In 2023, going green in the workplace is more important than ever. Not only is it highly appreciated by consumers and employees, but in many cases, it’s expected. This year, many companies are looking at ways to reduce their environmental impact through office sustainability practices.
Office sustainability, also known as sustainability in the workplace, is a business philosophy in which an organization undertakes environmentally-conscious practices. And if you’re new to sustainability, don’t worry—going green doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, sustainability can be achieved by making small, meaningful changes in the office.
Below, we’ve got 23 easy ways to improve office sustainability. But first, let’s take a look at all the reasons why you’d want to go green in 2023.
Benefits of Office Sustainability
Office sustainability is a win-win situation for everyone involved. These practices benefit your customers, employees, the planet, and your bottom line. When your company implements sustainable practices in the workplace, it also:
- Reduces its carbon footprint. A typical office business can produce about 1-6 metric tons of carbon emissions per employee per year. As you might imagine, the bigger the business, the more emissions are created. Sustainable practices in the office can greatly diminish the amount of carbon your office produces.
- Increases customer loyalty. Customers are more conscious than ever about who they’re buying from and what their values are. Many companies are attempting to go “carbon neutral,” which not only positively affects the planet by erasing their carbon footprint, but also attracts customers who want to feel good about their purchases.
- Promotes a positive brand image. Any data you are able to mine from your sustainability practices is fuel for a positive brand image. For the best chance at success, it’s important that you not only meet customer expectations, but exceed them.
- Improves company culture. Any goals you set toward improving sustainability in the workplace will translate to more conscious employees. By showing that you value the environment, you are also showing that you value your employees, who will value the company in return.
- Improves staff retention. A study showed that companies with sustainability initiatives had more engaged and loyal employees. Millennials and Gen Z especially want to see that their employers are fighting for a better future for all.
Now that we’ve taken a look at all the ways sustainability benefits both employees and the employer, let’s get to all the ways you can go green in your office this year!
23 Tips For Improving Office Sustainability in 2023
Two (or more) heads are better than one! The more brains you have working on sustainability solutions in the office, the more efficiently those solutions can be put into place.
2.) Switch To Eco-Cleaning Products
Make your office a safer environment for all by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products that don’t have a bunch of harmful chemicals. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide to green cleaning products here.
3.) Unplug Workstations
If a device is plugged in, it’s consuming power—even if it’s been powered down. Encourage all employees to unplug their workstations at the end of the day. This will save energy and lower your monthly overhead costs.
4.) Install Motion-Activated Lighting
We all forget to turn off light switches sometimes. With motion-activated lights, you can improve your office’s energy efficiency without having to lift a finger.
5.) Switch to LED Bulbs
Speaking of lights, have you switched to LED bulbs yet? There’s a reason they’re so popular—LED bulbs use 75% less energy and can last more than three times as long as regular incandescent/fluorescent light bulbs.
6.) Audit Your Office Supplies
Have you thought about where you’re getting your office supplies from? Try to purchase products that are made from sustainable materials and sourced from companies who are actively trying to make their products circular.
7.) Reduce Printer Usage
In this digital age, the need for paper documents has been drastically reduced. Discourage employees from printing at work by reducing the amount of office printers. Donate unnecessary printers to your local schools or nonprofits!
8.) Repurpose and Reuse
Encourage your employees to share, exchange, and reuse office supplies. Begin by creating a community “station,” shelf, or corner where employees can access and donate community office supplies and equipment.
9.) Look Into Electronics Recycling
Did you know that toxic e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, at an annual rate of over 50 million metric tonnes? It’s incredibly important to hire a certified electronics recycling company like Repowered to properly dispose of company e-waste and take care of your IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) needs.
10.) Buy Refurbished Electronics
Circularity is a form of sustainability that’s all about keeping products in use for as long as possible. Buying refurbished electronics over brand new devices for your office supports IT asset circularity, reduces e-waste, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Take another step toward a greener office by developing an effective, secure and profitable IT asset disposition (ITAD) program for your business. Our FREE GUIDE will show you how >>
11.) Invest in a Bottleless Water Dispenser
Ditch bottled waters and get a smart water cooler for your whole office. This will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste from single-use bottled waters.
12.) Implement a BYOWB Policy
In conjunction with the above tip, consider encouraging employees to bring their own reusable water bottles to work. (Hint: Your bottleless water dispenser will make this policy much more effective!)
13.) Bring Sustainability to the Break Room
Food waste can be a real problem in the workplace. Make 2023 the year you launch a streamlined ordering process for your office lunches, encourage employees to limit food waste, and make sure to recycle and even compost to reduce waste.
14.) Provide Community Tupperware
A clever way to reduce food waste in the office kitchen is to invest in a tupperware set for your employees to use when they need it. Your employees love those catered lunches—chances are, they definitely want to save some for later!
15.) Allow Hybrid Working Environments
Want to save on office overhead costs, and help employees reduce their carbon footprint? Implement a hybrid work policy, where employees can work from home at least two days out of the week. It will likely improve productivity, too!
16.) Incentivize Greener Methods of Commuting
Implement a program that rewards employees for carpooling, ride-sharing, or biking to work. This is a big step toward sustainability in the workplace, and also a great way to encourage employee bonding!
This simple addition to the office parking lot can have a huge impact on how your employees choose to commute to work every day. Not only are you improving your employees’ environmental impact, but also their physical health.
18.) Decorate the Office With Plants
More than an interior design choice, putting plants around the office can improve your employees’ productivity and stress levels. Make sure they (your plants and employees) are getting lots of natural light!
19.) Watch That Thermostat
It’s common to see employees bring cardigans or sweaters to work—even during the summer months. Ditch the trend of keeping the office icy cold and instead opt for setting the thermostat to kick on at 72 degrees in the summertime.
20.) Call Out and Reward Green Behaviors
All the bottleless water dispensers and eco-friendly cleaning products in the world can’t make the same impact that dedicated employees can. Start thinking of some incentives and rewards that will help your employees buy into your new sustainability practices.
21.) Introduce Green Technology
22.) Implement Eco-Education
To really make sustainability a permanent part of your company, you need to infuse it into your office culture and communications. Figure out what eco-topics you want your employees to be educated on, and what mediums you want to use to reach them. Even better, let your most eco-conscious employees lead the charge!
23.) Host Fundraisers for Local Sustainability Causes
Encourage your employees to host fundraisers to support green charities and initiatives. From animal welfare initiatives, to beach and river cleanups, to community gardens, there are so many ways you and your employees can get involved in and promote sustainability throughout the community.
Office sustainability is important for everyone: your employees, your customers, your stakeholders, and the planet at large. If you want to boost your office’s sustainability practices, start an ITAD partnership with Repowered to recycle your e-waste.
At Repowered, not only do we offer electronics recycling and ITAD services, but we can also guide you through the process of buying refurbished electronics to outfit your office. Give us a call today at 763.432.3117.