The last few years have been financially trying for all of us. Businesses are converting to sustainable working practices as a result of the economic downturn created by the pandemic. While it is the responsibility of every business owner to consider tangible ways to make smart changes in the workplace, it is equally critical that everyone in the organization cooperate in energy-saving initiatives. Employees should also participate in whatever way they can to help the organisation achieve its goals.
What is a Sustainable Workplace?
As per the definition of United States Department of Labor, to achieve long-term success and viability, sustainable organisations workplaces strive to balance the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. This means that organisations cannot be sustainable unless they safeguard the safety, health, and well-being of their most valuable resource: their employees.
As a result, firms must adopt environmentally responsible practises. These would not only assist them in attracting new clients but also in nurturing existing ones. Going green also saves money in the long term for businesses. Organizations can begin by implementing the following sustainable and eco-friendly habits:
The concept may appear absurd at first, but the long-term impact of this approach is enormous. Businesses stockpile documents and print fresh ones on a daily basis. And, obviously, some of these printed documents end up being discarded. In fact, around 17% of printouts are considered waste. These could include misprints, duplicates, and so on. Documents that are trashed also indicate money that is wasted.
Migrating to the cloud and going paperless is the solution to this dilemma. This business practice has additional advantages. Using cloud offers another layer of security to a company’s data since the cloud is encrypted and prevents unwanted access and other malicious threats.
Apart from going fully digital, businesses can shift to energy-efficient electronics. While this may come at a high initial cost, long-term benefits will compensate for that. Energy-efficient devices, as the name implies, utilize less energy, resulting in lower power bills.
1. LED bulbs are a prominent example of an energy-efficient technology that won’t affect the wallet. Replacing office lights with ENERGY STAR-rated LED will help businesses reduce their lighting energy consumption by 75 percent.
2. It’s also a good practice to conduct energy audits in one’s workplace to monitor the energy consumption and evaluate your overall energy efficiency. This helps one know whether they are using far too much energy or just enough to keep the business running. You can hire energy audit companies to help you identify areas where you can reduce your energy consumption.
3. Switching to a room air conditioner, which can use less electricity than full air conditioning through your HVAC system can be beneficial to companies. Especially if you don’t use every room in your space on a regular basis, you can control the temperature to be most comfortable in the areas you use most often.
When an electronic appliances and devices are plugged in, it consumes energy even when it is turned off. As a result, business owners must encourage their personnel to unplug electronics while they are not in use. When combined with the use of energy-efficient electronics, this method will help businesses save money on their electricity costs every month.
Plugging in your computers, peripherals or other devices to a power strip makes it easier and more convenient to flip a single switch and power everything down at night or when it’s not in use. Phantom (or “vampire”) energy is the energy that your appliances continue to suck from the power source when they are plugged in but not being used.
Various electronics such as computer monitors, coffee makers, and other common workplace items continue to take energy (and cost money) even when you leave at night if they remain connected to a power source. By connecting those things to a power strip, you can unplug the entire strip before you leave, which would benefit both the environment and your bank account.
Sharing is Caring
If you’re paying for parking spaces for employees, it might be more cost-effective to offer a benefit in which you pay for a monthly bus pass, metro card, or whatever is applicable than to pay for a parking spot. Also, encouraging carpooling in the office saves on money as well as fuel. A side benefit of this is the employees bonding over a shared ride everyday.
Allowing employees to work from home or away from the office can help you save money in a variety of ways. All you have to worry about is that they finish the job on time. You can also begin allowing employees to work longer hours for fewer days at the office.
Conferences in the office are expensive. Similarly, travelling to a different location takes time and money. As a result, whenever possible, consider holding virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings.
Determine your company’s recycling and reusing possibilities. Many items can be recycled, including paper, file folders, cardboard, ink and toner cartridges, computers, and computer accessories.
Aside from reusable stationary, investing in reusable cutlery is a good option for businesses that currently use disposable cutlery. Instead of using paper cups at the water fountain, purchase a reusable tumbler or individual water bottles.
Inferring on the thought..
If you have a younger workforce or a younger consumer base, you must also consider what is important to your target audience. According to a recent Harvard Business Review survey, one of the most major considerations for Millennials is to resolve social and environmental challenges. Several studies have been conducted on how Millennials spend their money, and one thing is clear: that this generation cares about sustainability.
They are willing to spend more money if it means purchasing products from companies that care about the environment and have sustainable workplace practices. So, as you consider cost-cutting measures, keep in mind that the younger generation in your organisation is likely to support any energy-saving changes you consider implementing.
Finally, you must consider your company’s long-term objectives. Cost-cutting ideas for the organisation may not be top-of-mind every day, but if you can make some minor adjustments, they may have a positive impact on your bottom line over time. And, especially in business, every penny counts. The link between energy efficiency and increased profitability may not be obvious at first, however if examples of sustainable workplaces start tracking those energy-saving measures, they will most likely benefit from lower overhead costs in the long run.