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Green is this season’s black. If you not “greening” your workspace, you are so last century-darling. However, implementing a green policy isn’t just a current fashion, a one off- it’s a necessity in this environmentally aware century. If we don’t take sustainability seriously we are looking at a pretty bleak future. Our planet needs protecting.
So what can you and your colleagues do to start to make a change? Change comes from adoption. However, the successful implementation of new practices is dependent upon the willing co-operation of employees and management. So what could make people resist change? If change requires huge amounts of time. Afterall of all our non-tangible commodities, time is one of the most precious! Green changes need to be quick wins, not too demanding and simple to implement. So herewith a few bullets to fire your imagination;
• Let’s start with how we get to work, could we car share, use public transport, walk or in the wake of our recent cycling successes at the Olympics-cycle? (A crash helmet is not optional).
• Ask for your coffee to go in a commuter mug – saves on the cardboard.
• Include your green policy as part of your new employee induction pack and discuss it in new hire training so everyone is informed and engaged from day one.
• Bring in a packed lunch, even once a week. Using a lunch box or cool bag saves on packaging used on ready-made rolls/sandwiches and other pre-packed items. It also saves cash – why buy items that could easily be made at home the night before.
• Put recycling bins around the office, especially ones that can be used to recycle drink cans and used paper-mark them clearly.
• Encourage the wise use of stationary. A4 envelopes can be re-used as internal envelopes, turn off print receipts on the photocopier. Don’t buy sticky notes and note books, reuse all paper. If you have to order stationary make a bulk order so that the order can be delivered in one package. Less boxes, less deliveries.
• Engage with a charity that collects mobile phone batteries, toner/printer cartridges and other non-refillable office consumables. Charities usually provide collection boxes and pick up the items. Think of the kudos!
• Find a reputable Company that follows WEEE Directive to collect, refurbish, resell or recycle your redundant electrical items.
• Promote the concept of Video Conferencing to save on the businesses overall carbon footprint. It cuts back on travel, saves time and money too!
• Install motion sensors so lights turn off in areas that are not frequently used. Use energy efficient bulbs.
• Have a switch off policy each night, so that nothing is left on standby.
• Do you really need the air-conditioning on constantly? Is it possible to open a window?
• Use a reputable cleaning company that uses environmentally friendly products that are non-hazardous and biodegradable.
Lead by example and enthuse! Talk about the green changes the company is implementing to get everyone’s buy in. Create an implementation list and post the information on your Company’s intranet bulletin board. Encourage comments and suggestions. Post information on notice boards in your milling areas such as by the coffee machine where it can be front of mind.
A few simple changes can make a notable change to our working environment. It fosters goodwill and sets the company apart as forward thinking and green aware. After all nobody wants to off trend.