World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5. This day is more important now than ever before because of the continued adverse effects of global warming on the environment. This article presents 7 ways that you can create a more sustainable work environment, as part of a more environmentally friendly approach.
In 2002, the United Nations developed the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) to measure how close countries are to protecting the environment. The EPI measures air quality, agriculture, climate and energy. Switzerland is the closest to creating a healthy natural environment. The country has the highest EPI. The United Kingdom (UK) is ranked 6th in the world with an EPI of 79.89. Improving our ranking requires a collective effort in our homes, offices and public spaces.
Tips for creating a sustainable work environment
Use energy efficient equipment
Energy efficient equipment use less energy to compete the same tasks. All the old equipment in your office should be changed to equipment with the Energy Star seal. For any new equipment you buy, consider energy efficiency. Additionally, you should unplug equipment that isn’t in use to further conserve energy.
Use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies
Conventional cleaning supplies contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to both humans and the environment. It may be easy, and cheaper, to keep purchasing the cleaning agents you’re accustomed to. However, the long-term consequences are far more detrimental.
Create a sustainability team for your office
The sustainability team’s mandate will be to implement environmentally friendly practices in the workplace. One way they can do this is by creating a Go Green challenge. In a Go Green challenge, you can reward the team that carries out the most environmentally practices. It’s a good way to introduce healthy competition while making the office more environmentally friendly.
Invest in renewable energy
This solution will take time to implement. However, using renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to preserve the environment. You can start by installing a few solar panels to power a section of the office.
Use air conditioning wisely
A simple practice of only turning on the AC at a very high temperature can lessen energy consumption. Less energy use creates less dependence on fuel. It also significantly reduces your energy bill.
Save the trees! Online collaboration tools exist that make printing obsolete. Consider using an online cloud system to back up company files instead of printing. Plus, with HR software you can truly go paperless with HR admin tasks, instead of relying on a mixture of spreadsheets and paper files.
Use more natural light
Open the blinds. Let some natural light in. Not only will it reduce energy consumption, but it’ll help your staff be more productive. Research shows that workplace daylight exposure affects a worker’s sleep, activity and quality of life.
Putting it all together
Each of us has a responsibility to protect the environment. You can start by implementing environmentally friendly practices to create a more sustainable work environment. However, your efforts won’t make a dramatic change in the climate change battle. You must encourage your peers, friends and family members to do the same.
Written by Fiona Sanderson
Fiona is Marketing Manager at myhrtoolkit. Her areas of expertise include HR systems, productivity, employment law updates, and creating HR infographics.