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22 Green Initiatives To Improve Sustainability In The Workplace

We are becoming increasingly more aware of the growing environmental issues the world is facing. Businesses big and small need to be more conscious of the impact they are having on our planet. There are lots of different things workplaces can do to become more sustainable. A great starting point is trying to reduce the amount of energy they consume and waste produced. 

This guide will discuss 22 of the best green initiatives that your business can adopt to improve sustainability within the workplace. By taking a proactive approach towards sustainability, businesses can make significant progress towards becoming more eco-friendly. We are all responsible for playing our part in the global effort to protect the planet and our workplace should not be a space where we stop caring about this. 

22 impactful sustainable business practices you should adopt for the workplace

  1. Switch all lighting to LEDs

    A simple and effective way for businesses to become more sustainable is by switching their lighting over to LED (light-emitting diode) lights. These bulbs require less energy, last longer, and provide a brighter light than traditional bulbs, making it an ideal choice for businesses wanting to go green. LED lights not only reduce your carbon footprint but also help to save you money on your energy bill making it an excellent way for businesses to cut costs whilst being environmentally conscious at the same time.
  2. Motion sensors for lighting

    Fitting motion sensors into your office ensures lights are only used when needed. This can help to reduce unnecessary energy consumption in the workplace and also save the business money on energy bills. 
  3. Reduce phantom power usage

    Phantom power is energy that is consumed by electronic devices whilst they are in stand-by mode or completely switched off. Sometimes known as vampire power, this drawing of unnecessary power is a major contributor to wasted energy and is a hidden cost for businesses. 

    You can reduce phantom power consumption in the office by fitting smart power strips that can be easily programmed to automatically stop supplying devices with electricity when your employees are at home or on holiday.
  4. Recycle, recycle, recycle

    This tip goes without saying, but making a concerted effort to recycle as much waste as possible in the workplace can help to reduce the business’ carbon footprint. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to show your commitment to protecting the environment.

    Provide bins in kitchens and other communal areas that are labelled with clear instructions on what items are acceptable for recycling such as paper products, plastic containers, glass bottles, aluminium cans and other recyclable items. Let your staff know the importance of recycling and hopefully you can make a positive impact as a workforce.
  5. Go paperless

    The best way to reduce office waste is by not creating any at all. Many businesses are making the jump to going paperless. By implementing a paperless workflow, companies can help to save trees, cut costs associated with document storage and printing, as well as reduce energy consumption from printing equipment. Encouraging employees to collaborate and work using digital resources is a big step towards becoming a more sustainable organisation. 
  6. Eco-friendly printing practices

    Sometimes printing documents is just unavoidable. Thankfully, there are ways you can make printing more sustainable. Investing in new energy efficient printers, buying remanufactured ink cartridges and introducing double-sided printing policies can go a long way to reducing the impact your use of paper has on the environment.
  7. Hybrid working schemes for staff

    Implementing a hybrid working scheme is a great way to improve the work/life balance of your staff, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of your business. Giving your staff the opportunity to work from home during the week saves them time and money on the commute, whilst lowering their carbon emissions. Happier employees and a lower impact on the environment, what more could you want?
  8. Water-saving plumbing fixtures

    Low flow toilets, water-saving taps and pressure-reducing valves help minimise water consumption in your building. Businesses can significantly decrease the amount of water they waste by improving the efficiency of their plumbing systems by replacing traditional fixtures with these eco-friendly options, without sacrificing performance or comfort.
  9. Rainwater harvesting system

    Rainwater harvesting systems capture and store rainwater in tanks or cisterns and are a great way to support sustainability in the workplace. This captured water can be used for a variety of purposes such as watering plants, flushing toilets, and cleaning the workplace. Implementing a system like this can limit the strain on public water supplies by reducing water consumption and save the business money on utility bills.
  10. Zero waste communal and break areas

    Workplaces tend to produce a lot of waste, whether this be paper, plastic, food or general rubbish. However, many businesses have adopted a zero waste policy in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Providing reusable mugs and cups to staff, replacing traditional cutlery and stir-sticks with biodegradable alternatives and composting food waste are all great ways to ensure waste is minimised across the workplace.
  11. Office composting

    Does your workplace produce a significant amount of food waste? An office composting scheme can be an effective way of reducing your carbon footprint by encouraging employees to dispose of food scraps in a composting bin. This waste is then collected and added to local composting piles, or converted into fertiliser. Ordinarily this waste would be sent to landfill, contributing to further greenhouse gas emissions. As such, office composting is a useful way of supporting sustainable practice.
  12. No waste cooking

    If the above suggestion isn’t right for your workplace, why not try a root-to-tip no waste policy? You won’t have to worry about your team wasting excessive amounts of food if you can get them onboard with this idea. 

