Sustainability Tips for a Greener Workplace
Sustainability is becoming more of an everyday term for organizations leading the way to a greener workplace. They realize these initiatives are not only the right thing to do, but it helps them stay competitive in today’s challenging economy. They are investing in best practices that support the well-being and longevity of people, planet & profits; and not only within the company culture, but extending these efforts to their key stakeholders and surrounding communities. Why?
Companies are realizing that sustainability offers benefits in brand enhancement, employee attraction and retention, cost savings, and risk mitigation.
It used to be just those who were socially conscious, or had a passion for the environment, that would be the leaders in implementing GREEN programs and policies, but not anymore. Companies are now realizing that greener workplace is more than just doing the right thing.
The Top 100 Greenest Employers in Canada for 2014 will be announced on Earth Day. This is an award that recognizes the Canadian companies leading the way in sustainability best practices within their company culture. They are evaluated based on their environmental initiatives and programs, their success in decreasing their environmental footprint, employee engagement, and how this has positively affected their public identity.
5 tips on how to green your workplace
Encourage your employees to bike to work
Install bike racks and provide change areas that include lockers to store extra clothing and, if possible, showers.Not only does cycling lower the carbon footprint of your organization, but it helps your employees to stay healthy. Does your employee health plan have the opportunity to help contribute to their purchase of a bicycle? Create internal programs and fun competitions that will help encourage your employees to choose to commute on their bicycle rather than in their car.
Be wise with lighting
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED, put task lighting on work spaces so you can limit overhead lighting, add motion detector light switches in closets, storage areas, and other rooms that are used infrequently. It may sound simple, but turn out lights when you leave a room that is no longer being used, such as a conference room after a meeting.
Start a recycling program
Your GREEN team may be in charge of a program like this, but schedule everyone to take part. If you know you have to be the one sorting the recycling, and taking out the trash, you will be more careful in how much you use, and where you put it.
Source out GREEN office products
Be a conscious, careful, and educated consumer when purchasing products for your office. Make it a policy that you will first consider suppliers that offer GREEN products. These should include everyday items such as Fair Trade coffee and recycled paper towels, to large purchases such as office furniture. You don’t have to sacrifice quality, or necessarily pay more, just because you choose the more sustainable option. As an example, re-manufactured office furniture from Envirotech is a “Better than New” option. It not only looks as good as new, but it costs less, diverts 98% of waste from our landfill, and uses less energy in the manufacturing process than a new product.
Treat your windows to an upgrade
The U.S. Depart of Energy (DOE) estimates an annual loss of $35 billion is lost through windows. Install energy efficient windows when possible, and window treatments that have insulating properties. A southern exposure with a lot of sun? Consider solar controlled window film as a low cost option. It has been shown to have an ROI of 3-5 years in energy savings, as well as offering the added benefits of fade and U.V. protection.
Is your organization a leader in sustainability? What other tips can you offer our readers? Let us know in the comment section below.