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5 Easy Ways to Foster a Sustainable Workplace

Have you watched the Netflix documentary, “David Attenborough: A Life in Our Planet”? I must say you should spend some time to see it with your colleagues and family. It is one of the many documentaries that clearly explains climate change and sustainability. 

Attenborough mentioned several measures to save humanity from climate change. One is to lead a sustainable lifestyle. It is often discussed how an individual can live sustainably, but what about in the workplace? What are the things we can do to promote a sustainable workplace environment?

What is a sustainable workplace?

Achieving a sustainable workplace is a long-term endeavor. It involves establishing measures to balance “the planet, people and profit to produce success and viability.”

The positive effects of having a sustainable workplace can be seen not only in the physical setting or the environment but also among workers. A sustainable workplace boosts employee productivity and lessens office or workplace hazards.

Here are five simple ways to promote sustainability in your workplace:

Reduce energy

Reducing energy can start by assessing which resources or electronic devices are used extensively. Then, you can take action. Mobile phone chargers and computers should be unplugged before leaving the workplace. Many appliances can still use power even when turned off but still plugged in.

Office appliances should also be upgraded with more energy-efficient versions if available. These devices should be regularly cleaned and repaired. Dirty or poorly maintained appliances consume more energy than clean ones.

Saving energy is not only good for the planet, but it’s also good for the pocket.

Use indoor plants

A study by psychologists at Exeter University discovered that living plants inside the workplace increase employee wellness and productivity. Plants also clean the air inside the office by emitting oxygen and absorbing air pollutants. They can even lower noise pollution.

Suggested indoor plants are snake plants, peace lilies and spider plants. Evenly distribute potted plans in the workplace for everyone to enjoy.

Start sustainable dining

In the mentioned documentary, Attenborough shared that having a plant-based diet is one of the solutions in dealing with climate change. It is high time that we extend goals to eating healthy from oneself to the rest of the workplace.

Canteens and vending machines should offer healthier food choices instead of processed food and drinks. Ditch the plastic tableware and use sustainable alternatives like reusable dishware. Refilling a washable, reusable water bottle is a great place to start.

Yes to paperless

It has been suggested many times for businesses and workplaces to finally go into paperless transactions. Going paperless will declutter the office and encourage sustainability.

There are still some that aren’t joining the paperless revolution. And sometimes using paper and printed documents can’t be avoided. In this case, shredding and recycling them would be best.

We should adapt to using digital documents and signatures. Do not also forget to find affordable and sustainable paper towels for the pantry and bathroom use.

Find sustainable suppliers

From heavy-duty equipment to small office supplies and cleaning materials, make every effort to purchase from sustainable suppliers.

We are talking about suppliers with eco-friendly and sustainable products. Biodegradable options can reduce carbon footprint. Sustainability shoulder even be a criterion for selecting new suppliers.

The term “sustainability” can be overwhelming, especially to employees who are not familiar with its concept. But creating a sustainable workplace shouldn’t be complicated. Start somewhere and reap the rewards in your environment.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Charisse Ann Nevalga-Almeida hails from the Philippines. She works as an Investments Specialist in the City Government of Cabuyao, Laguna. A public sector professional for four years, she also dreams of pursuing urban planning and development management career in the future. Cha is also a freelance copywriter and social media strategist aspiring to help social impact businesses. She’s also a digitally savvy mom of three, advocating digital citizenship, especially among the youth. Cha loves reading blogs, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts on anything about social good, sustainability and social media while having her daily coffee fix. Follow Cha on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Avatar photo Pearl Kim

Thanks for your tips on being environmentally sustainable at work! I’ve seen tips for personal/at-home sustainability, but thinking about work and the office too is good to keep in mind.