Environmental awareness has slowly begun to increase over the years, as more and more people choose to shop, eat and live in a generally more sustainable way. However, while individual efforts have a positive impact, more could still be done to ensure that green living is a way of life for people everywhere, including those who lead, manage and work for large businesses. Yet changing company structures can be difficult, so we’ve compiled this short guide for your business to improve its green rating and introduce eco-friendly policies.
Get an environmental audit
As with any major business decision, planning is vital for implementing eco-friendly policies. Take the time to work with a specialist organisation who conduct environmental assessments for companies of your size. This will usually involve an expert in the eco-friendly business field coming into your office over a set period of time to check how your company operates and where more sustainable alternatives could be incorporated to your everyday practice. The assessor will then compile a report which documents the changes that your business could make, which could entail a range of suggestions from minor to large-scale structural improvements.
Rethink company operations
Nearly all office functions could be reconsidered to make them greener and more sustainable. One major source of this can be found in the amount of paper most businesses consume – consider adding recycling bins into your kitchen and work areas so that the correct items are recycled wherever possible. If this is successful, why not consider going paperless entirely? The large amount of business can now be conducted online through apps, videoconferencing and other technology which not only cuts down on paper usage and waste, but can also save time and money too.
Throw a fundraiser
Another way to show your support for sustainable lifestyles and raise money for a worthy cause is by working with a charitable organisation as part of your eco-friendly policies. Fundraising is becoming an increasingly integral part of corporate social responsibility the world over. Also, it allows for the chance to get the office together to do something fun, improve team bonding as well as support an issue that needs attention. Plus, using charity promotional products to advertise the event is a great way for getting your company and brand out there and raising awareness for environmental issues at the same time. The range of options available and materials that can be used to create these products can also be selected sustainably to reinforce the green message your company wants to promote.
Extend the environmental ethos to other organisations that you work with through sustainable corporate gifts to spread the message and increase focus on this important issue across your sector. This could help to make your company stand out as a thought leader in your field by exhibiting trend-setting behaviour that your competitors are likely to feel compelled to adopt as well. Sustainable gifts can also be highly personalised to make the item unique to your company, which in turn can be a helpful marketing tool – the novelty along with the environmentally-friendly materials are likely to attract a great deal of attention.
Encourage eco-friendly employee behaviour
Staff can make or break an organisation and this is also the case when you’re trying to make changes company-wide to eco-friendly policies. Reinforce the focus on green living by encouraging your employees to become more sustainable wherever possible. Start with recycling at lunchtime and throughout the working day but also consider out of hours eco-friendly lifestyles – suggest to your staff they take public transport or car share to reduce harmful emission levels. Even the coffee run can become green if everyone brings reusable coffee cups!