Having company values that align with environmental efficiency is an important topic that is garnering interest exponentially over recent years. With the increasing awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment, and people more focused on working for employers with a positive social and environmental impact, companies around the globe are looking for ways to improve their green credentials.
The question is: how can you build a modern workplace that also promotes sustainability?
Implementing a recycling program is an easy win on the quest to become more environmentally friendly. Something we all do without thinking these days, but at incspaces we strive to recycle just about anything we can, such as our schemes to recycle printer cartridges and batteries.
But we shouldn’t stop there – as of July 2022, over 14 million disposable e-cigarettes were being purchased each month. Chances are if you look round your office, you’ll see somebody who uses one, and then pops it in the bin when it runs out. Inside their plastic shell, vapes contain lithium, which is a vital component in things such as electric car batteries – and we’re wasting over 10 tonnes of it each year by throwing away single use e-cigarettes!
You can learn more about how to recycle single use vapes, here.
CURBING ENERGY CONSUMPTION
One of the easiest ways to make an office more sustainable is by reducing energy consumption. This can be achieved by using energy-efficient appliances and equipment, such as LED bulbs or motion sensors that automatically turn off lights when not in use. Additionally, companies can encourage employees to turn off lights and equipment when not in use, and to use natural light whenever possible. At incspaces we have a plethora of offices flooded with natural light, of which the benefits expand beyond energy efficiency but also help with employee mood, productivity, and overall wellness.
USE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
Another way to make a workplace more sustainable is by using eco-friendly products. This includes things like recycled paper, non-toxic cleaning products, and biodegradable utensils if you have take-away catering facilities. Companies can also choose to purchase products that are made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo or organic cotton.
Encouraging greener transportation is another way to make an office more sustainable. At incspaces, we encourage this by providing showers, lockers, and bike storage for members who cycle work. Other options to explore could be offering carpooling or public transportation incentives. Companies adopting a hybrid working model and allowing employees to work from home occasionally will help to reduce carbon emissions.
DO YOU REALLY NEED TO PRINT THAT?
One better than recycling paper is to go paperless wherever possible. The benefits of a paperless world are numerous; we’re protecting the trees, digital copies of documents are far easier to back up, nobody has to decipher your messy handwriting, and there definitely won’t be any coffee mug rings all over your important documents.
Apps like SignNow and Stickynotes are digital replacements for everyday tasks like requiring signatures or jotting down notes on Post Its, and digital voice assistants like Alexa an Siri go one further and mean you don’t even have to open an app to type on a keypad. If you absolutely have to print something, print it double sided.
Finally, companies can promote sustainable practices by educating employees about the importance of caring for the environment and the impact of their actions on it. This can include things like hosting sustainability workshops, sending out regular newsletters, or creating an employee sustainability committee. As of January 2023 the role of sustainability manager was announced as one of the fastest growing jobs in the UK, so we can expect to see a rise effective corporate sustainability strategies now whole departments are being dedicated to positive environmental impact.