How to encourage sustainability in the work place
It is quickly becoming an indisputable fact that sustainability is the key to future proofing a business. And while people are being encouraged to be green in other aspects of their lives, it is also important to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle within the work place.
Embracing a green future opens the door to many more opportunities for businesses. This includes environmental, economic and social benefits. Not only does an eco-friendly work place increase consumer confidence and boosts profits, it also engages employees in company policy, leading to a more transparent atmosphere.
So, we take a look at some of the ways you can encourage a sustainable work environment.
Offer green incentives
Investing time and money in green initiatives brings a host of benefits for companies. Offering incentives for eco-friendly behaviour encourages employees to live more sustainably, in a fun and collaborative way.
Consider introducing financial rewards for employees that are linked to the company’s environmental performance. For example, the technology company Intel links a portion of employees’ compensation to its recycling metrics. Plastic-free challenges are a great way to encourage and educate employees about simple ways to become more eco-friendly. These activities can be a good bonding experience, as well as boosting your company’s green credibility. This engages with a broad range of eco-conscious consumers.
To start, consider going through the workplace kitchen and making a list of all the single-use plastics, with the aim of creating a plastic-free kitchen. You could even encourage the use of a compost bin.
Focus on efficiency
The environmental, economic and social benefits of green energy allow businesses to future-proof themselves, as we move towards net zero. To reduce our global carbon footprint, we must make use of natural resources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy. Utilising natural resources guarantees a steady flow of energy for businesses. Fossil fuel power, on the other hand will eventually run dry.
Energy inefficiency also comes with a number of disadvantages for businesses. Not only does it add to a business’s environmental impact through inefficient energy, it also wastes money. So, becoming more efficient would bring benefits for both the business and the environment around it.
Take a greener route to work
Levels of carbon emissions have dipped considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the country shut down and travel ground to a halt, CO₂ emissions from transport fell by a staggering 19.6%. This highlighted the power every person and business have in tackling climate change by reducing their own carbon footprints.
Lockdowns have caused a certain amount of chaos across all sectors, but many businesses have been able to recover their productivity by asking employees to work from home. Working remotely means less travel for workers, which in turn benefits both workers and the environment.
When assessing a business’ energy consumption, government schemes (such as ESOS) take into consideration the amount of energy used on transport. So, for eligible businesses, lowering consumption on transport is essential.
With the help of today’s technology, going paperless is an easy and cost-efficient business solution. Reducing paper usage cuts down on supply costs, and will make a huge impact on your business’ waste efficiency.
Businesses can begin by encouraging workers to print less, and rely more on digital devices. They should also make important documentation accessible via the business’ servers.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
While the climate crisis continues to be a hot topic, single-use plastics remain an ongoing problem. Especially in situations where convenience comes first, such as in offices. Keeping mugs, glasses, and cutlery in the office kitchen will help to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used by employees every day. Buying reusable products means that you don’t have to buy items that need replacing regularly.
Less than one-third of all plastic used in the UK is recycled. While the main goal is to eradicate the use of plastic altogether, it is important that we also focus on recycling the plastic that already exists. Placing recycling bins with clear signage around the office encourages employees to dispose of waste responsibly. Encouraging waste-free lunches and paperless meetings is another way to reduce office waste.
How can we help?
Becoming sustainable is no longer merely an option for your business – it is now a necessity. With the climate crisis worsening daily, it is imperative that we find ways of putting a stop to it before it becomes entirely irreversible. At National Utility Hub, we focus on energy, waste, and carbon management. By taking the complicated stuff off your hands, you have more time to focus on bettering your business in other areas.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help you to help the environment.