To create a sustainable workplace, organizations need to respect and understand how their operations have impacted the environment in the past, present and could impact it in the future. Maintaining a sustainable workplace can be simpler that you might suspect. Start with small changes and create habits for your employees follow. Implementing a sustainable workplace can have major perks. Not only your workplace will have a newfound confidence of contributing to a “green” environment, your company or organization can build recognition and respect for itself—making the effort to respect the environment through your workplace efforts is a great opportunity for positive PR. Take a look at six ways you can create a sustainable workplace environment.
1. Replace Face-to-Face Meetings with Videoconferences
Making business trips to hold meetings are not only expensive, but they also contribute to carbon emissions. Consider switching to videoconferences in replacement of face-to-face meetings. Not only will videoconferences reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on fuel, but you’ll also save time by not having to leave your office and spend time on the road. Give videoconferences a trial run and see if they’re a possibility for your organization.
2. Minimize Office Paper Usage
Minimizing your paper consumption is an easy way to create a sustainable workplace. Recycling all those miss prints can help too, but here are some additional ideas:
- Always use emails instead of written or printed notes
- Transition print advertising to digital advertising
- Save and store documents on the company’s “cloud” to avoid printing as frequently
- Set your printer default to print double sided on paper
3. Reduce Workplace Energy Usage
Depending on the size of your company, reducing your energy has the potential to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Follow these two tips to reduce your energy usage:
Unplug Unused Equipment
Create a company policy to have employees unplug their equipment when it is not in use or when they go home at the end of the day. This simple habit can significantly reduce an organization’s energy usage, especially when you get a large number of people to commit to following it.
Install LED Lighting
Lighting is a necessity in your workplace and the cost can be intimidating. LED Lighting can help achieve a sustainable workplace and reduce your monthly energy bill. LED Lighting can be used in any application, from single lamp bulbs to parking lot lighting, to the panel lights in your office space. LED is now becoming more affordable because of advancing technologies and in result, the ROI on LED lighting is quite impressive.
4. Update HVAC System
Just like your lighting, HVAC systems account for a large portion of monthly energy usage. Be sure that your system is efficient—proper maintenance is required to have your HVAC system run efficiently. Learn more about heating and cooling your building efficiently, and winterizing your office to save money.
5. Consider Solar Panels to Improve Sustainability
Solar panels are another option for creating sustainable energy and making your business more efficient. Solar panels create no pollution and have no reoccurring costs. Solar panels are a great economical choice for creating a sustainable workplace, because after the initial costs, the energy produced is virtually free. They also require little maintenance and will last for decades.
6. Conduct a Workplace Energy Audit
For a workplace to gain a full understanding of how it can be more sustainable, it should consider getting an energy audit. An energy audit will evaluate the workplace’s current status on sustainability, plus offer recommendations. Typically, energy audits will expose where you lack most energy-efficiency opportunities and can reduce your energy bill by 10 to 40%.