In today’s world, issues surrounding climate change, such as eco living, frequently make front-page news. Put simply, it’s a subject that isn’t going away, instead looking set to reshape how we perceive and live in the world.
Consumers will also look upon an ecologically considerate business more favourably than they will a firm that does not pay much attention to sustainability issues, so taking these matters seriously can even greatly benefit your bottom line.
As the world increasingly looks to greener alternatives, you should make sure your business doesn’t look updated and fall behind the times. The following steps will help to set your organisation on the path to true sustainability.
The first step to a sustainable workplace is introducing a new mindset for you and your employees. If you can, try to set a good example by walking or cycling to work. Encourage employees who live near one another to carshare. If relocating your office space, choose premises with good connections to public transport and cycle lanes.
Try, as well, to think about the kind of materials you use in the workplace. Switching to using recycled paper can help to reduce waste pollution, explains BBC Science Focus. Make sure employees know only to print when necessary and if possible, print double sided.
Reduce your energy usage
A great deal of the energy that we use is wasted. Think about the amount of times a computer has been left unattended with the monitor switched on, or a light has been left on in an unoccupied room.
Basic changes to behaviour around the office can help to change this. Perhaps you could put up posters at your workplace, encouraging people to turn a device off when they’ve finished using it?
Other potential solutions include fitting energy-efficient light bulbs, monitoring the amount of power you use on heating, and considering your travel policies (switching long-distance meetings to video conferencing, for example). You could also consider switching to an energy-efficient energy provider.
Whether it does so by boiling kettles, using the taps or flushing toilets, the average business uses a lot of water. Think about ways of reducing this; again, simple changes such as fixing leaking pipes and not leaving the tap running while rinsing cutlery can be a good start.
“Effective water conservation means taking a hard line on waste”, the independent consultancy Smarter Business argues. So also consider installing eco-friendly toilets, in addition to adding flow restrictors and motion sensors to your taps.
Think about where you’re buying from
If you’re a business that imports a lot of items, consider where you’re importing from; longer cross-continent trips obviously leave much more of a carbon footprint then a locally sourced product. Buy in bulk to reduce the number of trips needed.
Also reflect on the practices of the supplier or partner; are they taking steps to be more sustainable? If not, it might be time to change supplier. You could, for instance, obtain your firm’s print finishing equipment from Duplo International, which has 500sqm of solar panels installed on its roof, and makes extensive use of recycling to reduce its landfill waste.
Switching to more renewable energy sources not only makes your business more eco-friendly, but will also be appreciated by, and even encourage potential new customers.
Install rooftop solar panels, or if your premises allow it, add wind turbines, to help your business become more self-sufficient.
There you have it – just five ways to affect the transition towards genuine sustainability in your business’s operations. How many of these measures have you already adopted at your workplace?