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23 Jan How To Encourage Sustainable Practices In Your Workplace

By Ruby Clarkson. 

The new year is the perfect time to make healthy changes and work towards reducing your environmental impact. One of the best places to start is in the workplace. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to reduce harmful emissions and lower the carbon footprint of your business. Along with the clear environmental benefits, creating a greener business should help you maximize sales and profits by making your business appeal more to eco-conscious customers and employees. According to a recent study, two-thirds of millennials favour green collar jobs. Consumers also want to support green businesses and the UK’s ethical market is now worth an impressive £41.1 billion according to the latest Ethical Consumer Report. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to encourage sustainable practices in your workplace.

Educate yourself on environmental standards

Every business should take responsibility for its environmental impact and several legal requirements must be met. Meeting your environment obligations is relatively simple for most businesses, although certain industries (such as agricultural and chemical sectors) have additional requirements to meet to control the environmental risks. Every business owner should educate themselves on what rules apply. One of the easiest ways to become more environmentally aware is by completing a course on business sustainability. For instance, UK training provider NEBOSH offer highly accredited environmental certificates that teaches management how to identify, assess, and manage environmental risks from business activities. NEOSH explains how this certificate can help businesses “prevent environmental incidents from occurring, while also planning better control of wider environmental issues such as pollution and efficient energy usage.”

Encourage employees to be more eco-conscious

The next essential step in becoming more sustainable is to educate your employees on the importance of reducing their environmental impact in the workplace. Keep in mind that your environmental efforts will only be effective if your employees support and follow them. For that reason, you must get your employees on board with any green policies. The start of the new year is the ideal time to introduce new environmental policies and campaigns in the workplace. Use this opportunity to speak with your employees about environmental concerns and discuss your green targets for the year.

Offer green incentives in the workplace

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to encourage sustainability in the workplace is by rewarding employees for green behaviour. Employers can offer financial incentives for a wide range of activities in the workplace such as recycling, reducing waste, and minimizing energy use in the office. According to compareyourfootprint.com, offering green incentives will help turn your company’s sustainability goals into a part of everyone’s job. There are also several great incentives being offered by the government to encourage the uptake of sustainable practices. For example, the cycle to work scheme is designed to encourage employees to cycle to work by offering incredible savings on bikes and accessories. You should make your employees aware of any government incentives that could benefit them in the workplace. Keep in mind that the sustainable practices you teach your employees in the workplace could also expand into their family and personal lives. This will help create a greener and healthier society for us all.

Make sustainable policies easy to follow

One of the main reasons why employees don’t follow sustainable policies in the workplace is because they are inconvenient or time-consuming. For instance, employees are much more likely to just throw their waste in their under-desk bin, if the recycling stations are on the other side of the office. You can help encourage recycling in the workplace by removing individual bins and installing a recycling station in the centre of the office for everyone to use. You should also aim to make recycling as simple as possible by purchasing easy-to-use recycling bins and putting up signs reminding employees how to sort their recyclable waste.

Arrange eco-friendly talks

Another excellent way to encourage your employees to become more eco-conscious is by organising talks from people in the environmental industry. You can easily arrange for experts to come into the workplace and hold informative and interactive presentations to discuss the importance of being eco-friendly in the workplace. This will also give your employees the opportunity to ask any questions they may have surrounding sustainability and gain advice on how to become greener at work and in their personal lives. You should also consider inviting eco-friendly companies and brands to come into your workplace, especially around Christmas when consumer spending increases. Many green workplaces now have small marketplaces for their staff, which are oriented around encouraging their employees to purchase greener products and gifts. This can be a fantastic way to support ethical businesses in your local area, boost staff morale, and improve your green credentials.

Final thoughts

Global warming is having an increasingly detrimental effect on our planet and it’s more important than ever for businesses to take responsibility for their environmental impact. Fortunately, good progress has been made and the majority of businesses are now adopting sustainable practices in the workplace. If you do not already have green policies in place, then the new year is the perfect time to reduce harmful emissions and make your business more eco-friendly. Use some of the above tips to encourage employees to support your environmental efforts and start making your business more sustainable today!


Photo Credit - Pinterest. 

Author Bio

Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course.