15 Innovative Ways to Embrace Sustainability in the Office
Sustainability in the office should be a priority for your green team this year. In today’s post, we will explore several creative and novel ways to make your office greener than it’s ever been before.
Studies have shown that greener offices often mean healthier, more productive employees. With the rise in adoption of green building standards and certifications, when your company makes a concerted effort to apply sustainable practices in-office – the environment wins.
Beyond the massive benefits of improving your environmental impact at the office, making it a greener place to be is what employees want. A recent survey from Next Energy Technologies revealed that 80% of managers would improve office sustainability to retain employees.
Here are 15 innovative ideas that will help you embrace sustainability in the office.
#1: Investigate Switching to Eco-Cleaning Products
Cleaning chemicals have an impact on your employees and the environment they work in. That’s why a commitment to sustainability means exploring greener ways of keeping your office clean.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a guide on how to choose eco-friendly products here.
#2: Bring the Outside Inside
Sometimes sustainability in the office is as easy as bringing the outside, inside. Study after study has proven that lush plants in the office equate to more productive, less stressed and healthier employees. Lots of natural light, open space and communion with nature is key to improved results.
#3: Repurpose and Reuse Where You Can
Creating dedicated spaces where people at the office can share surplus equipment and supplies is a leap towards greater sustainability. Many companies start with a single shelf that grows into a space where everyone can find and exchange excess materials when they need them.
#4: Audit Your Office Supply Stream
To create your eco-friendly office, have a closer look at where you get your monthly business supplies. Take note of where they come from, if they’re made from sustainable materials and how you can switch things up to support suppliers who are actively trying to make products circular.
#5: Encourage Hybrid Working Environments
Having programs that support an eco-friendly commute is standard these days – but better than that is encouraging workers to stay home. You save on office costs, and your employee saves on their carbon footprint. Studies have shown that everyone wins when employees work from home.
#6: Fund Your Green Team
Many corporate sustainability teams are underfunded, which limits their ability to educate and enact green initiatives in the workplace. For sustainability in the office to thrive, try increasing the eco budget and see what your green team can do – you’ll be surprised!
#7: Explore Revenue-Generating Circular Opportunities
Some offices are finding innovative ways to lower their carbon footprint and increase their bottom line. There are e-waste programs that can become revenue generators, along with composting programs that convert canteen food waste into compost for the company gardens.
#8: Make Printers a Rarity
Along with drastically reducing paper use at the office, it makes sense to reduce the availability of your office printers. When employees are discouraged from printing at work, there is less paper waste, less energy consumption and more sustainable business for everyone.
#9: Invest in Green Technology Initiatives
Environmentally sustainable office spaces are usually home to new kinds of technology that make sustainability easy. These green initiatives take many forms – solar power or reworked energy-efficient lighting, IoT devices, green data centers and smart glass are some ideas to look into.
#10: Bring the Green Revolution to Your Canteen
Food waste is one of the most problematic areas of sustainability in the office. This year, launch a program that will streamline your ordering processes, and make use of novel waste and recycling practices so that excess doesn’t end up at the landfill.
#11: Involve Employees in Regular Eco Education
Sustainability should be a weekly part of your company culture. Decide what that looks like, and how you’re going to deliver the eco-education your employees need to be involved. From newsletters to guest speakers, screenings, and volunteer programs – allow eco-conscious employees to take part.
#12: Reward Top Eco-Performers at Work
Recognition is a powerful motivating force. Take some time to recognize the key performers that are furthering sustainability in your business. This will motivate others to get involved, and to genuinely care about the way your company is embracing the green movement.
#13: Host Fundraising Drives for Local Sustainability Causes
Aneco-friendly office shares sustainability practice with the community. Inspire your employees to host fundraising drives to help green charities and initiatives. From animal welfare to beach clean-ups, these causes will benefit from the dedication that your employees have to sustainability.
#14: Recycle Better
Green offices thrive when employees recycle better. That means using technology like the Recycle Coach app to give them the tools required to make better choices in the moment. Explore our various workplace education programs and tap into the power of the ‘what goes where’ tool.
#15: Invite Your Employees to Submit Green Ideas
Finally, invite your employees to have a real voice on sustainability in the office. Create a dedicated space where they can submit ideas to improve the existing practices and processes already in play. No one knows where the problems exist better than your employees!
When you embrace sustainability in the office, everyone benefits. Make this year one to remember by doubling down on the green practices that work and testing new and innovative ways to make your office a healthier, happier, and more sustainable place to work.
Which of these sustainability ideas do you want to implement this year? Tell us below.