Find out what’s causing workplace carbon footprint and key creative ways employers can work to reduce it in their organisations.
As climate change statistics become increasingly grim, with the latest IPCC report declaring a ‘code red for humanity’ (IPCC 2021), looking after the planet and reducing carbon footprint is a priority for responsible businesses.
Whether big or small, adopting sustainable practices in an organisation’s workplace is an important part of reducing a company’s carbon footprint overall, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Implementing unique and creative changes will encourage the collective effort of a company’s employees to do their part in achieving a more carbon-neutral workplace.
Here are four effective ways business leaders can make sustainable change in their workplaces:
- Adopt green software
Technology is becoming an increasing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. A good way to mitigate this issue is to use software and online services that are carbon neutral, or even better – carbon negative. Big companies like Google Cloud and Microsoft have dedicated themselves to becoming carbon neutral services. Search engines like Ecosia have gone one step further and have become carbon negative by using their customers’ everyday searches to fund the planting of trees.
In office buildings, the major sources of energy usage are lighting, refrigeration, cooling, heating, computers and office equipment. Choosing energy-saving appliances is a simple, yet effective way you can drastically reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but also your energy consumption bills . Whether it’s buying new office equipment or replacing it, take into consideration the most energy efficient products based on their energy star rating.
- Work from home, bike or carpool to work
The rise of flexible working arrangements post-pandemic is here to stay. Working from home not is not only an excellent way to increase employee satisfaction, but also to reduce a company’s carbon footprint by limiting greenhouse gas emissions from commutes and reducing office waste.
The transport sector is a significant contributor to air pollution and oil extraction across the world Many of us dusted off our bikes during the COVID lockdown, so why not extend this past the pandemic? Introduce a ‘bike-to-work day’! Or, organise a friendly competition with your employees to see how far they can cycle in a week for some extra motivation.
You can also adopt carpooling and try to encourage your employees to do the same. Carpooling can be an easy, low-cost solution for workplaces to implement which not only offsets air pollutants from cars but also decreases the issue of limited parking spaces.
- Recycle old technology
We all know how to recycle paper and cardboard, but recycling old tech presents a greater challenge. Offices are huge consumers of electronics – from batteries to keyboards, phones and cables – all of which will end up in landfill if not properly recycled. Make a positive impact by setting up a technology recycling point in your workspaces and utilising one of the many free e-waste recycling services in Australia.
- It’s a team effort
Last on our list, getting involved in sustainable activities at work is a fun and easy way to improve one’s skills and expertise, and it can also can be a great team-building exercise with colleagues working together on a cause. . You can consider establishing a company Green Team to frequently practice sustainability, communicate best practices to reduce environmental impacts, or even coordinate company education or volunteer programs.
No matter how small the actions may seem, they all have a positive effect on the planet. Whether you’re a big or small business, it is possible to make animpact by starting small.
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