8 Ways To Create An Environmentally Friendly Workplace
A study by TopLine Film recently revealed that 73% of workers would like their employers and HR Managers to invest in building environmentally friendly workplaces.
“A sustainable mindset starts from the top,” states MD Jamie Field. “It’s only fair that those in charge show their commitment to the cause and implement policies that encourage sustainability at work.”
Although it may seem like a lot of effort, creating an environmentally friendly workplace is easier and cheaper than you think; it’s all about making better choices. Truth is, your office is probably already doing at least a few of these things without realising.
With 72% of survey respondents agreeing that sustainability is a collective responsibility, there’s no doubt that staff would be pleased to get involved with making better choices within the workplace.
Below we’ve listed a few of our top tips for transforming your office into an environmentally friendly haven!
Invest In Reusable Plates & Cutlery
Let’s be honest. Nobody enjoys eating from a floppy paper plate, and plastic cutlery is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. So why not invest in some reusable tableware? Not only are you reducing the wastage of single use products, you’ll also save money in the long run. After just a few employee birthdays, meetings, and catered lunches, your new investments will have paid for themselves!
You’ll just have to remember to wash up… swings and roundabouts!
Encourage Car Sharing & Walking To Work
Harmful Co2 emissions are damaging the environment. When employees share a ride or walk to work, there’s one less car polluting the road.
Walking to work is also a great way for employees to exercise and clear their minds ready for the day ahead. Why not encourage employees to take on the challenge once a week? They could even wear a pedometer to track their steps. Competition is healthy for the workplace- consider rewarding the employee who walked the farthest!
Another perk is the money saved from petrol and parking.
Keep in mind that the length of your employees’ commutes will probably determine how well this one goes down…
Stock Up On Tupperware
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the sheer amount of food left over from staff parties and catered lunches. Reducing wastage here is easy; simply wrap up and refrigerate the goods and save them for the next day. Your employees are sure to thank you when the mid-morning hunger pangs kick in!
Wrapping food with foil or cling film is an option, but going the extra mile to invest in some reusable Tupperware will provide a life-long solution to all of your gluttonous over-orders.
Ban Disposable Water & Coffee Cups
Most offices come equipped with a water cooler or coffee machine. Unfortunately, most of these come equipped with disposable cups.
Let’s say you employ 20 staff who each use one disposable cup per work day. The average calendar year has 261 working days. That’s a LOT of waste.
Switching to paper cups is a great short-term solution, but they still produce waste. Why not team up with the marketing department and treat your employees to personalised, company branded water bottles and mugs?
The benefits of this also go further than the environment. Providing existing employees and new recruits with this small gift will boost morale and make a great first impression.
You’ll also get free advertising if they use the bottles outside of the office! Win-Win!
Switch It Off
This tip may seem obvious, but you’ll be shocked at how many people forget. Ensuring you switch off plug sockets, lights, and monitors when they’re not in use will save energy and money and will even lessen the risk of a fire.
Choosing an office with motion censored lighting will ensure you never have to give them a second thought. Furthermore, if every employee takes responsibility for their own plug sockets and monitors, switching off at the end of the day should take no more than a few seconds.
Save the trees! HR should encourage employees to stop and think about these questions before printing a document:
- Is it absolutely necessary that you have a physical copy of this document?
- Can this document serve its purpose whilst remaining digital?
- Can you use an online signature app to sign this document if need be?
Understandably, there are times when employees just need a physical copy of a document. In these cases, encourage them to proofread and ensure everything is correct before hitting print- this will minimise the risk of needing to reprint. Furthermore, HR could change the printer settings so that documents are double sided, making the paper supply last 50% longer.
Invest in office plants
Office plants have multiple benefits. Not only do they brighten up the workplace and give it a new lease of life, they also reduce carbon emissions and purify the air. Provide one for every window sill, and encourage employees to bring in their own if they wish.
Just make sure you remember to water them!
Introduce compost, trash, and recycling bins
It’s often easiest to have one general waste bin and be done with it. However, ensuring office rubbish is properly disposed of is one of the fundamental steps to an environmentally friendly office.
Simply provide three separate bins for compost, trash, and recycling. In order to avoid confusion, consider sticking images on the side of the bins picturing the types of things that can be put inside them. The visual element will help rubbish separation to quickly become a habit within your office.
We offer HR and training solutions to businesses of all sizes. If you would like further advice on ways to improve your workplace, our expert HR team can assist you. To find out more about how we work and how we can help your business, please get in touch or call directly on +44 (0) 2381590059.
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Author: Charlotte Dixon, Digital Marketing Coordinator