The work of saving the environment shouldn’t rest on environmentalists alone. Everyone is a stakeholder to environmental concerns, such as price increases in energy usage, clean air and water, and sustainable production. It’s important to remind your employees of their place in the scheme of things, and that none of you can do your work in isolation.
Implementing greener policies within the office will drive up productivity and operations, as well as lessen the office’s impact to the environment. That being said, what policies can you introduce in your next department memo? Here are some examples of calls to action for your employees.
Implementation of an energy audit. An energy audit can gauge the exact energy consumption within an office unit, and therefore be the basis of smarter decision making on the office’s power resources. Contract the services of a licensed professional to obtain an energy audit, and draft up a list of best energy-saving practices for your employees to follow. For a head start, you can fulfill the items that apply to your company from the Federal Energy Management Program’s Office Energy Checklist.
Implementation of a waste audit. In a similar vein, you can conduct a complementary waste audit to assess how much waste your office unit generates, what the primary sources of waste are, and what methods your office currently employs for waste segregation and management. Inform your employees about what the office’s waste management patterns are like, and commit to being more mindful about waste generation together.
Procurement of office supplies for better waste diversion. Want to know what correlates directly to your rate of waste generation? Two big factors are the amount of supplies you procure for your office, as well as the type of materials that constitute these. At the next opportunity, procure smarter materials for your employees to use. One example is to utilize compatible printer ink. This fulfills the principle of source reduction, in that using recycled cartridges filled with compatible ink will lessen the oil, water, plastic, and metal consumption of manufacturers. It won’t be of any detriment to your office documents, either.
Office-wide e-waste collection, donation, and repair drives. Send a memo to your employees that calls for monthly or quarterly collection of e-waste or broken electronics. You can consolidate these into separate divisions: e-waste materials for donation to recyclers, or broken gadgets for repair. As a group, you can contract a repair service to fix damaged devices like drones, and to reduce company expenses for brand-new purchases.
Streamlined recycling and waste segregation policies. Most Americans will say that they would recycle more if it was easier to do so. Take the opportunity to create an organized recycling system, and thus increase employee compliance for recycling and waste segregation. Introduce a centralized recycling area that is accessible to everyone in the office, and label different bins or boxes as for paper products, plastics, glass, aluminum, and the like.
Inspire action on special days. Surprisingly enough, Earth Day is not the only ‘holiday’ or special day that environmentalist groups celebrate. Among the days in the calendar that celebrate green advocacies are World Water Day (March 22), Bike-to-Work Day (3rd Friday of May), World Environment Day (June 5), World Car-Free Day (September 22), and World Planting Day (October 22). See if you can mobilize your employees to celebrate any of these in a unique way. These could add elements of creativity and solidarity to the work that you do.
Best of luck in implementing green policies like these. Our hope is that you achieve not only a greener office unit, but a bigger community of green advocates.