The offices of today are starting to change and evolve like everything else. As the world grows more aware of the importance of environmentalism, corporate and office workspaces are starting to create some welcome changes.
According to a study by Essity, even employees are longing for eco-friendly workspaces. The study was conducted with over 14,000 employees across seven different countries. It turns out that 83% of them, an overwhelming majority, wish for environmentally friendly offices.
However, what does that look like on the ground? If you have the power to implement change in your workplace, where can you start? The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take right away. In this article, we will look at three ways to turn an office into a far more green space.
1. Replace Single-Use Plastics With Sustainable Options
In the quest for a sustainable future, the movement to replace single-use plastics with more eco-friendly alternatives has gained unprecedented momentum. Nowhere is the impact of this shift more significant than in office spaces. The daily operations often contribute to environmental degradation through the extensive use of disposable plastics.
Single-use plastics, from disposable cutlery to water bottles and packaging, have become emblematic of the global pollution crisis.
By transitioning to sustainable alternatives, offices can significantly reduce their contribution to plastic waste, mitigating the harmful effects on ecosystems, marine life, and human health.
Try to embrace eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. Does your office use a lot of plastic tags? If so, blank metal ID tags are a much more sensible option.
As U.S. Quick Tags states, blank metal tags can often be customized, making them not only a better replacement but almost an upgrade. Sure, it may not be biodegradable, but it can drastically reduce the use of plastic.
This was just one random example, but you will need to find out where and how you can make sensible changes in your specific situation.
2. Encourage Employees to Become More Energy Conscious
As the world grapples with pressing environmental challenges, the responsibility of creating sustainable workplaces extends beyond organizational policies and into the hands of individual employees.
From lighting and heating to electronic devices and equipment, the collective energy use of employees directly influences a company’s carbon footprint.
According to a study by Luo, Wang, et al., if buildings make use of current energy efficiency technology, it is possible to reduce energy use by 50%. This is extremely important, as they also found that buildings use 40% of primary energy in the U.S.
Recognizing this, organizations are increasingly adopting sustainability initiatives that focus on reducing energy consumption. However, the success of such initiatives hinges on the active participation of employees in practicing energy-conscious behavior in their day-to-day activities.
Ensuring that employees are energy-conscious begins with raising awareness about the environmental impact of energy consumption. Organizations can conduct training sessions, workshops, and awareness campaigns to educate employees on the importance of conservation and the benefits it brings.
3. Encourage and Facilitate the Use of Electronic Vehicles
As organizations strive to reduce their carbon footprint, the promotion and facilitation of electric vehicles (EVs) emerge as a pivotal component in this journey toward sustainability.
Offices can start budgeting and building EV charging stations so that employees are actually motivated to drive their Teslas to work. Remember, the number of EVs is only increasing with time.
As LilyPad EV states, with more charging spots, drivers gain more confidence that they can charge when they want to. This indirectly causes them to use their EVs more instead of their gas-powered vehicles.
The primary motivation behind promoting electric vehicles in workspaces is the substantial reduction in carbon emissions. We know that traditional combustion engine vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change.
This is why promoting the use of electric vehicles within a corporate setting is not just about mitigating environmental impact and reducing costs; it also aligns with corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals.
According to Investopedia, this refers to the efforts that companies need to make to offer some benefit to society. It often includes giving extra attention to environmentalism, ethics, and philanthropy. Companies that manage to reach CSR goals tend to have an easier time seeking investments from the likes of Blackrock.
To summarize, more and more offices and workspaces are recognizing the importance of going green. Having employees focus on eco-friendly practices may seem insignificant. After all, how much is it really going to change?
However, when this practice becomes normalized at scale, it adds up. We have to start somewhere, and what better time to start than right now, in our places of work?