Many businesses get overwhelmed even before starting their journey to sustainability. There are just so many things to tick off in the checklist if a business decides to go the sustainable and eco-friendly route. Not all employees may respond positively to new rules especially if it takes away practices that they are already used to and have become convenient for them.
Going green requires upfront investment not only with money but also when it comes to a person’s effort, mindset, and commitment to the process. Being sustainable requires one to be mindful of even the smallest actions which can become difficult to maintain in an office that has to deal with day-to-day operations.
The tall order does not mean, however, that it’s not possible to inject sustainable practices in the office, especially to one that is committed to going green. If you don’t have the money just yet, you may start with easy ways to reduce the office’s carbon footprint and to instill love and care for the environment in your employees. Here are nine free, and even cost-cutting, suggestions for your business to finally go sustainable.
1. Install recycling bins in the office.
Make sure to segregate your trash in the office by installing trash sorting bins. To make it easier for your employees to know where they’ll throw their particular waste item, label your bins properly. A lot of times, people don’t even look at these signs so make sure to simplify it at best. A suggestion is to have a bin for paper, one for glass, another for plastic, and one for metal. Sorting your trash will make it easier for your business to reuse and recycle possible waste.
2. Reuse office resources up to their maximum.
Make sure a resource has been used up to its maximum before throwing it out. Both the front and sides of the paper must be used. You may install a reusable paper bin where people can just get scratch paper for whatever office business they’ll need it for. Do not immediately throw away desk equipment that isn’t working such as a stapler or a hole puncher. Make sure it can’t be used anymore before throwing it out. Folders and envelopes can also be reused.
To make it easy to reuse resources multiple times, free your desk from clutter. In this way, you may be able to see what you still haven’t used, what you could still use, and what has to be discarded already. Oftentimes, our items get lost in the clutter and we opt to buy right away without even knowing we still have a fresh supply of say paper clips or short bond paper.
3. Turn off all electronics when not in use.
It must become a habit for all your employees to turn off printers, computers, lights and the like when not in use. So much adds up to the electricity bill as well as the energy consumption of the office when these devices are left on or plugged. You are doing good for the environment as well as cutting costs for the company.
4. Eliminate single-use plastic and cutlery in the office.
Single-use is a sustainable advocate’s enemy. We want items we could use more than just once and not add up to the surmountable waste humankind has accumulated. Make sure to have cups for coffee and glasses for water in the pantry. Provide wood or stainless cutlery as well. Consider also giving tumblers for your employees so that everyone in the office won’t have to reach out for single-use liquid containers. Make it a rule in the office that no single-use item is allowed.
5. Increase remote work opportunities.
Since work-from-home has become a viable option for most companies, consider providing more remote work opportunities. If you’re hiring new employees, provide work-from-home job positions. With your current workforce, reduce the number of days they have to report in the office.
6. Organize internal talks on sustainability.
Invite environmental advocates as speakers for internal seminars on sustainability. Rotate an organizing committee between departments and teams so that everyone may play a part in actively looking for information on sustainability. Information is a gift that no one can take away from you and your employees.
7. Offer carpool services.
To reduce the carbon footprint, offer a company van to fetch your employees from their houses and take them to the office. The reverse goes when they have to go home. Divide employees based on where they live and have north and south routes available to accommodate everyone.
8. Hold contests for eco-friendly initiatives.
To motivate your employees, hold contests that will make them take part in eco-friendly initiatives. For example, mount an eco brick contest and make the departments collect plastic to put into bottles. The department with the most number of eco-bricks in the end wins.
9. Consider having uniform days.
The fashion industry is one of the top five contributors to global waste. Making employees wear a uniform for 3 days a week will lessen their consumption of clothes.
Flexispot Commits to Sustainability
Flexispot is one furniture company that is already starting its green initiatives. The company is motivated to stay true to its core mission of improving people’s lives through making mindful choices that serve their communities' needs while not being destructive to the planet. The company recognizes that it is just scratching the surface of sustainability but the important thing is to already start acting now before it’s too late.
As a start, Flexispot partnered with the One Tree Planted Project to grow as many trees in different countries around the world. So far, the company has already planted more than 500 trees and has pledged to plant one tree for every purchase of its sustainable bamboo-made products.
Flexispot is also sourcing more sustainable materials for its desktops like bamboo. Because the plant grows faster and in greener conditions, the company is developing more bamboo standing desks. Its bamboo goods are from Asia---providing jobs to locals who handmade the products.
Flexispot has also focused on packaging and uses recycled materials to package every product sold.
The company continues for a greener business by hopefully donating $10,000 to a nonprofit organization that supports sustainable causes and planting 1,000 trees globally with One Tree Planted.
Flexispot is one with its clientele for a more sustainable future.