Experts warn that we are nearing the point of no return when it comes to our planet. We are currently seeing a climate emergency play out, and the United Nations says that 2021 is a make-or-break year in terms of collective action against climate change. While enduring change must come from the world’s richest corporations and nations, we can still do our part as small business owners as a show of solidarity in caring for the planet.
If you and your team are all slowly getting vaccinated and seeing a return to the traditional work set-up soon, here are some tips and simple ways to transition your office to more eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Establish a sustainability team
If there are people in your team passionate about the planet and climate justice, consider employing their services and starting a sustainability team in your office. Making changes, no matter how small, will always require hard work and commitment, and having a team that specializes in this particular area can help you carry the load. Teammates and co-employees encouraging each other will always be more effective than bosses and managers telling their employees what to do.
Consider hiring a sustainability expert or consultant who can help you gain a deeper understanding of the choices you’re making, what strategies work and what won’t, and how to make the transitions run as smoothly as possible. These experts can also help you come up with plans to reduce the carbon footprint of the entirety of your operations and not just those in the office.
Come up with regular green challenges
This will be particularly effective if you have a business filled with people who are competitive in nature. It’s a fun and healthy way to encourage going green and healthy rivalry among your team. At the same time, it’s not a completely tyrannical way of enforcing new green rules since they will be doing it by choice. Here are a couple of examples you can try:
- Who can go without single-use plastics the longest?
- No-waste cooking challenges
- Biking to work for a month instead of driving
And many others. Make sure to offer enticing rewards, small gifts that they want and can use.
Consider transitioning into a smart office
Many corporate and real estate pundits agree: The future is smart. We are entering an era of smart fixtures and technologies. Simply said, a smart office is any place of work where new technology is maximized to help employees work faster, better, and smarter. This can range from automation to IT and everything else that’s needed in an office setting. Choosing smart lighting fixtures will help decrease your energy consumption and help you cut back on power costs since it can determine when the room is unoccupied and shut off by itself.
Prioritize renewable energy
Solar and wind energy are not as inaccessible as it was a few years ago, with many companies finally coming up with rooftop solar installations and even large-scale wind farms. Hiring a sustainability consultant can help you find the best green energy plan for your business. The best part is that green electricity plans are priced competitively compared with more traditional electricity plans powered by natural gas or coal.
Go completely paperless
If your business can do away with paper, consider transitioning everything to digital. There are plenty of platforms in the market that can help take care of your data and information, both physical and digital, and you can rest assured that every piece of information you want to secure will be tucked away for as long as you want it to be. It’s so much better and cleaner than holding on to piles and piles of printed documents in your office, and you can find ways to recycle those old files, too.
Make use of natural light
If your office has not been redesigned in decades, now may be a good time to invest in bigger windows. Having floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights will help you rely on electricity less, and it’s good for your team’s health, too, especially if they work day shifts.
More Simple Pointers to Consider
- Invest in more eco-friendly office supplies and products.
- Incorporate some plants and greenery into the office.
- Encourage carpooling and green commuting.
Making any change in the office will always come with different sets of challenges because significant changes in operations must be made. But the betterment of our planet is always worth it. Encourage your team to make more eco-friendly choices and let it begin with you.