We’re all doing our bit to help the planet, and business owners can make a big difference by bringing sustainability to the workplace. The wonderful by-product of making eco-friendly choices is that many of them are economically friendlier to your bank balance, too. Here are five ways to make sustainable choices for your workplace.
- Install more sustainable structures
Unless you own the building it’s unlikely you can make major changes to the external structure of your workplace, but you probably can make changes to the interior. For example, when creating zones, you might choose glass partitions over drywall.
That choice helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste material produced, and by using recyclable materials like glass and aluminium. As glass lets in more natural light, it’ll also reduce the amount of artificial light you need, which leads us onto our next point.
- Make eco-friendly energy choices
If you’re in a position to change your energy supplier, then using green solutions will help in your quest to be more sustainable. If you can install solar panels, that’s brilliant, but that’s not possible for everyone.
There are also other, simple switches you can make to enhance the sustainability of your workplace’s energy usage, like swapping from fluorescent lighting to LED bulbs. As they’re more energy efficient they’re better value, too.
- Reduce the need for printed hard copies
A lot of businesses print a lot of things that aren’t necessarily necessary any more. In this digital age, there are so many options to share files, training files and spreadsheets online, or sign and store e-copies of documents and contracts. Presentations can be delivered on screens, and social media can be used for marketing, rather than fliers and leaflets.
Reducing the amount of ink and paper you use will not only help the environment, it’ll help your bottom line, too. If you can go entirely paperless, so much the better.
- Encourage the workforce to make to make sustainable choices
It’s not just about the building, energy supply and equipment – making a sustainable workplace is also about the people that use that space. So help your employees to embrace sustainability by creating a company culture that encourages eco-friendly practices.
This could include providing them with reusable water bottles and/or coffee cups, and a kitchen area where they can store and prepare their homemade packed lunches. Perhaps you can make their journey to work more environmentally friendly by providing bike racks and a cycle to work scheme, or subsidised public transport season passes.
Rather than having a strict dress code where employees have to buy clothes they only wear for work, allow them to wear what they want. This will help staff switch from fast fashion to slow fashion. That helps the planet because they won’t buy so much, or throw so much away. With its focus on quality clothes that are made to last, the slow fashion movement should also save your staff money in the long run.
- Amp up your recycling
Reducing the amount of waste that gets sent to landfill will help make your workplace more sustainable. You could add a bin for food scraps, which are then sent for composting. Paper recycling is widespread these days, but you could also get creative by repurposing it and using it again in-house. Shred the paper and then you can use it as packing filler when you send out products – that saves the expense (and environmental impact) of buying it.
With these five ideas you can start to make your workplace more sustainable.
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