Sustainability has been a topic most companies and organizations have tackled for decades. The need to alter existing business models and sometimes create new ones for the sake of increasing sustainability is a heavily discussed topic. As a business owner, perhaps you’ve seen the benefits going green has to offer and would wish to apply it in your place of business. Here are a few easy areas you can start with
Reduce and Reuse
Taking a look at the materials and office supplies you use is a great first step. Examine everyone’s rate of paper usage. If papers are being used left and right, consider the steps you can take to reduce their usage. Perhaps you can alter some processes to lessen the office’s need to use paper. Most transactions and processes in modern businesses are now digital. Databases get stored on the cloud, and employees relay information mostly through email. For tasks and transactions that require the use of a physical document, you can incorporate the use of recycled paper.
Plastic usage is also something you can consider. Reduce your business’ plastic waste by identifying and eliminating unnecessary usage of plastic. Factors such as packaging and storage methods are primary users of plastic. Eco-friendly replacements like cardboard or wood can help cut down your plastic waste. The things your employees bring into the office are also contributors. Plastic food packaging and plastic utensils can be lessened by keeping a stock of reusable dinnerware they can use during lunch.
Make Some Renovations
Altering the office layout can be a costly undertaking, but it can be beneficial and save you a lot of money in the long run. We don’t need to start tearing down walls and ceilings, however. You can start with the office furniture. Desks and chairs should be bought with the mindset of it lasting as long as the company does. Replacing furniture every two or three years is not only costly for your company but the environment as well. Every piece of furniture sent to landfills is another increase in carbon emissions. When choosing furnishings for your office, go for the ones that you know are of high quality and can last for as long as the company does. Doing this can cost you more initially, but it is immensely better than buying new ones every few years.
If you’re done with the furniture but want to take it to the next level, examine what sort of changes you can make to the office layout. Changing the arrangements of workplaces can do wonders in your efforts to reduce energy consumption. Try replacing wooden or concrete walls with glass panels. This can help tremendously with reducing your reliance on artificial light. Doing this will lessen electricity consumption and will result in more sustainability and money saved. However, eco-friendly light bulbs are a viable option if natural light cannot reach the office.
To add some aesthetics to the workplace, why not add some plant life? Place some potted plants around the office to give the place a more vibrant and refreshing atmosphere. Some businesses even take it to the extreme by placing a tree inside. Before committing to such changes, consider getting some office moving services to make sure that alterations and installations are properly done.
Implement New Policies
Introduce new rules and regulations to get your employees quickly acclimated to the new cultural norm of a sustainable office. Send out reminders to switch off and unplug office equipment once operations are done for the day. Make sure your employees know not to leave any equipment in idle operation. Have them turn it off if they see it is on but not in use. Lights in bathrooms and conference rooms should also be manually turned on and off. This is to limit the consumption of energy in rooms that aren’t in constant use by someone.
Implementing a trash segregation policy is a must for sustainability efforts. Have a trash bin readily available on visible corners of the office. Doing so cannot only help with trash segregation but also serve as a reminder for employees to think about what they are throwing away.
Outside the Office
When talking about sustainability in your place of business, it is not limited to the inner workings of the office. The daily commute your employees take to and from work are contributors to carbon emission. Try to encourage carpooling or trying out other sustainable transportation such as bikes or scooters. These steps may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit helps.