There are many ways you can make the workplace more sustainable, including ensuring there are recycle bins available, introducing a paperless working environment, reducing energy usage, and adding plants to the workplace. However, for these steps to make any difference, you need to have your employees on board. Every little helps, and what may seem like insignificant changes, can make a huge difference overall if everyone is committed to these sustainability practices. These are some ways you can get involvement and commitment from employees in sustainability practices.
Most people don’t understand the impact they can make; they don’t see the bigger picture. It is generally not that they don’t care about the environment, but that they are unaware of what they should do and why. One of the best ways you can engage employees in sustainability is by educating them on what they can do and the impact it can have. Most companies talk about sustainability, without really informing their employees about what to do. For example, encouraging staff to turn off their computers at the end of the day, instead of leaving them on standby. Advising them of the significance of this, and the impact it can have on sustainability.
Make it Fun
Sustainability often feels like a boring subject, but you can make it more entertaining and even fun! Make sustainability part of your meetings and encourage your employees to share their ideas on ways the company can reduce waste. Reward staff for their efforts, for instance, giving them points for energy efficient acts, such as carpooling or cycling to work. You may even want to run team activities during the day, such as litter picking and a free lunch! Making sustainability part of your day-to-day routine in the workplace, and making it fun, will improve engagement.
Homeworking can have significant benefits for the environment, as it cuts down carbon emissions. It would be possible to save a staggering 3 million tonnes of carbon every year if more UK employees were working from home. Only 4 million out of 30 million employees are currently permitted remote working, and this needs to change to improve energy efficiency. Make a deal with your employees. You can work remotely, but don’t use your car that day!
Car Sharing and Cycle to Work Scheme
Encouraging staff to car share is also an effective way to get them involved in sustainability. If you are not currently running a cycle-to-work scheme, now is the time to do it. This gives employees the opportunity to spread the cost of a bike and encourages them to cycle to work, which reduces air pollution and carbon emissions.
Although travel can be beneficial, most employees don’t want to do it constantly. If you currently have employees travelling regularly with work, try and find alternative solutions for them. For example, if you have a Director that is purely travelling for the purpose of attending meetings, would there be a way for them to make an appearance once every two weeks, instead of every week?. Are these meetings essential? Perhaps it could be shared virtually from home. Not only is this likely to be an appealing solution for your employee, but it also reduces travel, which, therefore, reduces carbon emissions.
Sustainability is something we are passionate about at Blue Tree HR Solutions.
If you want to learn more about sustainability, take a look at these useful resources –
At Blue Tree HR, we have been planting trees since 2018 to offset our carbon footprint. https://tree-nation.com/profile/impact/blue-tree-hr-solutions
If you’d like to discuss sustainability in the workplace and how you can make a difference, contact us at email@example.com or 07516 335419 for an initial discussion.