In the stream of doom and gloom concerning climate change, it’s important to keep things in perspective and do our individual parts to improve the situation.
While large corporations and nations have to do their part, true change will come when businesses and individuals adjust their practices to meet the needs of the situation. We’re going to discuss sustainability in the workplace, giving you some insight into ways to improve your footprint.
Naturally, we’ll cover the issue in broad strokes because every business is different. You’ll find, though, that a lot of the same principles apply throughout the workforce.
Let’s get started:
How to Improve Your Sustainability in the Workplace
An office is a perfect place to start making a real impact. While it may not seem like it, your office uses and disposes of products every day that have their own particular carbon footprint.
Additionally, the habits and behaviors we have as individuals contribute to that process in significant ways. If you’re thinking about sustainability, odds are your staff has some ideas of their own.
That’s an excellent place to jump off on your journey towards sustainability.
Brainstorm With Your Staff
Get your team together and have an open discussion about their opinions of your policies. See if they have any key insights into ways that you’re wasting more than you have. Additionally, see if the companies you work with and support fall in line with your staff’s moral compass.
It’s difficult for employees to bring these ideas up if there’s no precedent for it. You might find that your staff has been sitting on a lot of great ideas in terms of sustainability.
If the conversation doesn’t get flowing easily, try to use some brainstorming methods or suggest that staff is more mindful of sustainability and tries to think of ways to improve. Schedule a meeting for a week or two out and see if the ideas run more smoothly at that time.
Use Certified Equipment
The pieces of our businesses that use the most electricity are typically large pieces of equipment. When we’re making the choice to use particular models, we’re making a choice to affect the environment in particular ways.
Do some research into the brands you support and steer toward ones that are sustainability-minded. Many products have certifications that show their energy efficiency.
That process can trickle all of the way down to making a choice for renting an office or putting up a building. Each step of the path provides an opportunity to demand a more environmentally friendly workforce.
Economy of Space
Another thing you can do to improve sustainability is to assess your spacial needs and scale down. A lot of small businesses work alone and don’t have to.
Consult with the people in your community to see if there are other businesses that you could share an office with. This would cut down on costs, energy usage, and more.
You might even find that partnering with businesses in this way provides a lot of business opportunities and ideas. Check out Familyofficehub for ideas on teaming up with other businesses and finding spaces that work for you.
While your actual office provides a lot of opportunities for improvement, your staff can also make conscious decisions to improve their footprint.
Incentivize environmentally friendly behaviors like carpooling, bringing water bottles, cutting down on single-use plastics, and contributing to destructive companies.
How you motivate staff is up to you, but the point is to get them involved in an effort to better the planet. You might even consider providing information for them to read or take staff trips to environmental organizations.
Stop Using Paper
It may seem like a stretch, but it’s typically possible for a business to be paper-free in this day and age.
A lot of the communication and payment procedures that happen can be conducted entirely online. In a lot of cases, it’s actually a lot easier for staff and management to do things this way.
If you’re thinking that there’s no way for you to merge a particular business practice online, try consulting with staff to see if they have any ideas on how to do so. A lot of times, the people you work with will be tech-savvy enough to pose a few suggestions.
One great way to find ideas is by demand. If your business uses a lot of paper, for example, consider turning off the printers and seeing how people find ways around the issue. Often times, there’s an app or piece of software that will be able to meet your needs.
Invest in Smart Technology
Smart technology isn’t limited to phones and televisions. The addition of a smart thermostat could save your company thousands of dollars on yearly electrical bills.
An office is typically a pretty large space, consisting of a lot of room that needs to be heated for the comfort of the staff. That said, the staff is only there for 8 hours of the day. If the thermostat is running throughout the night, you’re hemorrhaging money.
Smart technology like the thermostat can allow you to streamline those processes and cut back on unnecessary energy use. You can also use your own touch to turn down the thermostat slightly or ensure that people aren’t leaving lights on.
You can incentivize staff to turn lights off by requiring a donation to a jar each time it’s forgotten or something else. Alternatively, you could reward staff for being economical with their electrical use by offering a party or gathering at the end of the year.
Whatever way you make steps toward being sustainable, you’re doing the right thing. It’s important to understand the value of sustainability and make significant changes to address the needs of our time.
Want to Learn More?
Sustainability in the workplace is a huge step toward an environmentally friendly world. If we do our part and support other companies that do the same, we’re on the right track.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to improve your workplace and make a difference.