Building a great workplace doesn’t just mean getting the right people in the right places – it includes being socially responsible. One of the ways that you can give back to the community and the environment is to make some of your daily workplace activities eco-friendly. This can lead to better efficiency, healthier employees, and a better company image. Here are some things that you can do to reduce your environmental footprint, and build a green workplace.
Cut Back on Paper Consumption. This seems like an obvious one, but plenty of organizations are still using a forests-worth of paper each day. Start sending all of your memo’s via e-mail – any inner-office e-mail should be electronic. If you need to frequently contact your co-workers, think about signing up for an online interaction tool (ex. Campfire). Instead of sending out a paper newsletter, send it online. Services like Constant Contact allow you to try it out for free, and after the free trial, it’s still pretty cost-effective. If you have to print a lot, print on recycled paper – and advertise that you print on recycled paper. Clients and partners will appreciate it.
Re-consider your workspace. Try replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lamps (you might even save on the electrical bill). Compact flourescent bulbs are also becoming popular. Be sure to do your research before buying these, though…there are upsides and downsides to both. Also, consider using natural light instead of using electricity. In the summer it might be nice to let some fresh air in and reduce the cost of cooling a workspace.
Use eco-friendly materials. We’ve talked about paper, but there are other things that you can replace that are more environmentally-friendly. Think about the things you use in your office bathroom…most of this comes in a biodegradable form today: biodegradable soap, recycled paper towels, biodegradable cleaners, etc. Search around and you can find some great deals on these things. In the office, you can buy recyclable printer cartridges, pens and pencils, shipping boxes, etc.
Make driving work for you. Try encouraging your employees to take steps towards greening the commute: carpools and public transportation are two popular options. Your employees will love the gas savings as well! If people are running out for lunch, organize beforehand and have one person pick up the order. If your company uses mailing or delivery services, try to ship everything at the same time.
Green your technology. One great tip: turn your computers off at night. Don’t let them hibernate or sleep, just turn them off. When you go home to rest, so should they. Also, turn off any desk lamps or overhead lights when you leave. If you are running older computers, consider upgrading. Many computers these days run on much less electricity, especially laptops. The cost of a new computer might start to pay for itself in energy savings.
These are just a few quick tips to help you build a green workplace. Remember, don’t be shy to promote that your workplace is a green workplace!Sources: TreeHugger, T&D Magazine