Earth Day is just around the corner. The holiday provides an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to reflect on their sustainability efforts. In The Green Workplace, sustainable workplace designer Leigh Stringer lays out a wide range of green workplace initiatives that will benefit your company’s triple-bottom line of “people, planet and profit.” Whether your company is large or small, the following tips will help set your business on a greener course:
1. Articulate your mission – Gather up all your stakeholders and formulate your sustainability vision and goals.
2. Put together a green team – designate a leadership team in charge of implementing your sustainability changes and measuring your company’s progress.
3. Engage your employees – Educate employees on how they can make a difference through small behavioral changes and simple strategies such as “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Encourage the input from employees who are already passionate about environmental causes. Let eco-friendly employees motivate others to participate in your sustainability programs.
4. Leverage modern technology – Cut business travel (and CO2 emissions) by making use of web- and teleconferencing tools. Set printers to print on both sides of the paper and send faxes via computer to save trees. Use smart-building technology to adjust lighting and internal temperatures to save energy.
5. Design eco-friendly workspaces – Favor open work areas over closed-door offices to boost productivity and cut energy costs. Design your facilities to optimize daylight. Improve ventilation and use nontoxic cleaning chemicals to improve indoor air quality.
6. Monitor your supply chain – Use local vendors for your business purchases whenever possible. Set sustainability standards for your suppliers.
7. Walk the talk – Make your sustainability practices an integral part of your daily business operations and your brand. Attract and retain eco-conscious employees by following through with your company’s sustainability efforts. Offer employee perks that reflect your green values, such as by providing healthy food choices or supporting environmental causes.
Keep in mind, going green can also save your company money! Sprint eliminated the use of 4.6 million foam cups annually, resulting in an annual savings of $135,000. Whether at home or in the office, do your part to make our world a little greener today!