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Going Green in the Workplace
Whether you view an eco-friendly workplace as a must-have or simply nice to have, green practices help to set a welcoming and healthy tone to the workplace.
According to the Green Business Bureau website, companies that promote a healthier workplace report a 20% decrease in the number of sick days used by employees. This benefits companies through increased productivity and less money paid out in medical benefits.
Day to day, most people want to do the right thing by practicing the three R’s – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. So why should being away from home be any different? Showing respect for the environment also shows you care about the quality of your workplace. Make recycling easy by considering a few ideas:
- Recycling used paper, bottles and cans is perhaps the most common green initiative utilized by businesses. Paper recycling diverts waste away from landfills and spares the destruction of trees for paper production. The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year. More importantly, a paper recycling program can also prompt employees to make note of their paper use, thus saving the company money, and get employees in the habit of using electronic communications and documents as a less-costly and more environmentally-friendly option.
- Small changes, like turning off the lights when they are not needed, goes a long way. Ask staff to get in the habit of turning off lights and equipment when leaving a conference room or an office. Make it a habit to turn off your computer and the power strip when you leave for the day. (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn’t need to be on to run backups or other maintenance.) During the day, set your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks, which can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, even screen savers use energy!
- Use real plates, cups, silverware, and napkins instead of disposables, not just for meals, but also for coffee, water and snack breaks.
Every group is different, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how green your workplace should be. On the other hand, there’s practically no limit to how green it could be.
Working for a company with heart is a powerful motivator for employees. And high morale means a boost to productivity, loyalty, and innovation.
Why don’t you give GOING GREEN a try at your Company?