Practical sustainability in the workplace
18th February 2019
Incorporating sustainability into your business doesn’t need to be an onerous task, for many organisations it can reap rewards beyond the obvious societal benefits; cost reduction, employee satisfaction, recruitment and brand recognition.
The most dedicated approach to sustainability is to wrap your strategy directly around it. Successful businesses like Silo, have used it as their differentiator in the crowded Brighton restaurant market, giving them an edge and access to a loyal and enthusiastic customer base. Or in Goldfinger Factory’s case, they put sustainability first by sourcing reclaimed wood to construct their bespoke furniture and fit-outs, simultaneously reducing costs, giving their products character, and helping the planet.
However, even if your business is already in full swing, you can still incorporate sustainability without breaking the bank or your business model. The obvious approach is to introduce good reuse and recycling practices and keep a keen eye on your energy consumption, but don’t limit yourself!
Taking some slightly unexpected approaches in the workplace can really resonate with customers and employees who feel like your company has similar values to their own. Not to mention the fact that, actions, even if they seem gratuitous, speak much louder than a policy document that says you should turn the lights off.
Here are a few low-cost, high-value ideas to get you started:
- Gift your company Tosh ecoffee cups - They’re reusable and made of natural materials. You can help cut down on single-use coffee cup waste (Only 1% are recycled!) and support a brilliant company at the same time
- Achieve small economies of scale - Organise a shared Ocado/Amazon Prime ordering process that your team can use to cut-down on the cost and waste of duplicate deliveries
- Mark a shelf in your fridge as a place people can share their “almost past use-by” items from home (Make sure you delegate the task of keeping an eye on this shelf or you might start to wonder why your company loves blue cheese so much)
- Have your customers vote on 1 of 3 sustainability charities when they purchase and split a donation between the three with the “winner” receiving the most. It gives your customer’s more awareness of the company’s charitable endeavours and makes them feel like they’re part of a community.
These ideas are just somewhere to start and there are countless ways you can incorporate sustainability at a strategic level or on a day to day, business as usual basis.
Whether you’re developing a business built on the premise of sustainability, like Silo or Goldfinger Factory, or just figuring out how you can be a little more environmentally friendly for the sake of it - contrary to Kermit’s assertion, it can be easy to be green.
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