Everyday a growing number of companies across the globe are entrusting to trimming down their impact on the environment. Organisations are putting in significant attempts to create sustainable workplaces that respect the environment, increase employee productivity and correlate to happier employee experiences. The workplace landscape is ever-evolving and growing. More and more companies are appreciating the significance of workplace sustainability putting employee experience at its root. And at many levels, it has become a critical factor to attract and retain talent.
Emerging an eco-conscious organization begins on ground level with the workforce, as people must believe in the vision and adopt environmentally-friendly habits in the workplace for the mission of sustainability to signal out accordingly. There are various accessible and cost-effective measures a company can take to decrease carbon footprint and improve environmental and social impact. Sustainability is a business necessity, and even though we don’t know yet what the future of work will be (home office, shared offices) after the coronavirus pandemics, an ideal place for employers to conduct it is in their own workplaces.
Workplace sustainability is not
only a necessity but also a benefit
40% of global energy usage comes from buildings which is one-third of global GHG emissions. Businesses are also appreciating the many benefits of adopting green office practices, including reduction in costs, improved staff retention, better employee wellbeing and enhanced brand reputation. 30% Higher productivity rate, leading to 21% more profitability in companies with well-being programs in place.
However, the implementation of a sustainable business model has been challenging. According to a recent survey, 93 % of companies they surveyed wanted to be sustainable and believed sustainability is important to the future success of the business. However, only two per cent achieved their sustainability goals.
So, how do you implement lasting initiatives to create sustainable workplaces?
There is a lot behavioral science can teach us on how to overcome the intention-action gap and nudge people towards more sustainable actions. To promote the use of stairs instead of elevator, for example, it’s possible to arrange competitions within staff with attractive prizes.
Create a ‘green’ workplace – literally. Bring in some indoor plants and place them all around the office. Plants have been proven to create a positive, calm and relaxing atmosphere. This may result in your staff being happier and more productive at work.
It might also be worth looking at sustainable office designs when redesigning or refurbishing your existing workplace, when moving to new premises or when shifting to a hybrid work environment.
To manage the energy consumption of the company following key factors can be taken into consideration:
- Monitor & measure carbon footprint, to reduce energy consumption adopting natural materials can be a good option. Therefore, companies are increasingly making use of sustainable or recycled raw materials, products that can be reused and avoiding materials with hazardous substances.
- Application of Led and sensory lights can be a good solution for it. The maximum use of renewable energy that they can reduce energy bills by 90% is an ideal way to minimize the carbon footprint of the building.
For waste management at a workplace company should follow: Reduce > Reuse > Recycle > Dispose. Company can keep eye on daily quantity on water consumption and how to recycle the water to make building more sustainable. Promoting or making policy of going paper less at workplace by recycling used paper, printing on both the side of the paper such small changes at work places can lead to big changes. Banning the use of plastic completely and using handmade/ local material products.
To ensure long-term business sustainability goals, forward thinking companies have started taking prominent actions which rests in sustainability at work. Hence, all small or large businesses should make more investments and awareness to bring their workplaces closer to natural elements. This not only pays back in the form of higher employee productivity but also saves businesses more in the long run. Lastly, sustainable workplaces prove a company’s commitment to sustainability and support the brand’s mission and purpose.
The webinar below shades light in workplace sustainability in more depth.
This blog post was written by Panchami Anant, who recently pursued her masters in Architecture and environmental design from university of Westminster, London. She calls herself an architectural and environmental enthusiast.