These days, a focus on sustainability is becoming an essential criteria for potential members and employees of an organization. A 2016 study by Cone Communications shows that 74% of employees feel more satisfied and fulfilled with their workplace when they are given opportunities to make an environmental and social difference, and other studies reveal that millennial workers would even consider a pay cut to work for a company with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
If you think your organization might need an environmentally friendly makeover, look no further. Here are five tips that will help you go green.
Switch to Online Materials
Small changes make a big difference. Does your organization rely on paper handouts at weekly meetings, pass out newsletters, hang flyers, or send snail mail to members? Consider making the switch to email for routinely scheduled notifications. Besides saving paper, emailing will save you time as well as money. The 2016 Litmus State of Email Report found that 72% of individuals prefer email over other channels of communication.
Encourage Shared Transportation
Start a conversation about commuting to and from the office and events. Encourage carpooling and other forms of shared transportation. If you’re able, provide commuter benefits such as bus passes. This not only makes your organization more environmentally friendly, but also saves your employees from sitting in traffic and spending too much on gas.
When planning conventions, fundraising events, or out of office meetings, think of the location in relation to hotels, restaurants, and entertainment within walking distance to avoid excessive driving.
Recycle and Compost in the Office
Overhaul your office kitchen area and create clearly labeled compost and recycle bins in addition to your normal garbage can. Send an email with a friendly, illustrated reminder of what goes where and consider permanently posting something in the kitchen as a reference point.
Eliminate wasteful paper products and stock your office kitchen with reusable coffee mugs, plates, and silverware. Just make sure everyone does their own dishes!
Consider Office Energy Usage
To cut down on office energy use, set computers to sleep mode when not in use, and turn them off after the day is done. Install lights that will turn on when someone walks in the room and turn off on a timer so that you can keep costs low and save electricity, and utilize natural daylight when possible.
Create Fun Challenges and Competitions
Nothing boosts team morale more than some friendly competition, and when it comes to sustainability, this can give your employees and volunteers some ownership over becoming more environmentally friendly. Create a contest or competition, such as who can collect the most batteries or electronics for recycling, carpool or bike into work the most days in a row, or even come up with the most creative and plausible eco-friendly idea for the office.
Your organization can easily become more sustainable and environmentally friendly by following the aforementioned tips, and brainstorming ideas for going green can even be an excellent team-building exercise!