Do you want to run a more sustainable company? It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses everywhere to adopt practices that help the planet. After all, you can’t deny that large buildings like office spaces and manufacturing plants use energy and create waste.
Here’s a look at how you can take steps to make your workforce more sustainable.
1. Switch to Digital Documents
How much paper does your business use every month? If you have to print many documents, you should switch to a digital or cloud-based system. It might still be necessary to use physical records, but you’ll make a difference anyway. Then, your company won’t contribute to deforestation practices that damage our environment.
There are a few different techniques you can use. It’s smart to provide online forms and receipts that clients and customers can access. Then, you should set aside time to scan reports so that they exist online. Establish a virtual system where everyone can access them from their computers and phones.
2. Organize a Carpool Group
If you have an office in an urban location, your employees might take public transportation to work. However, you probably still have workers who drive to work. That’s undoubtedly true for offices in suburban and rural areas. It might be more convenient, but your morning and evening commute creates deadly carbon emissions that warm the atmosphere.
That’s why you might want to organize a carpool group. Employees who live near each other can take turns so that they don’t all have to drive. It’s also smart to encourage walking and biking to work when possible.
3. Consider Permanent Remote Work
Many companies have turned to remote work amid COVID-19. As a result, you probably haven’t worked from your office for months. Have you considered a permanent remote work option? This idea will help you save money and energy. Plus, you won’t have as many people who drive to work.
Give employees a choice to remain at home post-pandemic. If you can’t allow everyone to work remotely full-time, you should offer an opportunity where they can do so on Fridays, for example. Try to be flexible — because you’ll see benefits.
4. Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
Plastic can be a significant problem at work, especially when you consider that materials like packaging account for one-third of total trash output in America. If you eliminate single-use items like coffee cups, you can help the environment thrive. It’s also essential to think about your manufacturing process.
It won’t be easy to cut back — especially when you have employees who need to follow new procedures. That doesn’t mean you can’t try. Look at your current system to see how and where you should begin.
5. Think About Sustainable Procurement
Do you buy and sell products? If so, you should examine your procurement process. There are likely a few spots where you can make eco-friendly adjustments. It’s completely possible to transform your methodology to benefit the environment.
For example, you might decide to switch to biodegradable containers for your restaurant’s takeout orders. This effort will decrease how much waste your company generates. Be sure to analyze other opportunities for sustainable changes, too.
6. Recycle Old Electronics
It might be easier to toss your old computers and printers into a landfill rather than find a way to recycle them. That’s a costly move when you consider that electronic components like metal, glass and aluminum don’t decompose. These objects also contain harmful substances such as lead.
Look for recycling or donation programs that take electronics. Ask your human resources or information technology team to handle requests. If you replace a broken laptop with a new model, you can have them send the old one to the appropriate place.
7. Decrease Water Usage
There’s no denying that businesses use excess water. This issue may not seem particularly pressing. After all, you and your employees can simply turn on the tap to get water, right? That point might be valid — but you’re not everyone, and around 2.2 billion people aren’t as lucky.
It’s up to individuals everywhere to practice water conservation so that we can make the world a healthy, habitable place. This action also reduces how much energy people use. It takes power to run water from treatment plants to homes and businesses. That’s a process that inevitably increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Fix maintenance problems like leaky pipes quickly so that you don’t waste water. It’s smart to encourage employees to use less water in the office kitchen, too. If you have the budget, you might want to consider installing low-flow toilets. These are only a few ways to help conserve water at work.
8. Purchase Eco-Friendly Supplies
What’s an office space without pens and staplers? There’s a strong chance that you and your employees go through supplies rather quickly. It may not seem like a big waste at first glance, but you’d be surprised. After all, you can’t exactly recycle highlighters and paperclips.
It’s not like you can stop using office supplies altogether. As a result, you need to monitor how often your employees pick out a new item from your office’s stash. There might be a few people who take more than they should. Encourage employees to use whatever supplies they already have until they’re completely unusable.
It’s Easier Than You Think to Be Eco-Friendly
From digital documents to carpool groups, you have the power and resources to make positive changes to your company. These actions will positively impact the planet, which means a healthier future for all. It’s up to individuals and businesses alike to make a difference.
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