As companies seek to operate in ways that are sustainable, included in that goal is an opportunity to ensure that workplaces are operated in sustainable ways.
A recent article from the Green Business Bureau lists 20 sustainable practices. We'll include a few here.
Use No-VOC Interior Paints
Commonly found in many paints and other home maintenance products, VOCs are persistent chemical compounds that evaporate into the air. When airborne VOCs are inhaled, they can cause irritation, headache and more serious side effects on the liver, kidney and central nervous system. And since most VOCs are odorless, their threat goes unnoticed.
Use Nontoxic Cleaning Products
Encouraging your cleaning company to use green cleaning products can increase the health and well-being of your employees as well as prevent toxic substances from getting into the environment, while barely affecting costs. If your current company doesn’t offer nontoxic cleaning options, it may be time to make a switch to one of the many companies that do.
Reduce Paper Use
In today’s digital age, how much office paper use is actually necessary? The vast majority of documents can be sent via email or kept in company databases, making transitioning to paperless an easy way to save print-related costs and slow deforestation.
That being said, most offices still rely on some degree of paper use for invoices, agendas, and other important documents. When paper use is necessary, choose paper products with recycled content rather than virgin paper to decrease your company’s environmental footprint. Recycled options are common and aren’t prohibitively costly.
Install Motion-sensors for Office Lighting
Walk through any office building today and you’ll likely notice a large number of rooms with lights on but nobody in them. Wasting energy like this hurts your company’s pocketbook and the environment. Install motion-sensors in your offices to limit energy usage and save money.
For the simplest and cheapest (albeit not always effective) way to conserve energy from lighting, simply post signs next to light switches reminding employees to shut the lights off when they leave a room. Being mindful of energy use habits is the simplest of all sustainable business practices, and often, a little nudge in the right direction is all that’s needed.
Achieve Sustainable Business Practices Through Zero-waste Break Rooms
Traditional offices generate a lot of waste in their break rooms. This is a drain on resources and can leave your employees feeling like they aren’t doing their part for the environment. Zero waste break rooms can be achieved by:
- Offering reusable mugs and cups instead of disposables,
- Implementing a composting program for food scraps,
- Replacing plastic cutlery and stir-sticks with biodegradable options (wooden, bio-plastics, etc.)
- If your office uses coffee pods, choose biodegradable pods.