The green movement dates back from the first water pollution bill signed in 1948 and started to gain more popularity thanks to the first Earth Day celebrated in 1970. During the past couple of decates, most eco-friendly efforts were made by everyday people and a handful of large corporations - but that's now changing!
On May 14, 2019, Forbes published an article entitled 'What's good for the planet, is also good for business.' Since then, many companies around the world are increasingly responding to a more sustainable way of doing business. This also came as a result of consumer demand. According to an international survey, more than 80% of consumers respect companies and brands that adopt earth-friendly pratices.
Today, sustainability is becoming a priority for businesses. Apart from the global imperative and pressing climate issues, businesses actually profit from going green; increased customer loyalty, increased sales, improved efficiency, cost savings, tax and other schemes incentives, and a healthier workplace, amongst others.
In August 2020, Reuters commissioned a survey to understand the current pulse of workplace culture. It was discovered that 83% of workers reported that they are disappointed because their workplace was not doing enough to address climate change. Almost two-thirds (65%) of survey respondents said that they were more likely to work for a company with strong environmental policies.
Following are some ideas for a company who wants to boost its image and attract responsilbe, conscious and dedicated employees.
The concept of a ‘Green Team’ is to identify a group of individuals from your workforce, ideally people who already possess certain attributes and already have the environment at heart, to help you understand how your company can be greener and more sustainable. A group of few committed individuals who are excited to take on such a role, who will automatically help spread eco-awareness with the rest of the employees.
Monthly meetups of the Green Team will help them roll out new ideas and plans to reduce your business' environmental impact and create a greener environment at the workplace, such as making the kitchenette and the bathrooms more environmentally-friendly with a reduced use of plastic, and more organic and natural products, for instance. They can also brainstorm affordable plans to save the company money and resources whilst remaining sustainable, such as reuse paper, keep printing to the minimum, and focus on energy and water efficiency. Greenifying the work place with plants, is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also helps morale and improves air quality.
One of the most eco-effective changes that you can do as a business is reduce the waste generated from your work place. Creating recycling stations in a visible area will motivate people to use them more efficiently. Usually, 4 containers are required for glass, metal, paper and recyclable plastic. You can also leave smaller containers for e-waste and used batteries. The Green Team will then be responsible of arranging for the disposal of the items correctly with the proper entity, explain the rules to the other employees, and monitor the system.
Other activities that the Green Team can organise are Meatless Mondays, or a swap of second-hand items between employees – such as garments, accessories, books or children’s toys. Alternatively, they can host a fund-raising event and donate the funds to an environmental organisation. By leveraging social media, the good use of hashtags, and keeping it fun, online fund-raisers can be truly impactful.
Mobility programmes, such as car pooling or bike-to-work, are generally very well received by employees and have an immediate benefit. There are other initiatives that seem simple and doable with minimum effort, such as switching to chemical-free and eco-friendly cleaning products for the work place, or making a list of caterers who use sustainable packaging for staff meals and parties. Your Green Team can ensure that meetings and conferences are planned with sustainability in mind, suggesting alternatives to plastic water bottles, for instance, and choosing organic and fair-trade coffee brands.
Christmas gifts can be well-thought to promote the Company’s sustainability mission. If you have a remote workforce, you can opt to send care packages to their homes, with reusable and zero waste alternatives to everyday consumables. Check out these ➡ Corporate Eco Gift Boxes.
Millennial employees want to feel that their work matters and they are keen to work with companies they feel can make a difference. Therefore, a Company with a sustainable mission benefit from employee engagement and retainment. Likewise, modern consumers are willing to support and remain loyal to brands that show serious environmental responsibility.