As an employer, saving the environment may not be your biggest priority. But it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s your responsibility to encourage eco-friendly initiatives within the workplace.
No matter how large or small those steps are, everything helps. If you’re looking for inspiration to spin the environment wheel in your workplace, take a look at these six suggestions.
1. Switch off
To reduce your power bills and help the environment, it’s essential to switch off electrical appliances when they’re not in use, including:
It may sound simple, but you’d be surprised how often electrical items stay switched on overnight, through being forgetful or lazy.
Every member of your team can be responsible for their own equipment. For communal items, delegate the responsibility to the last person who leaves the office. Or — if that isn’t a fair solution — try implementing an eco-friendly rota where each employee is assigned a day of the week or month to ensure the whole office is electrically shut down at the end of the day.
2. Minimize heat loss
Any employee will agree there’s nothing worse than feeling cold at work. You can’t wrap up cozy (like you would at home) and look professional at the same time, so it’s up to employers to ensure the office is warm and comfortable.
You can do this — while also helping the environment and reducing your energy bills — by ensuring your office has the right insulation. A building typically loses around 40% of its heat through the windows and doors. So either add draught-proof strips to stop the chill or update with replacement windows. Good-quality, double or triple-glazed windows will hold more heat in the building than an older double-glazed or even a new single-glazed window.
3. Go paperless
While going paperless may sound like another easy one — take a look around you. How much paperwork can you see? Probably too much and there’s absolutely no reason for it. You can share internal office documents via Google Drive, bills and monitor and pay invoices online. You can also store files on Dropbox.
If you don’t already have these office tools set up, it can sound daunting, but once everyone is on-board, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without them.
4. Add desk plants
Not only can plants add character to an otherwise dull office environment, but they also help us to breathe more easily and improve air quality by trapping and capturing pollutants. Interestingly, pollution levels are often higher indoors than outdoors. Indoor air represents a mix of dust-like particles and substances emitted from furnishings and paints, as well as fungal spores and bacteria. Therefore, plants can create a cleaner and happier workspace for your employees.
5. Encourage reusable lunch options
One major aspect of a greener lifestyle is to reuse items as much as possible — and that goes for your employee’s lunch utensils too. Ensure that staff have the resources to use such as mugs, glasses, dishes, and cutlery rather than disposable items. Encourage them to bring food in reusable containers and coffee in keep-cups.
6. Offer work from home days
Introducing work from home policies is an excellent way to help the environment as it reduces the number of employees commuting every day. Fewer vehicles on the road will improve air quality and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. As a bonus, when you offer employees more flexible work options like work from home days, you allow them to attain a better work/life balance.
The great thing about helping the environment is there’s always more to do. Once your team is confidently handling these ideas, you can take pride in your green workspace and create a new eco-friendly list.