November 10, 2022
How to Bring an Eco-conscious Workplace
More and more organisations in different niches are shifting to sustainable operations to reduce their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts by making their workplaces eco-conscious. This move is driven by the growing stakeholders' demand for responsible and ethical operations. The impressive thing about sustainability is that companies, their management, and staff are sure of helping the planet to address the threats facing it. So, what activities can help make workplaces eco-conscious? This post takes a closer look at the top seven strategies that you can adopt to make your company's workplace eco-conscious and highlight the main benefits that come from it.
What is an Eco-conscious Workplace?
Before looking at proven strategies that you can use to make your workplace eco-conscious, let's start by exploring this crucial term. This is a type of workplace that balances its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts to deliver long-term success and viability. The concept is anchored on the fact that corporations have bigger ESG impacts, and, therefore, have to play a major role in addressing the challenges facing the planet.
For some companies, especially small and medium ones, there has been a general perception that the focus on sustainability is only meant for large multinationals. However, this is not true because issues facing the planet are cross-boundary. For example, failure to cut down emissions, no matter how little they are, contributes to global warming. Indeed, an eco-conscious workplace comes with a wide range of benefits for all companies, including:
- Helping attract the best talents.
- Very useful in cutting down staff attrition.
- Helps to encourage staff to work harder.
- Improving the air quality of the workplace.
- Improves efficiency and productivity at the workplace.
- It is primary in driving higher productivity and profitability of a company.
9 Strategies to Make Your Workplace Eco-conscious
There are dozens of strategies that you can employ to make your company's workplace eco-conscious. Let's highlight the best seven that you should implement in your company:
Implement a Recycling Program
This is probably one of the best options that every company should try to make its workplace more eco-friendly. Every organisation, no matter the size, releases some waste. A manufacturing organisation has some by-products of its product-making line. A hotel or hospitality facility, on the other hand, releases wastes such as food remains and plastics. If these wastes get into the environment, they are likely to have serious implications, from polluting the water lines to reducing biological diversity.
When you install and use a recycling program at your workplace, it demonstrates that your company is caring for the environment. It gives your staff the assurance that their work is not damaging the environment. Good considerations to factor in a recycling program include:
- Treating and recycling wastewater in your facility.
- Educate staff on responsible waste disposal.
- Compliance with both local and international laws.
- Recycling different materials on site to help cut down wastes released into the environment.
- Distinguishing between the materials that belong to different bins (recycling, composting, and trash).
- Partnering with a recycling facility to take part of your waste and recycle it.
- Consider running a buy-back sort of program that encourages customers to return products for recycling.
Go Paperless in Your Office
Most offices today use a lot of paper. From writing memos to drafting annual reports and receipts, your company might be using heaps of paper annually. This implies that your company is part of the global chain that is promoting the cutting down of 80,000-160,000 trees per day (Global Forest Resource Assessment). Therefore, it is time to make a major shift.
By going paperless, you are sure to save the trees that could have been cut to meet the high demand for paper processing. This also implies that the habitats for the wildlife that could have been cleared would be conserved. Indeed, a paperless workplace comes with a long list of benefits that you should not miss. Here are some of them:
- Promotes the use of technology for communication and work.
- Helps to improve communication between departments and amongst the staff.
- Keeps the cost of operations low.
- A paperless office generates less waste.
Install Energy Saving Lamps
Employees need ample lighting to be able to do their work. However, lighting offices, corridors, production units, and restrooms can consume a significant portion of energy. Lighting in an average office can consume up to 33% of the total energy bill, which explains why it should be an important area of focus. The best way to cut energy going to light an office is by shifting to energy-saving lamps.
Traditional lamps, especially incandescent fixtures, use old technology that is less energy efficient. To reduce energy use in the office, you should install LED lamps. Instead of using heating filaments, these modern fixtures rely on diodes that allow them to use 75% less energy compared to traditional incandescent lamps. Other benefits of LED lamps that make them the go-to lighting solution for the workplace are that they provide high-quality light and last longer.
