The Green Office: Inspiring Eco-Friendly Ideas in Your Workplace

Go green office

We can all do a part in reducing our carbon footprint if we escape the disposable consumerism found in our daily routines. This, especially so, in the office environment — an environment often so focused on the task at hand it often neglects the impact it has on our Earth.

The carbon footprint of a business typically factors in utilities and travel. But, are there ways to go beyond the basics? Are there ways to inspire employees to not only do their part in building a greener office but take these ideas home?

7 Ways to “Plant the Seed” of an Eco-Friendly Workforce

Previously, we talked of different ways to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. This included some ideas like swapping desktops to laptops, using hybrid cars for the fleet and allowing employees to work remotely.

These are all great when you look at them from a business perspective. They’re items you can control, as a business owner has the ultimate say on the business’s investments.

But, how can you extend that reach, encouraging eco-friendly ideals to the employees? Try these:

  • Change the Water Cooler Gathering. Talks and gossip around the water cooler are a staple for businesses. But, many businesses have done away with breakroom features. This gets employees bringing their own drinks — often in plastic bottles — contributing to plastic waste. An Aramark office water dispenser would provide filtered water, reduce plastic waste, and bring back the social gathering to the workforce.
  • Bring On BYOD. Computers, phones, and general tech hardware are essential for the business operations. Yet, these items are replaced en masse every few years to accommodate needed updates. Try changing the business policy allowing employees to use their personal devices for work. A BYOD policy matches user controls, cloud software, and devices granting ultimate flexibility without discarded tech.
  • Introduce Wellness Programs. Consider the wasted resources whenever someone needs an unnecessary trip to the hospital. The countless hours performed by medical professionals, used medical items, time off causing disruption, and transportation. A wellness program benefits employees by improving their health contributing to fewer issues disrupting their work. This inadvertently could help the business go green in the sense employees are less likely to add on resource expenditure from their hospital visits.
  • Mindful Business Spending. Does your business purchase most office products from big box retailers? If so, then you’re contributing to the waste introduced through the supply chain. There’s no way to avoid all of the carbon footprint from supplies manufacturing and transportation. But, you can attempt to reduce some of it by ordering directly from suppliers. You may want to explore pairing with eco-friendly business supplies companies, too.
  • Try a Potluck or Catering. Imagine the amount of energy used and waste brought whenever employees bring their lunch. A couple hundred employees can quickly fill dumpsters! Consider a potluck-style approach to lunch-time meals through an in-house kitchen or catering services. This creates great food options for employees (improving morale). Or, is more likely to use recyclable cookware (catering).
  • Participate in Giving Back. Introduce a green initiative letting employees contribute to local, environmental projects. Bring the team out for community building activities like planting trees or cleaning parks. This extracurricular activity is great for team building. But, also beneficial to the business’s local impact. The activity may also encourage better, eco-friendly habits within each employee!
  • Reuse What’s Possible. Don’t want to spend money on a huge upgrade to the workstations? Don’t want that cost of upgrading the fleet? Consider buying used for most items your business needs. Refurbished units breathe new life into still-good products. You may even have the barebones enough to upgrade them cheaply — bringing them up-to-speed with the newer models. Likewise, you’ll find many used/refurb items delivering equally positive returns as some were future-proofed!

A green initiative should be a fun and rewarding experience. It should pose a fun challenge letting employees find new and innovative ways to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also create efficiency with their work. There are thousands of small ways to make an eco-friendly business if you’re creative. See what your business can implement, and proudly claim your operations are Earth-friendly!

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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