As per the Environmental Protection Agency, people living in Ireland generate about 15 million tons of waste every year with about an 80% recycling rate. While we understand that building sustainable offices is not possible in most cases, there is so much we can do as individuals and organisations to contribute to an eco-conscious workplace.
From a business standpoint, customers are more inclined to deal with businesses that have made it their mission to reduce their environmental impact. So, whether your business is a local shop or a multi-national corporation, here are 6 important initiatives you can introduce in your office to build an eco-conscious workplace. Not just on World Environment Day, but every day.
#1 MAKE IT A PART OF YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Accomplishing all your green office goals starts at the ground level. Start off by making green thinking a key part of your company culture. Let your company’s vision and mission reflect your stance of being eco-conscious. Engage your employees in your vision and collaborate with them to make your workplace greener. This will not only give you input but also give them the opportunity to embrace these new goals.
Include these values in job descriptions, training programs, and performance reviews, to help your employees understand your sustainability values a bit better.
#2 START A RECYCLING PROGRAMME
A very effective way of progressing towards an eco-friendly workplace is to implement a recycling programme within your office. This does not take a lot of time or funding. All you need is a couple of bins and an arrangement with a local recycling company!
Consider introducing clear signage on designated waste stations from common and kitchen areas to workspaces. This will help your employees distinguish between various types of waste. If you already have a recycling initiative at your workplace, think of ways to reduce your waste.
#3 CONSERVE ENERGY
This good habit that we have been taught as kids does not need to end at home. Turning off the lights and electronic equipment when you aren’t using them will not only reduce electricity bills but also conserve energy resources. Additionally, you can also set your display screens to lower brightness and go into sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity. This way, you are doing your bit to save the earth every day without any added effort!
#4 PLANTS AROUND THE OFFICE
The power of indoor plants cannot be emphasised enough. A research conducted by NASA reveals that indoor plants reduce indoor air pollutants by 87% within 24 hours. Placing a few plants in and around your workspace will make your office aesthetically pleasing while reducing stress and anxiety. Plants also boost oxygen levels and improve air quality immensely.
If you’re looking to learn more, we’ve spoken about the colour green and its effects on productivity in our previous blog!
#5 GREEN COMMUTING
Encourage your employees to consider alternative modes of transportation like walking, cycling to work, or taking public transport. If employees live close to each other, promote carpooling instead of getting their own vehicles out. If possible, give your employees the option of working from home, once or twice per week. Imagine how significantly you are reducing the carbon footprint of your company in the long run! If working from home is not feasible, consider giving your employees an incentive to use public transport.
#6 ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
Going unnoticed often, the effects of the common cleaning products we use are very dangerous. These products are full of toxic chemicals and can cause serious harm to your health and the environment. A bit of research before you buy cleaning products can go a long way in saving the earth and establishing an eco-conscious workplace. As mentioned in #4, you can also increase the number of plants in your office to offset any chemicals released into the air by cleaning products.
At Codex, environmental sustainability is the crux of who we are as a business and this permeates into every level of our operation. With this in mind, we have committed ourselves to reduce our carbon footprint and create environmental efficiencies that can join hands with global initiatives to reduce our impact on the planet.
Learn more about our Environmental Policy here.