Did you know? The United States labor force currently stands at 160 million people. That’s more than a third of the entire population.
It’s no wonder the government is turning to businesses and issuing legislation that demands businesses to go green. The response by entities large and small has been noteworthy. Companies have made pledges to reduce carbon emissions, decrease paper waste, and adopt sustainable energy solutions.
How can you, in your company, encourage a greener workplace?
1. Raise awareness – educate before you empower
It’s a bit difficult to get people to rally behind a cause they don’t fully understand. After your environmental audit, create awareness posters. How much electricity is being consumed in the workplace? What about paper that is being wasted? Can water consumption be decreased? Armed with figures, it’s easier to make the case for a greener workplace. When you begin making changes such as asking for computers to be switched off instead of left in ‘sleep’ mode people understand.
2. Make it worthwhile – give valuable incentives
Even though people know why they should go green, they might still need some incentive to do it. Companies such as Bank of America and Facebook are just two examples that have put in place incentives for their employees. For example, Bank of America gives employees a $3,000 reimbursement should they buy an electric or natural gas-powered car. Facebook compensates employees who choose to live within 10 miles of the company’s Menlo Park up to $15,000.
3. Promote local – partner with other green businesses
As a company looking to operate sustainably, partner with other green enterprises in your area. Create a list of vendors running eco-friendly practices and do business with them. The list of vendors can range from fair-trade coffee providers to online retailers like LokaBee who sell ethically sourced environmentally-friend products. You’re teaching your employees to do business with companies that are committed to taking care of the environment. Hopefully, when they go home, they’ll also carry this attitude when looking for vendors in their own personal space.
4. Encourage recycling – set up recycling programs
It’s not enough to tell your employees they should recycle. How should they go about it? By placing recycling bins in strategic places, you’ll have won half the battle. This isn’t just for the office space. From the office kitchen right through to the bathrooms, there should be recycling options available. Clearly mark what should go into each bin to make things simpler. Your recycling programs should take into consideration how you dispose of products like ink cartridges and unwanted computer hardware.
5. Cut down on waste – reuse whenever possible
Single-use plastic water bottles and coffee cups are two of the biggest sources of waste coming from offices across cities in the country. Do you have a vending machine in your workplace? Eliminate the water sold in these machines and install a water dispenser instead. Have people bring in their own reusable water bottles so they can get water as and when they want it. The same goes for coffee. If you have a coffee maker, eliminate the traditional plastic coffee cups and opt for paper versions instead.
Lead the green revolution in your workplace
Make the first step by leading by example. If your employees see you making an effort with each of these points, they will be more inclined to follow suit. If you’re thinking of replacing some of the everyday products you use in your business with greener alternatives, be sure to check out our extensive online store.