In recognition of Earth Day last Saturday, we’ve come up with three simple steps to make your business more friendly to the planet. And keep in mind that these practices are not just good for sustainability, research shows that consumers increasingly want to buy and/or work for companies they see as doing good.
1. Eliminate landfill waste
Of the 26-million tonnes of waste produced in the UK each year, 12-million tonnes is recycled, while 14-million tonnes are sent to landfill sites. There are some simple steps any business can make to reduce or even eliminate landfill waste from their office. These include:
+ Banning plastic cutlery
+ Giving staff reusable water bottles and take-out coffee cups
+ Using LED lighting instead of fluorescent tube
+ Reduce paper usage by scanning and emailing instead of printing
+ Purchasing necessities such as toilet paper and kitchen wrap from companies that don’t use plastic wrapping
+ Only using environmentally-friendly hand soap/sanitiser, dishwashing liquids and other detergents
2. Keep up the WFH trend
As we begin to slowly emerge from Covid, some businesses may be tempted to have their staff back in the office five days a week again. However, given the proven efficacy of working from home (WFH), as well as its known health benefits, going back to that old system not only seems like a step backward, it’s not beneficial for the environment either.
One of the rare positives to come from the Covid crisis was the reduction in emissions. 2020 in the UK saw a 10.7% reduction in carbon emissions, and a significant part of that was due to there being far less commuting. Not only does WFH cut down our carbon footprint, we’ll use less electricity and there’ll be a decrease in office supply usage. Plus you get to work in your PJ’s—a win-win for all…
3. Get creative with your recycling
Want to add a bit of character to your office décor? Instead of buying new (and let’s face it, often staid) office furniture, work with your team to source vintage or second-hand furniture. It’s not only a fun task that everyone can get involved in, it’ll add unique character to your office.
If you’re a business that produces goods that need boxing, shred your used/unwanted paper and use it for packing—you’ll save on buying packaging material (which is often plastic) and do the earth a huge favour.
And if you’re someone who hosts evening events in your office, transform empty glass bottles from previous events by placing battery-operated fairy lights inside them, or converting them to tea light holders.