Mindsets are changing when it comes to sustainability. It’s not just a personal choice anymore - it’s becoming a corporate responsibility. When you look around, you’ll notice that more and more businesses are striving to be seen as ‘environmentally friendly’ - and reaping the benefits of business sustainability in the process.
What does this mean? Well, a sustainable business is one that strives to minimise its impact on the environment. And while it’s easy to see why enterprise companies would have the time (and budget) to implement sustainable business practices, smaller businesses are beginning to follow suit - and both are noticing that one surprising benefit of business sustainability is that it can help you attract and retain great staff.
Sustainable business practices = More candidates
Job seekers are drawn to businesses with values that align with their own. When a company shows that they are acting responsibly when it comes to their impact on the environment, sustainability is seen as a source of employee pride. This is why taking the time to turn your office from 'mean' to 'green' will help you attract and retain the best talent.
Additionally, providing workers with an eco-friendly and green working space shows that the company cares about its employees. It suggests that the business cares for the wellbeing of the environment, workspace and staff.
Sustainability ideas you can implement now
Implementing eco-friendly office policies helps to reduce your business' impact on the environment and improve your staff’s outlook on office life. Below are a few eco-friendly office ideas you can implement today to get the ball rolling and start benefiting from business sustainability.
1. Cut back on unnecessary office equipment and materials
You will be surprised at just how much money is spent on unnecessary office equipment and materials. This includes office printing paper, printer consumables such as toner and even printers themselves.
Conducting an audit into the company’s printing habits can reveal areas where management can reduce unnecessary spending without compromising office productivity and effectiveness.
Take the time to find out exactly how much printing paper is being used and see how you can cut back. Printing double-sided is a great way to cut down on your paper usage.
Printer consumables can also come at huge expense to the company. Using colour to print can can cost a lot more than if you have a policy to print most documents in black and white.
Finally, old printers that use more energy than newer devices can contribute to your business’s increasing energy bill. So, look for new models with higher star ratings.
Also, where possible, use emails and electronic storage. Reducing paper and printing usage show employees that you care about minimising waste.
While these points may seem minor, they all add up to make a huge difference to your sustainability efforts.
2. Use sustainable office supplies
The use of office supplies might be overlooked when it comes to turning your office eco-friendly. Think recycled. Use recycled paper, pens made from recycled plastic and furniture made from recycled rubber.
These kinds of items act as a constant reminder that you are a green office. And if customers happen to visit your office, you’ll be proud to show them that you are an eco-friendly and sustainable business.
3. Turn the office green
What better way to show you are serious about sustainability than to introduce greenery into the office. Indoor plants have been proven to lift the mood of staff. Bring the outside in and create an environment where everyone feels calm and relaxed. Not only will this make your staff feel happier, but it will re-energise and revitalise them at work as well.
Sustainable office buildings are another important factor in going green. Reducing cooling and heating usage during periods when not needed benefits you, your staff and the environment. Air conditioning systems are notorious wasters of power and energy. Find a happy medium that makes for a comfortable office without gorging on energy usage. Indoor plants will help to add oxygen to the air allowing employees to concentrate more, work harder and be happier while at work.
Sustainable practices such as the points mentioned above may seem like small unnecessary steps, but you have to start somewhere. Once they’ve been implemented, you will notice a difference in your staff’s morale and energy levels - and who knows, you may even attract some new candidates!
Green office practices breathe new life into the way your business operates, with the added benefit of helping you attract and retain talented workers who also believe in the eco-friendly approach.
Sustainability will be an important measure of success for workplaces of the future. Download our Green Office Guide to learn how to improve your environmental impact, while also reducing business costs and boosting efficiency.