Published at 2019, April 22th
What if you tried to make your company more sustainable and responsible? Here are 5 gestures to help you with this transformation.
The Importance Of CSR And Sustainability In Companies Today
Companies have been increasingly realizing the importance of betting on CSR practices. Among the many benefits that developing a sustainability strategy brings, one of them has to with improving a brand’s reputation, as consumers are looking more for businesses that care about society and the planet.
Although corporate responsibility can indeed be used as a strategy to improve reputation and therefore increase sales or a company’s accountability, looking at it from only this perspective is very limited. It can also help companies reducing costs by saving energy, water or re-using their waste and it can also make businesses more innovative and disruptive. Moreover, internal reputation can also be very powerful by increasing employees’ engagement and reduce turnover costs.
People spend a big amount of their time at work, therefore, a large part of their environmental impact happens at their office. The choices we make in our daily lives at work can also contribute to the transition to a fairer and more responsible world. So we’re hereby sharing 5 gestures to help your company be greener and more sustainable.
5 Actions To Be More Sustainable At The Workplace
Be More Sustainable 1: Learn To Use Your Digital Tools In An Eco-Friendly Way And Work From Home
When it comes to energy saving, we forget or are unaware when it comes to digital tools. Still, there are good practices you can take to use your computer more wisely. For instance, stop copying all your colleagues when they won’t add value to the conversation or remove some pictures that aren’t really important from your e-mail signature. CCing these people, using big images or including long attachments is sometimes useless and has the downside of overloading your emails. In fact, emails can emit up to 50g of CO2 when you add big attachments. As a comparison, 50g of CO2 is nearly the equivalent to a 1km by car.
At the same time, telecommuting once in a while can also be surprisingly good! It allows people to avoid transportation pollution, to save time and to better manage their private life. Also, shorter working days and more flexible hours can help employees being more productive and stay motivated. Although working from home and in a flexible way is still seen by some people as counterproductive and not suitable for every company, role, or person, it’s definitely a growing trend.
Be More Sustainable 2: Measure The Impact Of The Waste Your Company Produces
Companies often don’t realize how much waste they produce. But between printed papers, coffee pods, water bottles, plastic goblets and cups, office supplies, excessive amounts of paper towels at toilets for hands drying wipe their hands, the total amount of waste can end up being relevant.
We change our behaviors more easily when we’re given the numbers of your impact and how what’d be the impact of a specific change. So, to get a better understanding of this impact and the power that changing habits can have there’s nothing better than trying to measure it. For instance, you, someone from the facilities department, someone from cleaning or some external service provider can weight the waste that’s produced in your office in a week or half week. How many kilos of coffee pods have you produced? Is it possible that you’re partnering your coffee supplier to send them the coffee pods back for recycling or with some local entrepreneur that grows mushrooms out of coffee leftovers? How many plastic bottles have been consumed? Did you know 3 bottles with 1,5l capacity can be recycled and create 1 t-shirt?
Be More Sustainable 3: Isolation. Isolation Everywhere
Heating offices give the private sector its highest energy expense every year. Every year, companies consume 55,000 GWh of electricity (the annual consumption of Switzerland), which is about 28 million tonnes of CO2. Hence, isolating your office and thinking about their insulation is probably the most effective way to reduce energy bills in your office. If your business has the means, try to push your managers to do insulation work in your working space so that the heat keeps inside when it’s winter and outside when it’s summer.
Be More Sustainable 4: Use Big Data, Automation And Set Up Your Equipment In An Eco-Friendly Way
Today there automatic switch systems for lights, heaters with thermostats that adapt automatically, and automation systems that reduce unnecessary consumption. Furthermore, you can also set up your equipment in a more ecological way. Small changes like installing a sleep mode on your screen, decreasing its brightness if not needed so high or putting your laptop in energy saving mode if you do not use all its power can also have, on a large scale, a significant impact.
Be More Sustainable: 5: Consider Choosing A Vegetarian Meal For Lunch From Time To Time
When it’s time for your lunch break, consider choosing an ecological diet. For instance, as reducing meat consumption is one of the most eco-friendly behaviors you can have, taking a vegetarian meal at least once in a week is a great way of reducing your environmental footprint. When you know that a kg of meat is equivalent to 15 to 40 kg of CO2 and 150g of beef wasted 2025l of water, that might have an impact. Besides that, rice or lentils only represent 1 to 3 kg of CO2 per kg of food. So we yes, adopting a more vegetarian diet as soon as possible is a great behavior to protect the planet.