Climate change is one of the most important topics of the century. We’re all trying to lower our carbon emissions so as to slow down the negative impacts we have on our planet. There are plenty of things individuals can do to be greener. But what about businesses? In this article, we’ll discuss some options you have to reduce your carbon emissions at work.
One of the best places to start your green office journey is with the lighting. Energy efficient bulbs not only lower carbon emissions, but also your energy bills. Lighting alone makes up approximately 11% of an average British household’s electricity bill, so it’s well worth looking into. This is particularly important for small business owners who may be hit harder by the energy crisis than their corporate counterparts.
It goes without saying that the days of printing every email you received are long gone. But there are lots of other ways you can save paper – consider going paperless for any invoices and pay slips. Make your promotional material using recycled paper or even seed paper, which can be planted after use. Business owners should make it a collective effort to save paper in order to have the biggest impact – make it easy for employees to use for paperless options.
The last time I checked, everyone loved a free mug. Consider gifting employees with reusable mugs with your company logo or a fun slogan. Stock your office kitchen with reusable items that won’t break too quickly to save on waste and buying replacements. Even something as simple as installing a dishwasher instead of washing the office crockery by hand can save on emissions. In fact, you’d need to plant 14 trees per year to offset not having an office dishwasher.
Alternative transport options may not work for everybody, but they’re a great start. You could offer a cycle-to-work scheme where bicycles are heavily discounted or can be shared amongst employees, on top of providing enough space to store bikes during work. Offer incentives for those tracking the most steps or active hours by gifting free lunches, gift cards, or even a gym membership. The latter is a particularly great incentive for those already looking to get fit.
There are plenty of options when it comes to making your workplace greener. You can easily reduce your carbon emissions by making a few small tweaks to your office set up. If all else fails, you can even pay an external company to offset some of your emissions. Planting trees or sponsoring reforestation projects are easy ways to start and can even help with employee retention.
Whatever you choose to do, even the smallest steps towards a carbon neutral workplace are worth taking. Involve your team when coming up with new ideas, too. That way, it’ll be pretty easy being green.
Chris Rauls is a content creator who specialises in climate change and sustainability. In his spare time, Chris enjoys volunteering with a local conservation group that focuses on supporting wildlife in the area.