Going green in the office has obvious benefits like reducing waste and cutting costs, but it can also have a positive effect on employee health, productivity, and, surprisingly, morale.
A recent study by the Kenexa Research Institute found that a company’s environmental programs can significantly influence employees’ opinions of management and the company they work for, their overall job satisfaction, and intentions to remain with the company. The study, which spanned 13 countries, found a full 54 percent of employees surveyed looked favorably on their organization’s “green” initiatives. Employees that felt their employers were socially responsible were happier with their jobs.
Improve Your Bottom Line
“The Greening of the American Workplace 2010” found that instituting “green” measures resulted in significant cost reduction. 78 percent of respondents reported electricity cost savings, two-thirds indicated heating/cooling and paper savings, and 60 percent reported cutting costs on water.
Easy Tips to Going Green in Your Workspace
There are a lot of painless ways to incorporate eco-friendly initiatives in your office:
- Reduce energy consumption – replace standard light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs, optimize the energy settings for computers and other devices, select ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment, adjust thermostat by a few degrees
- Reduce paper consumption, reuse shipping/packing materials and replace office paper and paper towels with paper products made from recycled material
- Recycle – Studies show recycling participation increases if stations are more easily accessible, so distribute recycling bins throughout the work space
Cut down on transportation – encourage car pooling, telecommuting, and condensed work schedules
- Switch to green, non-toxic cleaning supplies
Encourage employees to participate - use reusable coffee mugs, turn off lights, make use of a water cooler instead of bottled water
- Making even one or two simple changes can have a positive effect on your business. Start to “green up” your office by making one simple change at a time - switch to non-toxic cleaning supplies or replace regular light bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting.
The Point: A Green Workplace in Action
The Point, a innovative off-site workspace in San Diego, shared with us some of their green practices to help inspire you to greenify your workplace.
- Paperless - No printed materials, all signage is presented digitally on big screen TV's, and they only accept information from vendors electronically
- Philips Hue LED Lighting and Nest Thermostat controls to minimize energy consumption and increase efficiency
- All locally built furniture
- Cedar wood for their modular and conference room tables was sustainably sourced from trees cut down during the 2003 great wild fire in Julian, CA.
- Living plants are used as decor (as seen in their spectacular plant chandelier)
- Large windows provide a natural light source and views of the water
- Use the the ocean breeze or fans whenever possible instead of AC as well as a shaded outdoor workspace
- Food left over from events always finds a hungry mouth, rather than the dumpster
- Provide ample recycling cans
- Drink locally roasted and sustainable sourced coffee
- Natural essential oil cleaning products and pest protections
- Towels and rags are reused for cleaning instead of paper towels
- Zero tolerance policy for styrofoam
Hope that gave you a few ideas and you are feeling inspired to go green at your company.
Have you implemented any environmental programs at work? Leave a comment and let us know how you’re greening up your world.