Whether you work for a big company or a small one, it’s important to keep your impact on the environment in mind. Even small businesses can make strides to reduce their carbon footprint, resulting in benefits for the company, the environment, and individual employees.
There are many ways you and your company can contribute to making the world a much greener place to live. Below are ten ways to help you become an advocate for lowering your carbon footprint at work.
1: Develop an Energy Consumption Audit
By creating an energy consumption audit, a company can identify where energy savings can be made and where it may need to restructure some procedures. By understanding where greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions are being produced from your business, you will be able to create a plan to appropriately address these issues.
2: Cycle to Work
If you live within a reasonable biking distance from work, you should consider making this your new form of transportation. Biking to work not only reduces carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, it is also a great workout that improves your physical wellness. There are many health benefits to staying physically fit; most importantly, physical fitness helps your brain be more productive. This is good news if you have a desk job or simply have to use your brain a lot on the job. Encourage others around the office to bike to work if they don’t live too far.
3: The Three R’s
“Reduce, reuse, recycle.” Most are familiar with this phrase, but how many companies actively practice this green mantra in the workplace? If you’re new to this phrase, it simply means to keep in mind the materials you use every day in the office, and how you should first seek to reduce the unnecessary use of materials that may contribute to your carbon footprint. If possible, choose reusable options for items like coffee mugs, glasses, dishes, silverware, etc., and recycle everything that can be recycled. This means walking down the hall to the recycling bin to discard materials instead of just throwing them in the trash bin under your desk. When a workplace actively participates in this “reduce, reuse, recycle” mindset, its carbon footprint starts to shrink.
4: Switch to Hybrid Company Vehicles
If your company requires the use of company vehicles, switching to eco-friendly hybrid cars, trucks, and semis greatly reduces carbon emissions and will also protect your company from seemingly ever-increasing gas prices.
5: Unplug Phone Chargers and Appliances
Whether you know it or not, leaving your phone charger plugged in when you’re not charging your phone consumes energy. You should also unplug any appliances in your office like coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves at the end of the day because they too use energy even when not being used.
6: Use Microwaves Instead of Ovens
Some offices have their own ovens; however, using an oven to heat food requires up to 70% more electricity than a microwave. So, encourage your team to use microwaves, the green way to cook or heat up lunch.
7: Work from Home
With all the advancements in telecommunications and almost everything being in the “cloud,” employees may not need to be at the office five days a week. Working from home eliminates the need to commute, reducing carbon production. The most eco-friendly commute to work is no commute at all.
8: Replace Business Trips with Video Conferencing
With tremendous strides in video conferencing technology, there is a reduced need to spend time and energy traveling for business meetings. If considering a business trip, ask yourself if the trip is really necessary or if the meeting could be held over FaceTime or Skype.
9: Encourage Meatless Mondays
I love meat; however, the livestock sector accounts for as much greenhouse gas emissions as do cars, trucks, and automobiles combined. I’m not saying don’t eat meat, but we should consider lowering the amount of meat we consume in our diet. Meatless Mondays are a great way to encourage your office to cut back on the carbon footprint of our diets.
10: Educate Yourself, Your Coworkers, and Your Customers
Hearing the words “climate change” is like hearing the words “world hunger.” We all know it’s a real problem, but do we understand it to a point of making an effort to change it? In order to make a real impact on its carbon footprint, a business needs a companywide effort to really understand what contributes to carbon emissions and put practices and policies into place to reduce them. Don’t be shy about sharing your practices and policies to reduce your carbon footprint. Consumers look for brands that take sustainability seriously.
Implementing any of these suggestions will help reduce the production of greenhouse gases within your workplace. I encourage you and your company to explore other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
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