The effects of global warming and climate change can be felt across the globe. Individuals and businesses alike have the task of reducing environmental damage. However, embracing sustainability in the workplace isn’t just about social responsibility. It can help you realize numerous business benefits. Upholding sustainability as a company enhances your reputation. This can help in improving customer confidence in your brand and attracting top talents to your organization. In addition, sustainability helps increase employee motivation and engagement in the workplace. If you are looking for ideas on how to implement sustainability in the workplace, here are 6 examples to provide insights for you.
1. Go digital
There are several ways that you can go digital in the workplace:
• Going paperless – Instead of printing memos and notices, think of an online sharing platform that you can use to share important information. Alternatively, email this information to the people involved. Going paperless reduces paper, toner and the number of printers, which in turn reduces waste and saves materials for making new printers.
• Virtual meetings – online meetings reduce the carbon print associated with people commuting to the place of the meeting. It also reduces waste associated with providing refreshments and printing documents as it is in traditional meetings.
2. Energy use reduction
Reducing energy consumption in the workplace helps minimize the number of harmful gasses that go to the environment during electricity production. You can encourage your employees to switch off lights and computers when not in use. You can also be more proactive by installing energy-efficient appliances and smart devices. Automatic lights with motion sensors go on when someone gets into a room and off when someone leaves. Installing thermostats for your HVAC equipment helps save energy on heating and cooling. You can set it to reduce the temperature at certain times of the day or adjust the temperature from wherever you are. Serving your HVAC system regularly also helps in making it energy efficient.
3. Team building activities on sustainability
Sustainability programs in the workplace are highly likely to be successful when every employee is invested in the process. Holding team-building activities on sustainability is a fun way of bringing everyone together to participate in your climate change initiatives. You can seek assistance from organizations such as atlasGO. This organization can help you take up virtual tree planting challenges in support of a reforestation organization. It can also help you participate in green activities such as collecting trash, recycling, cooking vegan meals among other challenges.
Recycling is at the core of sustainability and fostering a culture of recycling at the workplace can help your efforts a great deal. Encourage employees to use reusable water bottles instead of purchasing bottled water. Purchase recycled office supplies such as remanufactured inks and toners. Another great idea is to start a composting initiative. Have a bin where compostable waste such as leftover food and fruit peels can be disposed. Encourage employees who have a garden at home to carry this waste for their compost bin at home.
5. Green commuting
If employees must work from the office, encourage them to leave their cars at home to cycle, carpool or walk to work. You can lead by example in this area by getting a bicycle for yourself or leaving your car keys at home. Reduce the number of parking slots and put up green areas that employees can use for fresh air and relaxing. Install bicycle racks and provide shower areas at work where employees can refresh after long sweaty rides.
6. Sustainable procurement
Take your sustainability efforts to another level by ensuring sustainable procurement. You can do this by making procurement decisions based not only on quality and cost, but also on sustainability. This means examining the supply chain to establish environmental improvements at every corner including the products themselves. You can also go a step further to recommend green policies to your suppliers to ensure that procurement aligns with your sustainability goals and objectives.
The good thing about sustainability in the workplace is that you don’t have to break the bank for it. Small steps such as those listed in this article towards your goals can go a long way in creating a more eco-friendly office. However, remember to have everyone on board if you are to achieve success. This means finding ways to encourage employees across board to embrace sustainability as a responsibility.
Written by Josh Levinne.
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