Sustainability is the current movement that is leading to a greener relationship between people, companies, and the environment. This push towards greener and cleaner energy can come in many forms, whether it’s reduced energy usage, conserving water or giving back to the community and environment.
If you’re looking to promote sustainability within your workplace, there are actions you can take that will bring your business into step with the movement. Many of these are even cost-saving in the long run.
Your company’s mission statement describes its values, goals, and motivations. If you add sustainability to it, greener living and operating then becomes central to the workplace. This will positively reflect the values of the business as well as the company’s culture.
Having a sustainable element in your mission statement shows consumers, clients, and other businesses that your workplace is dedicated to helping the environment. This will encourage others to follow suit. The social and environmental impacts are then driving forces for the company.
Sustainable Newsletter Section
If you send out a newsletter, or any other form of updates, to consumers and other businesses, you can incorporate a section on your company’s sustainability efforts. This section can include things like the company’s sustainable accomplishments, statistics and tips for recycling and energy conservation.
When you promote sustainability, it raises awareness for others who can then hop on the movement. Many consumers and clients invest in companies that value the environment, too. So the newsletter section will show them your business is committed.
Conserving energy is one of the most effective ways to work towards sustainability. It saves the company money while helping the environment.
Investing in energy-saving devices is a good start that will pay itself off quickly. Automatic light switches, smart power strips, and LED light bulbs conserve energy and save money.
You can opt for laptops instead of desktops, as they save energy and money as well. Set up their sleep mode, too, to save even more.
Elsewhere, you can find where appliances or systems are using unnecessary energy. Storage rooms, for instance, may not need temperature controls.
Water is another important factor in sustainability. The biggest culprit in terms of wasting water is the bathroom. The toilets and faucets let a significant amount of water go down the drain, and with it, money.
Low-flow toilets and faucets conserve water so that they don’t require as much per-use. Remember that you can install these kinds of faucets in the kitchen, too. And with these new devices, you’ll save more money and water.
Engaging employees is a productive way to get everyone involved in the movement. Employees can work toward goals that help the mission statement and company culture.
Engagement provides employees with a chance to be sustainable themselves. So, a recycling program or a friendly competition to conserve energy allows for a group bonding experience that helps the environment.
The workplace can also reward employees for their sustainable acts. For instance, taking alternative commuting methods like biking or walking could warrant rewards. Something like an electric commuter bike provides an efficient and sustainable way to travel.
Employee training or information sessions about sustainability can raise awareness, too. Getting employees involved can take on these and so many other forms.
Going paperless is something that can save time and money. First, you’ll want to invest in a digital system that can help keep the workplace organized. With a company knowledge base as your platform, employees can store data, information, to-dos, client information, revenue, expenses, and more, all in one place for easy access from any location.
With a digital system, your workplace can ditch as much paper as possible. Digital platforms make communicating and sending documents easier and more efficient. They reduce the costs of paper and printing as well.
By going paperless, you conserve on the paper you use, which helps the environment. If you do need to use paper, make sure it’s recycled.
Who your company chooses to support can reflect on its goals and values. Try to support local businesses and economies as much as possible. Furthermore, work with the businesses you know have green initiatives and are working towards sustainability.
Whether it’s the supply chain, hosting events or going out to lunch, local businesses can always benefit from the support. They are typically more sustainable than the bigger corporations, but you should check to make sure their goals line up with your company’s. You can also screen your suppliers to compare their social and environmental impacts.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Work to reduce workplace waste. Reducing your waste includes removing all disposable and single-use products from the kitchen. These things could be plates, cups, K-cups or coffee pods, and more.
Instead, opt for reusable silverware and dishware. These quickly pay themselves off, as you’ll no longer need to buy disposable items regularly. Reusable kitchenware will last for a good while.
Recycling is one of the biggest tangible acts employees can achieve together. You’ll want to make sure you have proper signage so that people know what to recycle and where. Paper recycling, waste, compost, and electronic waste all have different processes and must be separated.
Electronic waste consists of things like computers, monitors, ink cartridges, wires, and more. You can provide a bin to recycle these and take them to your nearest e-waste recycler or places like Best Buy.
There are many services and sites online that offer carbon footprint calculations for free. These sites will break down your usage and emissions with the information you input. From there, you can use the information to take appropriate steps in reducing your carbon footprint if possible.
Rewarding employees for walking or biking to work helps reduce carbon footprints. Knowing where your energy comes from can help, too. If you’re looking to take a big, impactful step, you could switch your energy source to a renewable one, like solar.
Something simple and effective you could do is place different plants around the workplace. This is a nice way to spruce up the place and add some green.
It helps reduce air pollution, too, as the plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Plants also bring happiness and productivity benefits as well. Plants show that something small can go a long way.
You can give back to the community and the environment in greener ways. Things like community service projects, environmental fundraisers, or other events help show your company’s dedication to sustainability and helping the environment.
Giving back also entails employee engagement. Everyone in the workplace can come together to give back through volunteering, raising money, throwing charity events and more.
With this step, your business’s commitment to sustainability can come out of the office and into the world.