5 Impactful Ideas for Creating an Environmentally Conscious Workplace
28th August 2019
This is the year where many of us are committed to working together to reduce our impact on the environment. Some big brands and corporations have been issuing statements pledging the elimination of plastic lids, straws and cups in the drinks industry, including Mcdonalds. Adopting a more eco-friendly culture in the workplace is at the heart of making a difference and driving forward policies that can help improve our impact on the environment.
Consumers are more inclined to buy products, use the services and lend support to companies with a proven record of social responsibility. Developing an eco-conscious organisation begins with putting new strategies and initiatives to encourage sustainable behaviours in the workplace. There are no restrictions on what your organisation can or cannot do and over time you can make a valuable difference to your local community.
1. Implementing a Recycling Program
From the kitchen area to desk workspaces and outdoor spaces, you can establish an effective recycling program within your office. You can start by educating your employees on the impact of recycling and how to throw away rubbish accurately, without sending any unnecessary materials to landfill that would otherwise take years to biodegrade. Invest in labelled bins for recycling and general waste to encourage your employees to throw away their rubbish and recycle anything they could reuse. Use clear signage on designated waste stations to help your employees distinguish between what items belong in recycling and others that belong in the waste bin. Any old computer parts you could donate to your local charity shop rather than throw away.
2. Supporting Green Vendors
Opting to support eco-friendly vendors and clients that adopt a strict, green policy when it comes to transporting goods, and managing production lines in the workplace. Conduct research into vendors that go out of their way to establish themselves as green-friendly brands. Consider your own company vision and values regarding environmental impact. If you are a fair-trade provider, for example, then work closely with other fair-trade providers and support your local industry.
3. Encourage Sustainable Transportation
Support your employees when encouraging more sustainable methods of transportation to and from the office, such as walking and commuting to work without as an additional benefit. You could also consider cutting out commuting time during the week by allowing employees to work from home. Allow for flexibility in the office by encouraging your employees to car share if unable to commute via public transport. Set up a “Walk or Bike to Work” scheme, offering awards, and incentives for completing a whole week to work without the use of a car.
4. Promote a Paperless Office
Digital computing solutions such as Google Drive and Task Management Systems that can help you manage your paper use in the office. The advantages of going paperless, is you no longer have to worry about losing important documents, and you can save multiple copies online, using memory sticks and online software systems. Set printers to print on both sides of paper as default, if you need to print any marketing material or documents to cut your paper costs by 50%, saving money and resources. You can also replace all disposable products in your office, including plates, cups and utensils in the staff kitchen with reusable materials instead.
5. Establish a Green Team
A green team increases employee engagement by encouraging them to get involved in real-world issues and coming up with creative solutions. This will also create a stronger culture of sustainability in the workplace. Green teams focus on the company’s operations and examines various sustainability opportunities. This can help educate everyone on the impact of being greener and more ethically sustainable. As you begin the recruiting process for your green team, you will be able to seek out people who are positive champions and before you know it, you can launch your new company policy.
Here are some other green tips for the office:
- Organise brown bag lunches on topics related to waste and recycling.
- Host events or team meetings to educate your employees on new policies/ green initiatives.
- Identify and organise volunteer opportunities for staff.
- Conserve energy in the office by making use of natural daylight rather than using artificial lighting, especially in the summertime.
- Provide training on recycling in the office.
- Set up your own green purchasing policies and evaluating your current sustainability policies.
When it comes to adopting an eco-friendly policy, remember always that your company’s mission statement must be reflective of your values and commitments to practicing social and environmental responsibility.