and Tori Oman (pictured above), graciously accepted the award on September 16 at the annual awards banquet.

A deciding factor in us having a chance to win the award was our audience. The Green Team encouraged employees to take their sustainability knowledge home with them. As a company, we participated in the Great American Cleanup in Plano, donated pizzas to local food bank Metro Relief, among other initiatives. Our impact has truly gone far beyond the walls of our corporate office. As a matter of fact, we even reached out to our global counterparts in Paris, France who contacted me about starting their own Green Team.

Needless to say, I was extremely proud to be onstage knowing that we’ve improved our local community. Seeing how the community has come together to make an impact is awesome: attendees and winners came from all backgrounds, including homeowner associations, nonprofits, high school clubs, and business of all sizes. Individuals and community partnerships were also recognized. Big congrats to everyone contributing to a healthier, more sustainable environment.

Sustainability is a true passion of mine and I love where it’s going. As the field of corporate sustainability develops and matures, so does our community. The City of Plano recently earned a 4-STAR rating for national leadership in sustainability by the STAR Community Rating System. It’s just the second city in Texas to earn 4 stars. While Pizza Hut is a global brand, we cannot forget about our backyard and local impact. For more information on what Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands is doing on the corporate social responsibility front, check out our CSR report.

Of course, none of this would be possible without a strong support system, City of Plano partnership, all the wonderful volunteers, and the FANTASTIC Green Team crew. A sincere, heartfelt thank you to everyone involved!


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