Like many people, you probably spend more time at your workplace than you do at home. Whether you work for a private business or a large organization, it’s crucial to reduce your carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices. By encouraging your coworkers to use eco-friendly techniques around the office, you can improve your company’s impact on the environment. It may seem more challenging to advise your company to change their habits than your family, but with a little convincing, you can persuade anyone that greener methods will save money and help the environment.
1. Solar Power
Utility costs rank high on the list of your company’s operational costs, but it seems impossible to reduce the expense when you depend on so many machines and devices that consume power. Although wireless connectivity is an essential part of every productive office, the downfall of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is the increased power consumption. When your security devices, computers, copy machines and routers run twenty-four hours a day (since most devices stay in stand-by mode after you leave), you need a sustainable and efficient power supply. You can purchase a solar power system to reduce your monthly bills and conserve fossil fuels. Solar power is a zero-emissions energy source that gives you the authority to decide how to regulate your energy consumption.
2. Remote Working
Although several businesses have converted to remote working out of necessity, the benefits of online work should persuade most owners and managers that the traditional office environment is a thing of the past. Recent studies indicate that remote work increases productivity, reduces costs, and improves employee retention. It’s not feasible to allow every employee to work from home, but even a small percentage devoted to remote duties can impact your bottom line. You’ll save your coworkers money on fuel costs, and you can decrease downtime and sick leave when you create more remote opportunities.
3. Power Saving Techniques
Your workplace contains numerous electronic devices that continue to drain power when they’re in standby or sleep mode. To reduce the machines’ power consumption, you can persuade employees to unplug their workstations before leaving. Also, you can install smart power strips that automatically disable a device’s sleep mode when it’s not in use. Another cost-saving option is to install motion detection lights that turn off when everyone leaves a room. The lights are inexpensive to install, and they keep you from relying on the last person in the room to hit the switch.
4. Indoor Plants
Purchasing indoor plants can have several positive effects on your working environment. They are aesthetically pleasing, improve the air quality, and absorb CO2 and other toxins like formaldehyde. You can find several inexpensive varieties that require low-light and minimal watering, and by bringing in a little sunshine from office windows, you can reduce your lighting and power needs.
You likely use a recycling bin in addition to your trash cans, but you can go a step further by including a composting station. Banana peels, coffee grinds, apple cores and other materials that are typically thrown in the trash can be tossed in the compost bin. You can dump the compost in an outside bin that receives at least six hours of sunlight. After the material has decomposed, you can donate it to community gardens or give it to employees with gardening interests. It’s essential to find someone in the office to supervise and collect the compost because it can become an unpleasant mess if the bin is not frequently changed and cleaned.
6. Paperless Initiatives
Although writers and publishers are worried that “print is dead,” the reality of a paperless world does have its advantages. Receipts, reports, and employee memos can easily be converted to a digital format, and when you use paperless methods, you’ll use the printer machines less and lower your utility costs. Most of your customers will appreciate the paperless option, and you’ll contribute to the global effort to manage tree supplies and conserve energy.
7. LED Lights
Several offices operate on more than eight working hours a day and lighting can make up nearly thirty percent of your company’s utility bill. When you convert your traditional bulbs to LED’s, you reduce your maintenance costs and power consumption. LEDs can last up to eight years longer than standard bulbs, and they require less wattage to operate. In the last ten years, the popularity and supply of LEDs have risen while the cost of the bulbs has decreased.
8. Bike Racks
Another simple way to improve your company’s impact on global warming and energy conservation is to install bicycle racks. Employees who were hesitant to bike to work before will be encouraged to leave their car at home when they have a safe place to secure their bikes. After determining how many employees are interested in commuting with bikes, you can purchase an appropriately sized rack for under a thousand dollars.
9. Green transportation
To conserve fossil fuels and reduce fuel costs, you can promote a green transportation initiative at your office. Encourage your coworkers to develop a ride-sharing program and persuade them to use bicycles, public transportation, and electric vehicles. If your business has a delivery or distribution component, you can use hybrid or electric vehicles. The electric-powered vehicle industry is booming, and some manufacturers produce commercial vehicles that have a much longer range than the models from a decade ago.
10. Reusable Containers
Since many of the employees in your company spend their lunch break at the office, it’s common for your break room to contain an assortment of single-serving utensils, cups, and plates. Plastic refuse places an unreasonable burden on landfills, recycling centers, and marine life. Marine biologists have recently discovered alarming amounts of plastic in ocean habitats and glacier ice. You can reduce your company’s waste by banning the use of single-serving items and adopting washable containers and utensils. You can purchase washable drinking bottles for each employee and encourage them to limit their disposable waste.
11. Eco-Friendly Food Options
For the workers who tend to crave hot meals from the nearby food truck for lunchtime, you can find a group of venders who operate with eco-friendly guidelines. Several chefs who run food trucks practice sustainable methods like composting, recycling, organic sourcing, and waste reduction. Food vendors have recognized the multiple benefits of green practices, and by partnering with responsible foodservice operators, you can provide healthy meals and improve the environment at the same time.
12. Thermostat Controls
In the summertime, your utility costs rise, and you frequently criticize your coworkers when they adjust the thermostat. To reduce your costs and conserve energy, you can convince the employees of your office to agree on a summertime temperature. Often, office thermostats are set too low, and some employees bundle up to work indoors when it’s 90° F outside. Keeping your thermostat between 72 and 74 will significantly reduce your power bills, and after a short period, the employees can adapt to the temperature change. Adopting green practices around the workplace may be challenging for some employees to accept, but if you introduce the changes gradually and offer workers incentives for their support, most people accept your methods. Every small change can contribute to global improvement. If your company is part of a larger network, you can increase your positive impact by promoting greener techniques to all of the company’s branches.