With the increasing expectation that organisations have sustainable initiatives, and the potential competitive advantage this could provide, it is inevitable that you will be looking into ‘going green’ in the workplace. Running a sustainable office can be cost-effective, increase productivity levels, and be utilised as a strategic device to boost business.
But as you turn off the light switch when you leave the room, walk past your humble recycling bins and disapprovingly eye the disposable coffee cups your colleagues have brought back from Caffe Nero, you can’t help but wonder at the futility of these small measures.
The fundamental tool you need to improve your company’s environmental credentials is an overall consensus in your office. Communication is key to inspiring your team to play their part in reducing your organisation’s impact on the environment. Here are some tips to help you jump-start your sustainability efforts:
Embed sustainability into your company culture; your office environment and employees’ beliefs should align with company values. The minute you get this written into your culture code, it becomes measurable and manageable. Decisions of management and directors should be influenced by an environmentally friendly attitude. These shared ethics will motivate the day to-day-actions of your employees in the workplace – then even the smallest efforts, such as carrying around a reusable water bottle, become part of a more conscious approach within your company.
Establish a green team
An effective way of embedding sustainability in your business is the establishment and leverage of a green team. It promotes employee engagement as they strive to come up with creative solutions to tackle tough problems. This strategy is proven to gain more buy-in from employees and fosters an intrinsically sustainable culture.
Set a goal
Working towards a well-known independent sustainability certification can incentivise employees and boost your brand’s image. The positive recognition will firmly establish you as a competitor with other sustainable industry leaders. Check out the criteria for The Green Mark, The Planet Mark and their partners CoolEarth, who can help you establish a pledge and put measures in place to reach your goal.
Successfully running a sustainable office is about your people, and therefore a more holistic approach should be adopted. Each individual action makes up your overall impact on the environment, and so if your company culture encourages and supports sustainable practices, you can be sure to see tangible benefits for your business and employees.