How to Craft an Eco-Friendly Workplace
An eco-friendly workplace brings dozens of benefits to a corporation. A 2016 survey found that “64% of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work.” That figure has likely only increased since then.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also becoming increasingly critical to a company’s long-term success. Focusing on sustainable practices in your workplace also increases your ability to become a certified B corporation, which boosts a company’s reputation and brand in several ways.
Working for a company that doesn’t have a culture of sustainability quickly becomes unmotivating, especially for people who lead sustainable lives at home. Thus, employee loyalty increases with a shift toward sustainable culture and practices in the workplace.
Create a Green Team
Do you know any employees that seem especially environmentally plugged in? Has anyone contacted you with suggestions or criticisms about workplace sustainability practices? These are the people who you might recruit to the workplace sustainability team. A sustainability team can do lots of things on its own initiative.
Rather than having to implement all the following suggestions. Why not give them to someone with particular zeal for the topic and let them run with it? If your workplace isn’t one where a sustainability team or position seems appropriate, these are still great tips to try yourself.
Take a Waste Inventory
Basically, a waste inventory is a quick and dirty look at what is being thrown away in your workplace. This information will give you an idea of what actions are worth taking to reduce waste and increase sustainable workplace practices.
You might find a bin full of coffee cups or utensils. Maybe it’s paperwork and redundant work notices or food waste. Maybe it is plastic from unwrapping commonly used office items. Whatever it is, a waste inventory gives you an understanding of what garbage your workplace is creating and where to begin decreasing waste production with appropriate waste management services.
Incentivize Biking to Work
Biking to work saves more than just carbon emissions. It also saves parking spaces while decreasing time in frustrating traffic jams and improving health. Some common concerns for people who drive instead of bike include:
Take the time to address all of these concerns and make biking to work as easy as possible.
Weather can certainly make a car ride sound much nicer, depending on where you live. To make biking in less than perfect weather possible for employees, providing showers and changing rooms at the workplace is a key first step. Other options include providing employees with waterproof bag covers, biking gloves, and a sheltered bike rack.
Increase biking efficiency by ensuring the bike racks are as close to the door as possible. Bike-to-work days are also a great way to encourage employees to try it out and see how long it takes. Studies have shown that people overestimate biking and walking while underestimating driving times.
Aiding employees financially to invest in a bicycle for work is a great way to increase biking popularity at the workplace. Biking to work also saves fuel and, in particular areas, parking fees. Commuting bikes don’t have to be ultra-light or have the newest technology. Second-hand bikes, like cars, are more affordable and do the trick..
Partner with Eco-initiatives and Businesses
Every town and city has its share of volunteer opportunities and sustainable future-focused groups. Getting involved with these people and programs as a company is a fantastic way to do community outreach, bond as a team, and make a difference locally. Some common opportunities include:
- Planting days
- Litter clean-ups
- Workshops and talks
Other businesses might work with you to get indoor plants in the workplace, sustainable action reminder signs, plant-based milk options, and fresh fruit and vegetables from local producers. Most products you use can be sourced in a more sustainable way when you take the time to research their environmental impact.
Reach out to local waste disposal companies to get expert advice on managing waste more sustainably, especially if your workplace produces odd kinds of waste or needs a spring clean-out. Simply search for “waste disposal services near me,” and you’ll find plenty of environmentally focused people to combine forces with.
Make it a Culture
All of these actions and practices together lead to an eco-friendly workplace and hopefully build a culture of sustainability in your company. Having a culture focused on doing good by the environment will mean decisions will be made with the environmental impact in mind. Employees can feel comfortable knowing they are not supporting a company that is actively harming the planet. A culture of sustainability brings the best out in people as they know they are working for more than just a paycheck but for the betterment of the places they live with a team of like-minded people.
If you are looking for a job, there is a high chance you’re looking for a company with social and environmental commitments. This will say a lot about the company and is said to contribute to the long-term success and the number of loyal employees in the business. If you haven’t adopted a sustainable culture yet, today is a great time. Get started with these!