Invest in Office Plants
For a workplace to be eco-conscious, it is prudent to ensure it is appealing to the users. To achieve this, you should invest in indoor plants. The plants help to make the workplace look cool and improve attachment with users. More importantly, indoor plants help to absorb excess carbon dioxide that is generated in the offices.
To get more benefits from indoor plants, consider selecting those with colours that rhyme with the company's theme. For example, companies with their brands donning brown and yellow colours might want indoor plants of the same outlook. Make sure to also position the plants at strategic points in the corridors, galleries, and restrooms to make the outlook consistent.
Promote Sustainable Transport
The transport sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG). If your company or office has ten people who use a car each, it means they are contributing a huge amount of emissions. You can make the workplace eco-conscious by encouraging the staff to use alternative and more sustainable methods. Here are some of the best options:
- Encourage employees to cycle to work as opposed to using their cars.
- Provide transport to the staff so that fewer vehicles are used instead of each taking his/her own car.
- Support employees to acquire and use electric cars.
- Where possible, encourage staff to stay close to the workplace and walk every day.
Make Green Thinking Part of Every Step in Your Workplace
For a workplace to be truly eco-conscious, it is vital that this focus is reflected in every action. The idea is to ensure that your staff understands and helps to make the journey more sustainable. If this is reflected in their work behaviour, the workplace can be labelled green. Some impressive initiatives to help build this culture include:
- Training staff on matters of sustainability and the benefits of an eco-conscious workplace.
- Rewarding staff who use creative methods to help make their work and operations eco-friendly.
- Encouraging staff to recycle water bottles and coffee cups instead of going for disposables.
- For departmental managers, green thinking can include setting sustainability as one of the agendas for action by the juniors.
Support Local Eco-friendly Initiatives
For your office or company to be considered eco-friendly, it is paramount to also consider those in the neighbourhood. If your company is located in an area with so many homeless people, there will be a general sense of incompleteness if you do not try to do something. You can support local initiatives or initiate a program to help them get homes. This is only one example of what you can do.
Your company might also want to consider supporting empowerment groups to help improve the lives of the neighbouring communities. If there are good initiatives, such as tree planting, street cleaning, and education-related efforts, it will be excellent to offer a hand. This will make the local communities not only identify with you but also act as good ambassadors.
Partner with Other Organisations
Promoting a sustainable workplace can, at times, feel lonely and tough. If you feel that the company is walking alone, there is a danger of giving up, but this is not a good route to follow. Instead, you should partner with other eco-conscious organisations for support. With the partnership, it becomes easy to appreciate the benefits that come with adopting sustainability.
One of the best organisations to partner with is Climate Fresk. They not only help you to understand more about sustainability, but you can also count on them to build capacity for company staff. For example, you will be advised to craft a comprehensive plan for ESG reporting so that more stakeholders can read and appreciate the effort directed toward making the planet a better place for all.
Install CONTINEWM to Increase the Efficiency of Your HVAC System
A big portion of expenses for most offices is used for heating and cooling. In most cases, this is approximately 35%, which makes it an excellent area of focus when targeting energy saving. Remember that energy saving means that you are not just reducing energy-related bills but also the company's carbon footprint. One of the best energy-saving methods for your AC system is using CONTINEWM.
CONTINEWM is an innovative device used to help improve the efficiency of an AC system. When an HVAC system is operating, the electrostatic charges created by the moving parts can result in huge resistance to airflow. However, CONTINEWM helps to reduce the resistance by generating negative charges to neutralise them. The impact is the smooth flow of air through the AC system.
Once installed, it is possible to reach 50% energy saving for your office heating and cooling. In addition, CONTINEWM helps to remove bad odours to improve air quality. Remember that the process of installing a CONTINEWM is easy, and the device has minimal maintenance needs.
This post has highlighted some of the benefits that you should anticipate for making your workplace eco-conscious. Indeed, the list is only a scratch on the surface; you should anticipate more. Pick and implement some of the best strategies that we have listed in this post. In addition, you should also create and publish ESG reports for stakeholders to read and support your organisation.