With the deterioration in the global ecological state, a significant rise in global warming, continual steps to raise awareness about the world's state and increasing emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility, a sustainable work environment has the area of interest of many companies.
It's undeniable that the corporate world leaves heavy carbon footprints that contribute to the declining state of the environment. Thankfully, a sustainable work culture can help counter this and more!
The corporate sector has been making progress towards realizing the real sentiment behind sustainability meaning so many different things- whether it be an optimal and efficient work ethic or a green working space or cutting down on the resources used and so on. It is crucial to create an environment where even the employees feel encouraged to contribute to a more sustainable way of existing in the fast-paced corporate work life.
Considering how employees spend a large chunk of their lives in the office, it might be a great idea to turn the office into green and colorful space as one of the component factors in developing and maintaining a sustainable work culture. Doing so has been observed to increase productivity, lower resource-consumption and generate mindfulness about our immediate environment.
Ways to turn your office space into a sustainable work environment
- Reduce electricity consumption- Not only does it help cut costs by a significant amount, but imagine the energy you'll save and the positive impact this will have on the environment. Reducing energy consumption can be done by avoiding any redundant or unnecessary usage of lights, fans, light or heavy machinery.You can also adjust the thermostat to save energy in winters and summers, turn off heating or cooling for areas that don't need it, promoting the usage of laptops as a replacement for high-energy-consuming desktops. Automatic lights that use motion-sensor technology to conserve energy may also be used.
- Food and drinks- Corporate spaces often have vending machines, cafeterias or food courts. Encourage such eateries to use reusable materials and cutlery instead of environmentally harmful plastic materials.Vending machines can contain healthier options as compared to heavily processed fast-food items. All of this is also a part of maintaining a healthy and sustainable work environment.
- Virtual meetings- Meetings are just an indispensable part of corporate life. More often than not, the face-to-face meetings use up many resources like water, electricity, heating, cooling, gasoline and so on. While all meetings can't be virtual, surely an effort can be made to use virtual conferencing applications whenever possible.
- Special days to celebrate the environment- Some corporate offices celebrate Green Days as a way of promoting and generating awareness about the importance of sustainable work culture and its life-affirming impact on the environment.Green Days can translate into anything that supports true sustainability meaning. Whether your office uses Green Days as Work-from-Home days or public transportation travelling, or plant-a-tree days, the objective should be the same- a greener world.
- Colour your office green- Many small and local businesses offer plants for rent or office decoration services. Such services often include consultation about which plants will suit the office environment best and add a splash of colour as well.Plants in the office are one of the easiest and readily incorporated ways of working towards a sustainable work culture. Plants in your working space also help in focusing, alleviating your mood and all in all have a positive impact on your health because they help circulate fresh air. Employees could even be allowed to bring one sapling of their choice to keep at their work desk.
- Setting ecological standards with suppliers- Auditing the suppliers the concerned corporate entity is in agreements with or checking the regular carbon footprint of suppliers as a criterion for selection can be wonderful measures to set ecological standards. A truly sustainable work culture includes tying all loose ends- even something that's not directly related to the office environment.
- A few ways of setting such ecological standards may include- buying from suppliers who use renewable materials and energy sources, buying supplies that are renewable or can be upgraded for future use, employing meat-free vendors and so on. It is crucial to engage all suppliers into a conversation about making the supply chain sustainable in whichever way possible.