Practicing sustainability in your company can yield higher profits, a stronger connection to consumers and more engaged employees. Studies show that employees are far more engaged when their employers allow them an opportunity to make a positive difference. Sustainably programs in the workplace have also been found to reduce turnover by up to 50 percent. Consider implementing these tips to “go green” at work and encourage employee participation.
1. Ask questions. What is your company’s current impact on the environment? What sustainability efforts are your industry peers undertaking? Answering these questions will help guide where you should focus your efforts.
2. Set reachable goals. Set short- and long-term goals to help keep your company on track and provide a measurable target. We have set a goal to send zero waste to landfills at all of our facilities by 2024, as well as to be carbon and water neutral by 2044.
3. Implement a program. Whether partnering with a waste management company or eliminating plastic at the office, consider creating a companywide program to set the standard.
4. Save energy. Install motion sensors to office lights and encourage employees to power down equipment at the end of the day. Solar panels are also a great option when possible. Many businesses with covered parking install solar panels overhead.
5. Go digital. Save paper by using electronic file sharing and have staff members bring laptops or tablets into meetings to view documents instead of handing out printed versions.
6. Reduce waste. Consider ditching your paper coffee cups and stocking the break rooms with ceramic dishware and reusable mugs.
7. Add plants. Cleanse your office air with potted plants such as bamboo palms, peace lilies and gerbera daisies, which offer both beauty and air purification.
8. Offer telecommuting. Consider allowing your employees to work from home when appropriate to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, oil consumption and workplace waste.
9. Spread the word. Notify your employees and customers about the actions you’re taking to preserve the environment and encourage them to do the same.
10. Encourage participation. There are many ways to encourage your employees to “think green.” Cox engages and incentivizes employees by recognizing sustainable ideas at work through the Cox Conserves Chairman’s Cup, which collects, rewards and implements sustainable practices across the company.
Stephanie Healy is the Director of Public Affairs for Cox Communications in Southern Arizona and sits on the Cox Conserves employee advisory team, which undertakes a variety of sustainability projects nationwide. To learn more about Cox Conserves projects, visit coxconserves.com.