The carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is at its highest for over 8 0,000 years. Sea levels are steadily rising while permafrost in the Arctic Circle keeps chipping off every year. Not to mention, a lot of endangered animals have gone extinct and animal habitats are continually destroyed because of deforestation.
The time is now for us to address the issue of climate change and sustainability. We would not want our children to live in an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic world as portrayed in movies and popular culture.
Thankfully though, consumers and companies across various industries alike are keen on reducing their impact on the environment. For instance, big names such as Strackbucks, General Motors, and Prudential Financial have taken a pledge in making the world a better place by taking measures to reduce carbon footprints.
No matter how big or small your business is, you are accountable for doing your part to protect Mother Earth. With this in mind, here are some ways how business owners can embrace sustainability particularly in the workplace setting.
1. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
The easiest and most cost-efficient way to embrace sustainability in your office is to establish a recycling program. Every area from the workspaces to the office kitchen should be provided with a clear designated waste station. Trash bins should be labeled clearly if it is for compost, recycling, or hazardous items.
Take time as well to go over office supplies and equipment. Check for items that are unnecessarily taking up space or old computer parts. Look into them and segregate whether it has to be discarded ethically or donated somewhere.
2. Energy Conservation
Replacing your old incandescent bulbs with LEDs and CFLs is another way to make your office environment sustainable. Make it a habit of turning off lights and electronic equipment when not in use. These simple habits could significantly reduce your company’s electric bill.
Encourage your employees to ensure they shut off their computers at every end of a workday. Switch as well to Energy Star-rated equipment as these consume minimal power than typical ones.
3. Going Paperless
With digital solutions and cloud computing readily available, it is easier these days for companies to go paperless. Not only do these technologies make processes streamlined, efficient, and collaborative, it also promotes sustainability.
There are even retail establishments these days that opt to give digital receipts to their customers. Given now that everyone has at least one basic smartphone, we should embrace this movement of going paperless.
4. Partner With Green Vendors
When embracing green practices, it goes beyond recycling, going paperless, or embracing green designs. It also means doing business with green-friendly brands.
Before choosing a vendor, do some research to learn more about their efforts towards sustainability. Check if their company values align with your company’s.
5. Green Office Design
When we say green office design, it simply means embracing measures to promote sustainability and lower carbon emissions with carefully thought architectural structures.
One of the ways to embrace green designs is by replacing small windows with larger and wider ones to let natural light in.
Another is to install outdoor window blinds and awnings in order to reduce the impact of direct sunlight, ensuring the building stays cool. This is important especially during the summer months as temperatures are higher.
By embracing green designs, your company can significantly reduce its energy usage.
6. Indoor Plants
Placing indoor plants in your office is a huge game-changer. Not only does it beautify the interior, but it also helps boost the mood of the overall workplace. Plants are known to reduce stress and anxiety.
Not to mention, it releases oxygen while taking in carbon dioxide, ensuring you are breathing fresh air. Research conducted by NASA showed that indoor plants help reduce air pollution by up to 87 percent just within 24 hours. Now you can imagine its long-term benefits.
7. Sustainable Transportation
Having a car is convenient, but do you know that it adds to the carbon emission in the atmosphere? Statistics show that road travels, in fact, accounts for over three-quarters of transport emissions.
What companies can do though is to encourage employees to take alternative modes of transportation instead such as biking, carpooling, or even commuting.
With the convenience offered by working from home, as we have seen during this pandemic, companies may opt to continually offer remote work even after this health crisis subsides.
Encouraging employees to embrace sustainability in the workplace is more than just PR. Taking environmentally conscious efforts in the workplace promotes employee health and wellness as well. With employees feeling more satisfied and valued, they are more driven to give their best efforts to the organization.