How To Create A More Sustainable Work Environment In The Office
With most of us back in the office, now is the ideal time to start compiling a list of all the ways you can make your office more sustainable. With just a few simple product swaps and the introduction of greener habits centered around your Corporate Social Responsibility, you won’t only reduce costs and improve your carbon footprint and ecological impact but also attract customers who only trust like-minded, eco-conscious businesses in the process.
Let's not forget that 92% of consumers say they’re more likely to trust brands that are environmentally or socially conscious. On top of that, 64% of millennials are willing to turn down a job if the company doesn’t have strong corporate responsibility. Now, if you also consider that upon implementing corporate responsibility practices, companies saw a 20% revenue increase, the right choice is pretty evident.
Here are 8 ways to help you create a more sustainable work environment in the office, and motivate your employees to live a more green-focused lifestyle.
Install motion-activated light switches
If your office has multiple rooms that are not frequently used, you can improve energy efficiency by swapping your regular office lights with motion-activated light switches. Motion sensors reduce electricity consumption and eliminate light wastage.
Choose natural lighting
Did you know that almost 25% of the electricity consumed in the US is used to light office spaces? That’s pretty absurd, given that most offices have more than one window. Decades of research have shown that natural lighting has a powerful, positive effect on mental health and productivity. Open the blinds and let natural daylight pour into the room. Save energy and money - and make your employees happier, all at once!
Look into digital sustainability
The reality is that most business owners and employees are not yet familiar with the concept of digital sustainability. For example, each email can emit up to 50g of CO2. By adding one simple large-scale image or a signature picture, the CO2 emission levels automatically become even higher. 100 g of CO2, or 2 emails, is almost equivalent to 1 km by car, so it’s important to learn how to use your digital tools efficiently. A great way to figure out your impact is by installing the carbonalyser browser extension.
Donate or recycle old electronics
20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year. By recycling or donating old electronics you won’t only expand their life circle but also save natural resources as new devices require plastic, glass, and metals.
Add plants in front of the windows
Aside from their aesthetic value, numerous studies have shown that employees are happier and perform better when living plants are added to the workplace. The same studies point out that they result in a 15% increase in productivity and significant improvements in memory retention. From an ecological standpoint, plants emit oxygen and reduce air pollution which makes them a great addition to your sustainable work environment.
Recycle waste and avoid plastic cups
Make sure that your office has enough recycling bins in visible places with clear indications of the contents of each bin. Notify your employees about the new recycling office rules and inspire them to change their habits. If you decide to switch plastic cups and plates with paper-based alternatives, do some research to ensure that it's either 100% recycled or FSC-certified paper. Or even better: encourage your employees to bring their own reusable cups!
Get rid of screen savers & standby
The average office typically wastes $7000 each year by leaving electronic equipment on over weekends and holidays. Yes, that's a lot of wasted energy! By asking employees to turn off their computers during launch breaks, the office can save at least 5 hours’ worth of energy per week which leads to a 14% reduction in overall energy use.
Last but not least, be the change you want to see! Try to educate your employees on the importance of sustainability and don’t forget to lead by example. Turn off your computer first, recycle and bring food from home. Opt for reusable cups and avoid single-use plastic. Lastly, during the holidays, choose Sustainable Corporate Gifts.
As more people are becoming aware of the importance of living an eco-conscious lifestyle, companies move towards carbon net-zero, striving to lower their emissions and boost the productivity and mental wellbeing of their employees. So much so that employees at eco-friendly companies are 16% more productive than average. From switching to motion-activated lights and recycling e-waste to becoming more mindful of your digital tools, there are plenty of easy ways to help you create a more sustainable work environment in the office and reap the benefits of a green workplace.
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