As businesses become more aware of their environmental impact, many are looking for ways to become more eco-friendly. Making your workplace environmentally conscious does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. This article will look at 14 easy ways to make your workplace eco-friendlier. These tactics will help your business reduce consumption and emissions, maintain profitability, and boost your reputation!
1. Reduce Energy Consumption
One of the easiest and most effective ways to make your workplace eco-friendly is by closely examining energy consumption. It all starts with small, simple actions such as:
- Turning off lights and equipment when not in use.
- Consider switching to more energy-efficient lighting. (LED lights use 90% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs).
2. Use Natural Light
Another easy way to make your workplace eco-friendly is to work with Mother Nature and rely on natural light! Studies show that reducing artificial lighting during the day and increasing exposure to natural light can improve employee mood and productivity. Increasing natural light exposure can be achieved by strategically positioning desks near windows and under skylights.
3. Try Renewable Energy
Renewable energy sources like wind or solar can help reduce your carbon footprint while saving money on electricity bills over time. Talk to your local energy provider about what renewable energy options are available in your area- it may surprise you how affordable they can be!
As an added incentive, the Inflation Reduction Act (2022) provides tax credits for small businesses and homeowners who adopt energy efficient improvements such as heat pumps and solar panels. Accordingly, working families and small businesses can save money on monthly utility bills and shield themselves from ever-changing energy prices.
4. Implement an Intelligent Energy System
Rather than wondering where you might be wasting energy, an intelligent energy system allows you to track energy usage in real-time. Equipped with a better understanding of your energy use, you can make informed decisions on reducing electricity bills and optimizing consumption.
5. Encourage a Sustainable Commute
Encourage your employees to take a more sustainable approach to transportation by promoting public transport, biking, walking, or carpooling. You can do so by providing incentives such as:
- Bike storage
- Subsidies or reimbursement for public transport passes or bike purchases
- Setting up a carpooling platform where employees can connect
6. Offer Flexible Work Schedules
Employees are more and more in favor of telecommuting. Consider offering flexible work schedules. Employees have the option of working from home or carpooling with colleagues. Fewer commuters on the road equals reduced carbon emissions.
7. Focus on Sustainable Materials
Another way to make your workplace eco-friendlier is to focus on the use of office supplies and furniture made of more sustainable materials, such as:
- Recycled paper
- Reclaimed materials (upcycled materials such as aluminum, glass, or ceramic)
- Organic fabrics (cotton, wool, silk, hemp)
Moving away from synthetic fabrics and plastic and using more sustainable choices decreases your overall carbon footprint and saves money in the long run. High-quality, sustainable products will often last you longer and require less maintenance than their synthetic counterparts.
8. Go Paperless
It’s great to switch to recycled paper, but not using it will reduce ink and paper. So many digital and cloud solutions make it easy to store, share and consult documents, and make your work more streamlined. Also, remember to let your suppliers know you prefer paperless statements.
9. Bring your Plant to Work
You can invest in some office plants that you place around the office and allow employees to bring their favorite plant(s) from home – the more, the merrier! Indoor greenery in the workplace can provide so many benefits, such as:
- Improve indoor air quality.
- Boost productivity.
- Minimize Noise Levels.
- A cleaner, happier space for people to work in.
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
10. Implement a Recycling Program
Promoting recycling in the workplace contributes to reducing the amount of waste your business generates and saves money on waste disposal costs. There are several ways you can go about this to make your office eco-friendlier:
- Provide clearly labeled bins for paper, plastic, glass, and organic waste.
- Encourage and educate the employees on the recycling system.
- Offer recycling collection services for employees for unique materials (such as electronics) or bulky items.
11. Support Local Businesses
Supporting local businesses can reduce your workplace’s carbon footprint by reducing the transportation required to get products to your workplace. By working together with local suppliers, you are stimulating the local economy and strengthening the community. Additionally, many small and medium local companies have environmentally friendly practices and use sustainable materials.
12. Educate Employees and Stakeholders About Sustainability Efforts
Your workplace can become more eco-friendly if the employees believe in more sustainable practices. It’s crucial to involve, encourage and educate them on the eco-friendly processes you are implementing through:
- Workshops/ training sessions.
- Consistent internal communications and external communications. Sharing information via newsletters or platforms like Zoom or Slack are great ways to ensure your efforts are public knowledge. Using these mediums is a great way to get everyone on board with the new measures.
- Recognizing and rewarding employees who make an effort to be more sustainable.
13. Get Outside and Volunteer
Volunteer programs can be an excellent way to support a meaningful cause and significantly impact your community. Your company can participate in all sorts of environmental causes and conservation campaigns. Find a project close to your organization’s heart and get your people involved.
14. Cut Down on Water Usage
Our final suggestion for making your workplace eco-friendly does not have to be a “drain.” Make changes to reduce water usage inside the business- such as installing low-flow toilets/faucets/showerheads in bathrooms- as well as outside the business (e.g., reducing watering times for landscaping).
The Waterways Company Is Here to Help You!
Making small changes now will go a long way toward making sure our planet stays healthy for generations to come! Every effort counts, so take some time today and incorporate these simple tips into your current operations. The Waterways Company is happy to bring you cutting-edge and eco-friendly ways to improve your business practices. Contact us today for all of your water dispenser and filtration needs! The Waterways Company Is Here to Help You!