Environmental issues have not always been at the forefront of many companies but there has been a distinct turnaround since the formation of NGOs such as GreenPeace. And with the voice of Greta Thunberg and current Covid outbreak, we see a new emphasis on environmental awareness and sustainability.
There is an economic reasoning behind jumping on this bandwagon though. The Business and Sustainable Development Commission recently revealed the stats which one cannot ignore. Being ‘green' can open economic opportunities worth up to US12 trillion and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030.
The question is – has your company followed the route? Are you a leader in your area? Or perhaps you are a smaller business owner thinking “We're too small to have any sort of an impact on the environment.”
The truth is that every single person and each company has a role to play. It needs a strategy though, with short and long term goals which – and here is the most important part – need evaluation and measurement on a frequent basis.
10 very simple operational ideas which can be implemented quickly and easily are:
  1. Lights, heating and airconditioning – turn them off when they're not needed. Even the few degrees less of warmth or cooling will have an impact. The same is true of computers – can they be powered off?
  2. LED – has your company incorporated LED lightbulbs?
  3. Company cars – are they fuel efficient or even better, is electric feasible?
  4. Travel – can it be reduced? Can meetings be done by Skype or video conferencing?
  5. Printing – can you eliminate or reduce substantially?
  6. Canteen – if the company has a canteen, have you implemented recycling? Is every section of the organization aware? Can each person be allocated a mug with their their name on to reduce plastic usage?
  7. Filtered water – Does the company provide filtered water for their employees?
  8. Employees – can everyone have a plant on their desk? This will immediately improve the air quality which is one of the top threats to human health. Aloe Vera is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality. It does not need a lot of water.
  9. Flexible Work Hours – this is a little more sensitive one, but it could be part of an incentive package for employees to be allowed to work from home. This reduces the energy used in the office space as well as commuter traffic.
  10. Create monthly green challenges.

The above things are a super way to start engaging employees in contributing to the development and implementation of your more strategic sustainability initiatives

Saskia Constantinou