For any company to truly consider themselves a success, they must be paragons of leadership and integrity. With sustainability rapidly becoming the rule and not the exception, these values will be increasingly crucial to your business’ success.
While it’s easy to list off initiatives and make promises on change, seeing these projects through can be a testament to the quality of your business. After all, customers respond favourably to companies with a proven track record of environmental thinking.
Read on to get a better idea on how to guide your company, and by extension your community, towards a greener future.
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1. Use Greener Alternatives
Whatever your business may be, there will always be room for environment-friendly alternatives. Modern research has paved the way for recyclable materials as a feasible replacement to what your company is used to now. The key to success here will be through the implementation of their use in everyday business.
Take, for example, things like bags, papers, and storage containers. All of which are common items found in most businesses. Whether at a large IT firm or a family-owned café, articles like these are a crucial part of everyday activities.
In order to create long-lasting, impactful change, common items must be scrutinised for greener alternatives. Additionally, recycled containers and sand bags are created to be longer-lasting, so opting for them may greatly reduce the money you spend on purchasing brand-new ones.
Appliances must be studied as well. Although you may have air conditioners, computers, and other appliances that still function well, their outdated models may be placing your green initiatives at risk.
Many older models may not have the energy-saving features introduced in later iterations. Should this be the case, it may be time to make the proper update. Newer models are designed to perform better while consuming less energy.
Although using the latest equipment may seem costly at the start, the amount of energy saved will mean greater savings in the long run. Part of being a leader in your industry means making difficult decisions that are ultimately for the benefit of everyone.
2. Implement Sustainable Practices
While it’s good practice to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum, impactful change can only be achieved with everyone’s involvement. Introducing sustainable practices into your workspace can help your staff members fully embody the organisation’s ideals.
An excellent place to start is by banning single-use cups at work. While some may argue that recycled and paper versions are acceptable, the increased volume of trash still negates what little good they offer. Implementing a strict reusable container-only policy can help your organisation in two ways.
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Firstly, it foregoes the need to purchase replacement cups weekly, which means more money in your pocket. This also means that employees who bring a reusable container will maintain a green practice wherever they go.
Moreover, sustainable practices don’t have to start and end with your co-workers. Customers and clients can become part of the scope as well. Giving discounts to customers who bring their own containers or incentivising employees with weekly rewards are both clever ways of truly running a green business.
When it comes to being a pioneer, your efforts need to affect everyone you come in contact with. Employee participation and customer education will be factors you have to keep in mind when thinking of sustainability.
3. Collaborate With Other Green Businesses
Not only do customers and employees play a role in your organisation’s green initiatives, but so do your clients and partners. Finding ways of introducing that aspect into your activities with them can be the starting point of leading businesses to being more eco-conscious.
A great place to start can be through the implementation of paperless billing. Trees are cut down to create paper, and the process of storing physical files is rapidly becoming outdated.
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Ultimately, paperless billing is advantageous to both parties involved. The reduced cost of procuring materials and the added ease of storing and locating electronic files is sure to be agreeable to everyone.
What’s more, you don’t need to stick with clients you’re already familiar with to act on this key area. Partnering with organisations that deal in sustainability can be a fruitful venture to plan.
Introducing solar energy and other forms of renewable energy into your building or work space is an excellent method of doing so. Thinking long term will mean making guided investments in the present. Furthermore, the reduced reliance on coal-sourced electricity will net your company reduced bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
These ventures have the added benefit of enhancing your brand image as well. Associating with green organisations will significantly bring in more positive customer opinions about your business.
4. Introduce Green Activities To Your Company Initiatives
As companies are expected to serve as good examples to society, projects and programs outside of office hours can serve as extensions to this ideal. Introducing environment-centred activities on company outings can be a way of uniting the organisation on this important mission.
Take, for instance, a company-sponsored tree planting. These excursions can begin as outdoor picnics with other activities included. All of which culminates with each employee being assigned to plant one tree. Aside from providing more oxygen-producing trees, the fresh air and change in scenery will be a refreshing experience for your employees.
Other activities can include:
- Hosting clean-up drives
- Sponsoring green initiatives in your community
- Running food drives with eco-friendly utensils and packaging
Ultimately, what these activities strive to do is instil the spirit of green living into your organisation. Whether inside an office or out and about, the number of things you can do to create a better world is limitless.
5. Welcome Plants Into Your Workplace
While it may seem obvious, it bears reiterating. Plants provide a multitude of benefits to human beings. While having them at home can be good, welcoming them into your workplace could be one of the greatest additions for your team.
As recent studies show, having plants in office spaces can lead to a number of positive effects. Companies that included plants in their designs reported a significant decrease in the number of sick leaves taken. Other reports include increased job satisfaction and an overall improvement in mental health.
When it comes to thinking green, there’s no better application of the idea than being surrounded by it. The best plants for workplaces not only offer physical and mental health benefits, but they also serve to increase the total appeal of the space.
Thinking big can lead to excellent results, but it’s the small details that can create the greatest impact as well. Leading your company and others like it will need a good sense of seeing the finer details.
The future can be full of uncertainties, so what you do now will matter the most. Caring for your organisation and caring for the Earth doesn’t mean choosing one or the other. As can be seen by those before you, companies that can find a balance between both are usually the ones others choose to emulate. By focusing on sustainability in the workplace, you’re ultimately choosing to become a great leader.
About Author: Tammie C. Franklin is a writer and an environmental risk analyst. With seven years under her belt, she has been helping companies understand the importance of environmental accountability. When she’s not creating articles for different clients, she can be found hiking up her favourite mountain path or packing for a camping trip.
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