Going ‘Green’ is the New Black

March 15, 2019

I’m not talking about your favourite Netflix binge show but about going green in the workplace environment…

More and more research is demonstrating links between going ‘green’ and an increase in employees’ productivity as well as attract new talent. According to research by Cone Communications focused on the millennial workforce as many as 91% said they would switch to a company that is committed to social good and investment in sustainability. Backing this, Deloitte’s 2018 millennial study highlighted that young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society.

What better way to do this than launching a ‘green initiative’ within the office environment?

Here’s how…

Ban single-use plastics

Save the oceans by banning plastic water bottles and encourage everyone to bring in their own water bottles to refill using the office water cooler. Provide silverware for the kitchen and cut down on ordering in as take-aways usually come with lots of unnecessary packaging.

Go paper-free and recycle

Reduce the need for unnecessary paper-filing systems and have everything electronic. Save trees! Not only are you reducing fire hazards, you’re increasing the security and privacy of the documentation your office holds. With cloud-based storage systems, who needs unsightly filing cabinets? But if the thought of scanning and shredding all your documentation fills you with fear, consider encouraging staff to recycle paper and other stationary items where possible. Make use of the scrap paper basket! Buy refillable ink cartridges.

Get plants in your office

According to cipHR, bringing some of mother nature inside has countless benefits, including reducing stress, increasing productivity, reducing noise levels and reducing absenteeism and sickness rates. The 2015 Human Spaces Reports even states that those whose environments incorporated natural elements reported a 15% higher wellbeing score and a 6% higher productivity score than employees whose offices didn’t include such elements.

All for working from home

If it’s not possible to allow employees to work from home on a full-time basis, encouraging them to work from home occasionally is a great way to help the environment, reducing their need to commute/drive to work which in turn will mean they can avoid rush hour traffic, feel empowered to work in an environment they are most comfortable in and thus increase productivity.

Make carpooling a thing

Carpooling is a great idea if people are comfortable with this option. It’s an alternative for cutting driving costs, decrease auto emissions and the reduce stress of driving alone. Staff can reduce their gas costs and have more company to and from work. Easy.

Biodegradable materials for restrooms/kitchens

A simple one but often overlooked: Switching out the strong, hazardous cleaning products the cleaner uses as well as switching to green alternatives for handwashes and soaps.

Recycling bins

Wear your ‘green initaitive’ badge with pride by displaying a few recycling bins in the office for recycling plastics, paper and cans. You could even incorporate a bin for charitable clothing donations or books.

Start a green committee

And to kick start this whole new lease of working life off, why not nominate a ‘green committee’ or ask if anyone would like to volunteer for the opportunity? Encouraging people to get involved with the shaping of the company and ensuring that it is taking it’s corporate social responsibility seriously will empower and enrich your workforce.

With being more environmentally-conscious fast becoming one of the most important issues for employees, it pays to ensure that your office environment good for your employees, the planet, and your bottom line.