    Root-to-tip cooking involves using every part of an ingredient or dish to minimise food waste. The core idea behind no-waste cooking is making smaller portions and reusing food scraps for another meal rather than throwing them out. It’s not only great for sustainability but can also save money on grocery bills. 
  13. Source office and kitchen supplies from local providers

    Sourcing office and kitchen supplies from local providers not only helps protect the environment, but also strengthens the local economy. Buying items from nearby sources significantly reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. You could also purchase your supplies from local independent businesses which help make your community a better place to live and work. 
  14. Renewable energy solutions

    If possible, getting your workplace’s power from renewable sources is one of the best ways to minimise your carbon footprint. Investing in solar panels, wind turbines or simply buying your energy from a supplier of sustainable energy will help to make your business more eco-friendly. 
  15. Green website hosting

    Green website hosting is often overlooked by businesses trying to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. It involves partnering with web hosting providers that use renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to provide electricity for web servers. This type of hosting is becoming increasingly more popular as it’s not only more cost-effective but is far better for the environment. 
  16. Encourage hybrid meetings

    By allowing people to join a meeting both virtually and in-person this can help reduce people making long and unnecessary journeys that  release greenhouse gases and other air pollutants into the atmosphere. With the right technology, hybrid meetings can be just as engaging as an in-person meeting, allowing you to collaborate effectively with staff and delegates wherever they are in the world. Get in touch with Make Venues today if you are interested in state of the art, sustainable hybrid meeting rooms and facilities.
  17. Commuting schemes

    Commuting schemes are a great way for companies to promote eco-friendly business practices. These schemes offer incentives to employees who choose non-vehicle based modes of transportation such as walking, biking or taking public transportation. 

    By reducing the number of personal vehicles on the road, fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution are released. Commuting schemes provide a great opportunity for employers and employees alike to improve their physical health while decreasing their carbon footprint. By encouraging employees to utilise alternate forms of transportation, employers can show their ongoing commitment towards sustainable business operations in the long term.
  18. Employee car-sharing program

    Promoting car sharing amongst your workforce has a range of benefits for both the business and the environment. They lead to fewer vehicles being on the road, reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion. Car-sharing can also provide employees with practical transportation solutions for their commute. By participating in these programs, companies can demonstrate that sustainability is an integral part of their corporate culture.
  19. Offer incentives for staff to buy hybrid and electric cars

    We understand that this isn’t possible for all businesses, however, this is a great way to promote workplace sustainability for those with the resources. Employees who purchase hybrid or electric vehicles may be eligible for benefits such as reduced insurance rates, lower parking fees and cheaper fuel costs.

    Electric cars obviously need charging so employers should think about installing onsite charging stations. This will make your team far more likely to consider getting an electric or hybrid car. If this isn’t possible, why not offer them a longer lunch break so they can charge their vehicle? Such actions will show employees that the organisation is committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
  20. Offer facilities for those who cycle to work

    Cycling to work is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation. It not only reduces traffic on the roads but also allows commuters to save money on fuel. For those within the organisation who regularly cycle to work, business owners should consider offering facilities that encourage their employees to cycle to work.

    People are far more likely to cycle to work if they have dedicated bike racks to store their bicycle safely. You could also consider installing showers so they can freshen up after their commute. Additionally, businesses could provide discounts on cycling equipment and services. These green initiatives demonstrate a commitment towards sustainable business practices promoting a healthier lifestyle for employees whilst reducing emissions from vehicles in the local area.
  21. Educate employees on the importance of sustainability

    Businesses can develop their team’s understanding of sustainable practices by providing training sessions on topics such as energy efficiency, waste management and water conservation. Educating employees on these things can give them the knowledge to not only be more environmentally friendly in their workplace but also in their own homes. 
  22. Carbon offsetting

    Carbon offsetting is the process of neutralising all carbon emissions admitted by a company over a certain period of time. All of the points discussed in this article can help a business to neutralise the carbon emissions their workplace releases. In essence, offsetting carbon is the main goal of making a commitment to sustainability, with “net zero carbon emissions” being the target for most eco-friendly organisations. 

The Benefits of Sustainability in the Workplace

Businesses know how important it is to do their bit for the environment and there are a huge number of benefits to a sustainable workplace. To summarise, here are some of the key benefits:

  • Reducing negative environmental impact.

  • Minimising unnecessary waste.

  • Improving employee happiness and motivation.

  • Cutting costs by saving power and water.

  • Reputation as an eco-conscious business.

Summary of sustainable business practices for the workplace

  • Switch all lighting to LEDs

  • Motion sensors for lighting

  • Reduce phantom power usage

  • Recycle, recycle, recycle

  • Go paperless

  • Eco-friendly printing practices

  • Hybrid working schemes for staff

  • Water-saving plumbing fixtures

  • Rainwater harvesting system

  • Zero waste communal and break areas

  • Office composting

  • No waste cooking

  • Source office and kitchen supplies from local providers

  • Renewable energy solutions

  • Green website hosting

  • Encourage hybrid meetings

  • Commuting schemes

  • Employee car-sharing program

  • Offer incentives for staff to buy hybrid and electric cars

  • Offer facilities for those who cycle to work

  • Educate employees on the importance of sustainability

  • Carbon offsetting

Make Venues – Sustainable Venue Hire

At Make Venues, we are committed to helping UK businesses find the perfect venue for their meetings, conferences, training days, and corporate events. The venues we offer were responsibly designed with sustainability in mind, striving to minimise our impact on the environment in all ways possible. From energy efficient technology, to “no-waste” initiatives, we are always looking for new ways to improve our practices. 

Contact us today if you are looking for a sustainable venue that aligns with the core values and mission of your business.

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