Creating A More Environmentally Friendly Workplace
Being environmentally conscious is on everyone’s minds these days. Many cities and companies around the globe are making changes to reduce their footprint and keep the planet healthy. Managers and HR professionals in all types of businesses are finding ways to reduce waste and make the office more energy efficient. In fact, an environmentally friendly workplace is beneficial for the planet and for business because it helps reduce costs. Here are some ideas for creating a workplace that operates efficiently and helps sustain the environment.
A great way for HR professionals and managers to start the environmentally friendly initiative in the workplace is by honing in on energy efficiency. But believe it or not, being energy efficient is about much more than just turning the lights off and putting the computers on energy saver mode. Whenever possible, use natural light sources. Pulling up the blinds is a good option, but managers and HR professionals who want to take their offices to the next level of energy efficiency can look into installing light wells and wider windows. Temperature control is also key in reducing energy consumption. While you’re upgrading your windows to let in more light, you can choose a special design that can regulate the temperature in the room depending on the weather conditions outside. These changes will save you big on energy costs in the long run, not to mention more exposure to natural light and a comfortable temperature will keep employees happy and productive. Better yet, though more extensive, many companies are producing their own energy through wind turbines and solar panels.
Everyone is familiar with the phrase “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” Though this is mostly thought of as something to do at home, HR professionals and managers can apply this phrase to the workplace. Reducing waste and water usage (and of course energy consumption) are crucial for creating a green workplace and improving the health of the environment. A simple step would be to set the office printer to print only double-sided to ensure you get maximum use out of every sheet of paper. Updating bathrooms and break rooms with push taps on the sinks and a dual flush system can greatly reduce water use. Implement a reuse policy in the office. For example, encourage employees to turn scrap paper into notepads. In addition to recycling paper, aluminum, and plastic, managers and HR professionals should also consider recycling the office interior when it’s time for an upgrade. Getting new desk chairs for the whole office? Donate the current ones to a charity or thrift store.
Going green in the workplace is a great step towards building sustainability and easing some of the burden on the environment. It’s easy to see how many of these measures reduce costs in the long run, which is an extra bonus for the company’s wallet. Managers and HR professionals shouldn’t worry about making huge, drastic changes right away. Start small to allow your employees time to adjust to the new policies. And as always, leading by example will get everyone on board.