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Sustainability in the Workplace: Why It Matters and How To Achieve It

Investing in a Green Workplace Is Good Business

We all have ownership in our planet’s future; up to this point, everyday business practices have been causing harm. According to NASA, the industrial business sector has increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by nearly 50% since 1750. This change is because our businesses rely on land, resources, and fossil fuels to meet society’s needs and demands. This practice has resulted in global warming that threatens our planet’s existence.

But we can change.

Corporate social responsibility programs introduce sustainable practices into the workplace while, at the same time, informing and engaging employees in environmental advocacy. These initiatives are more than good for our planet. They are also proving to be good for business as well.

Continue reading to learn about sustainability measures in the workplace, why they matter, and how you can introduce and use environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs to engage your workforce.

What Is a Green Workplace?

A green workplace focuses on implementing business operations and practices that don’t interfere with the environment. Unfortunately, our global business community will produce 27 billion tons of solid waste by 2050. If we continue this path, CO2 emissions could contribute to a temperature increase which will cause sea levels to rise and weather events to become more destructive.

The good news is that science shows that businesses focused on sustainability efforts, and implementing ESG programs can help slow the global warming trend.

In addition to implementing innovative sustainable production methods and eco-friendly products, building a green workplace can help reduce the overall carbon footprint of the business itself.

The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability

Businesses that choose to invest in corporate social responsibility will reap the benefits of the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. This phrase means that in addition to financial success, businesses will also measure their success through their impact on people like employees, customers and society, and the environment.

Many companies are strategically setting sustainable development goals (SDGs) to track their performance, such as becoming carbon-neutral or waste-free. Establishing an SDG is an important step forward in communicating to your employees, clients, and the outside world that your company values the environment and wants to improve performance in support of the longevity and health of our planet.

Other Ways Your Business Benefits from ESG Programs

Aside from the triple bottom line, businesses benefit from implementing ESG programs in several other ways.

  • Innovation - Discover ways to save money on energy and materials when you reconsider your business practices and production methods. Are biodegradable materials an opportunity to improve your financial performance?

  • Lower business risk - When you rely on energy resources to power your business, you take on a certain level of risk and reliance on the power grid. By switching to a renewable energy source such as wind or solar, you lower your risk of losing access to a power source.

  • Staffing - Nearly 70% of employees say their company’s sustainability effort impacts their decision to stay, and almost 40% said they took a job because of their ESG programs. Employees care about sustainability.

  • Increase customers - If your products are made from recycled materials or are biodegradable, including,packaging, this can increase sales. Products with on-package sustainability claims saw a 29% increase in sales over six years.

  • Lower production costs - Examining your business practices, processes, and energy use can help reduce waste and uncover less costly alternatives.

Building a Green Workplace

Aside from innovating sustainable methods to produce and deliver the products and services you sell, your business should also consider building a sustainable workplace from the inside out. Simple changes to how your office operates, the supplies you utilize, and your employees’ commitment can result in a strong step forward toward reducing your business’ environmental impact.

Here are some ideas to consider for your green workplace:

  • Reduce energy use - Something as simple as turning off the lights when you leave a room can help save energy. Businesses can invest in motion-activated lighting to ensure lights turn off when a space is empty. You can also improve the energy efficiency of your copy machines, printers, etc., by regular cleaning and maintenance.

  • Go digital - Reduce paper use in your business by switching to a digital signature platform, cloud-based file storage, and mandating meeting handouts be sent before the meeting. Also, encourage employees to take notes on their computers instead of using notebooks or sticky notes.

  • Install water bottle filling stations - Stop purchasing bottled water for employees, and rather, drive them to fill reusable water bottles at filling stations around the office.

  • Update the breakroom - Replace plastic cutlery and styrofoam cups with recyclable or reusable options while encouraging the use of a recycle bin for boxes, plastics, paper, and cans.

  • Transportation incentives - If public transportation is an option in your area, incentivize employees to use it or create carpooling groups. If possible, encourage employees to work from home occasionally to limit their driving and fuel consumption.

Invest in a Culture of Corporate Social Responsibility

Sustainability in the workplace became a top corporate priority in 2021 and will continue to be a topic of discussion around the leadership table. In addition, younger employees are now seeking employment with businesses that value environmental issues. It is a future we all play a role in protecting and one we can all impact.

Best Vision Co. is an environmentally-focused company, and we hope your business will join us in the fight against climate change.

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