Becoming sustainable is one of the most important things a business can do in today’s world. Customers are increasingly eager to only use companies that can prove their green credentials. There are various ways that companies can improve and hone their sustainability practices. As a business leader, it is crucial that you do what you can to ensure your business’s ventures are a success.
It can be helpful to start by evaluating all the ways that your business impacts the environment. Some things are universal in almost all industries, such as emissions from running an office, your employees’ commutes, and knowing how to recycle everyday office items. This article will discuss some of the ways that young business leaders can improve sustainability in their workplace.
Show How Sustainability Can Improve The Business
Explaining to other business leaders and your employees how sustainability can improve profits is a great way to get more people on board with your intended changes. Sustainability is crucial for the environment for ethical reasons, but it also makes excellent business sense. Take the time to talk to the people in your team, as well as your senior management, and let them know how sustainability can make the business stronger.
Create A Sustainability Team
Building a team that is dedicated to coming up with new sustainability ideas for your business is invaluable. Ensure that this team has time set aside to develop new ideas for recycling, reducing waste, and educating the rest of your team on sustainable policies. You could also consider hiring talented individuals with sustainability experience.
Undertake Sustainability Leadership Courses
There are a wealth of courses available to young professionals to help them learn more about being sustainable in business. Choosing a reputable institute will ensure you get access to the best education and resources.
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) offers a range of both sustainability and leadership courses online, allowing you to fit your studies easily into your daily schedule. Excellent education opportunities like the courses CISL offer are a brilliant way to network with like-minded professionals to find innovative solutions to sustainability issues in the workplace.
Get Your Business Certified
Becoming certified in sustainability and environmental management can be a great way to prove to your customers that your business is serious about green practices. There is a range of certification options for companies keen to prove their green credentials. This can also help give you further advice and ideas on how to improve your business sustainability.
Invest In Sustainable Equipment
Choosing well-made, efficient office equipment can be beneficial for achieving sustainability. The better your office equipment is, the less you will have to replace it, reducing costs and cutting down on waste. It is sometimes best to opt for quality over affordability when it comes to things like office furnishings and electronics.
Choose Local Suppliers
Choosing local suppliers for your business needs is an excellent way to reduce emissions associated with the delivery of vital office supplies. The closer your suppliers, the less your office supplies will have to travel to reach you. You should research local suppliers to find the most suitable options.
Research Local Recycling Options For Office Materials
Even the most eco-conscious workplace can go through a lot of office materials over time. Ensuring you know how to recycle your office materials responsibly is essential. For example, printer toner and cartridges can quickly build up and will need to be recycled with an appropriate recycling company.
It may help to go through the things your office disposes of regularly and find ways to recycle them. For instance, schools and libraries often take donations of electronics like functional laptops and computers.
Set Eco-Challenges For Your Team
Setting challenges for your team to meet can be a great way to get everyone involved in sustainability at work. You could set monthly challenges that will improve your team’s understanding of how to live a green life, both in and out of work.
Some great examples include challenging employees to go without disposable plastic for a month or carpooling to work. You could even offer an incentive or reward to encourage greater participation.
Partner With A Local Environmental Charity
Partnering with an environmental charity can be a great way to boost your green credentials. It can help improve your reputation among other businesses and customers and can help bring more sustainable innovation to your company.
Consider reaching out to various local environmental charities to see what kind of help you could offer. You could organize fundraising events, help promote the charity in the local community and allow employees time off work to volunteer. Supporting a local environmental charity is also a great way for your business to positively contribute to its corporate social responsibility.
Bring In Desk Plants
Desk plants have the dual benefit of improving both productivity and air quality. Research has shown that the more plants your office has, the more productive your staff will be, and the better you will be able to offset emissions. It can also be beneficial to plant some outdoor greenery to further improve your business’s green credentials.
You could start by asking employees to bring in plants from home if they wish to do so. You can then supplement these with houseplants that will thrive in an indoor office environment. Consider various elements when choosing the right plants. This resource from HRS Gardening can help you identify which plants will thrive best in your office space.
Cycle Or Walk To Work And Encourage Others To Do So
Commuting to work is a significant contributor to the emissions a business produces. For employees that live close enough to cycle or walk safely to work, this can be a great thing to encourage to reduce carbon emissions.
You could look into setting up a government-backed Cycle To Work program to help your employees purchase a bicycle or look into another incentive to get employees to leave their cars at home. It is important to lead by example, so if you are able, you should also walk or cycle to work.
Discuss Remote Working To Reduce Commuting Emissions
Remote working can be another great way to reduce the emissions caused by your business. Many businesses have chosen to go completely remote over the last couple of years, drastically cutting business expenses and commuting emissions.
Working remotely is an excellent way for employees to reduce their carbon emissions. The lack or absence of commuting is a sure way to be sustainable. Making sustainable changes in the home is a further way that employees can reduce their carbon emissions; this includes using eco-friendly products and energy providers.
Turn Everything Off When Closing
At the end of the workday, many businesses leave various electronics and appliances on overnight. While some things may need to stay on at all times, like fridges and servers, turning off other electronics. This can reduce the amount of energy your business consumes over time.
It is vital to ensure your employees remember to turn off appliances at the wall. And know which things they should and should not turn off. You could post signs as reminders to help.
Use Renewable Energy Providers
Renewable energy providers are becoming increasingly popular. Find out if there are any providers that serve the area your office is located within. Get quotes from various suppliers to find the best deal for your business.