There are many reasons to adopt a more environmentally-friendly approach to your workplace. If you’re cynical, gaining a moral edge on your competitors by broadcasting your green methods is just one.
More importantly, adopting less wasteful approaches in the office will help reduce your ecological footprint and can create a healthier, more productive working environment.
It can be done, and probably more easily than you think…
Introduce a new initiative
If passive-aggressive notes on the printer, or the odd surly email about “wasteful practices” isn’t doing the trick, perhaps it’s time to adopt a greener outlook as part of your business initiatives. By taking a more formal approach, you’re more likely to reach all levels of the business.
Rolling our monthly campaigns such as incentives for car sharing, bring-your-lunch-into-work week, cycle to work scheme or a printer hiatus can create a strong focus for such initiatives. This can then be broadcast on your business social media to cement your efforts further and encourage others to follow your lead.
Work with like-minded third parties
Maybe the only difference between one catering company and another is that one uses compostable cups. Or there’s an office cleaning company which only uses toxin-free products. Making small changes to your supplier list can soon add up in green points.
Use sustainable stationery
According to American Express, over 4 million disposable pens are thrown out on a daily basis in the US. By encouraging the use of reusable pens by stocking only refills, you’ll be saving mountains of biros from the bin.
Go digital wherever possible
Ditch the individual meeting handouts in favour of a slideshow or post-meeting email. And instead of printing out manuals or guides that may only be stuffed to the bottom of a tray already groaning under the weight of unread documents, they could be posted on a shared drive or on the company intranet. By expanding the number of online or digital storage devices, you’re increasing the opportunity to go digital.
A simple, albeit slightly obscure, measure in protecting the environment is to have a casual dress business policy. The fewer suits worn, the less dry cleaning is going on behind the scenes. If you went further and allowed your employees to work from home every now and then to cut down on car fumes and punishing commutes, all the better.
Set up a a recycling point at the office
We don’t mean a huge bottle bank outside your tea-room window, but ensure there are recycling bins available for you and your staff to use to encourage this practice. As most rubbish is recyclable, it won’t take long to make a big difference.
Further to this, don’t stop at the standard plastics/cardboard recycling; does anyone at your company have a compost bin? Could they make use of any leftover food or used teabags?