Resource efficiency specialist Ecosurety drew up the green ‘to-do’ list for service-based companies, but warns the measures should be taken after organisations, particularly those on business parks, have first tackled emissions generated by employee commutes, which it found accounted for over 50% of its own company’s carbon footprint.
The seven ways to green your workspace include:
- Devising a food waste bin for staff lunches etc. It’s preferable for food to go into a compost bin rather than into landfill
- Providing biodegrade teabags. Most cannot biodegrade because the teabag outer doesn’t break down as quickly as everything else
- Asking employees to clean recyclable items going in the recycling bin. Food waste on recyclable material can contaminate the whole bin
- Turning off standby on computer screens and other computer equipment to conserve energy
- Offering local employees a free bus to and from work, and reserving the carpark for visitors and employees travelling long distances
- Installing solar panels onto the roof if the company owns the building
- Planting one large tree for every large customer your company gains; the more the business grows, the more trees can be planted
Robbie Staniforth, commercial manager at Ecosurety, says: “These steps are quite simple, but over a period of time can have a significant cumulative effect. For example, 165 million cups of tea are drunk in the UK every day, but only around 80% of the teabags used do not contain very small amounts of plastic in their construction. Also, if you don’t clean your recyclable material for the bin, the company runs the risk the contents won’t be recycled because of contamination. These little changes we’ve outlined will over time lead to bigger, positive changes for good. What’s more, these habits are relatively easy to stick to once you get used to them.”
Business that are serious about cutting commutes should also offer a range of Co2-busting ideas to ensure as many staff as possible take them up. Ideas include allowing more employees to work from home, to providing incentives for enable staff to use public transport. Another is stipulating a ‘no travel week’ once a month, to reduce annual emissions, and encouraging suppliers and customers to lower their carbon footprint, and create a virtuous circle.
Ecosurety has also devised a travel to work scheme which aims to partner potential commuters inside, but also between organisations, to provide alternative commutes to work. The scheme is open to companies to enable their employees to benefit. For more information see: https://joinmyjourney.org/
What do you do to offer your employees a greener employment space?