In the rush to complete our daily tasks, we often fail to assess the impact of the little things we do on the bigger picture. That garden we watered for a little too long or that aircon we pumped when we didn’t really need to could actually have more widespread ramifications than you might think.
Given the worldwide focus on global warming and the well-documented carbon footprint that we as humans create daily, businesses are gradually recognising the need to cut back the excess and implement a culture of sustainability.
Of course it’s easy for NFPs to shirk responsibility when it comes to sustainability – after all, next to the likes of global tech and oil giants the relative carbon contribution is extremely low – but for companies committed to doing good, a sustainable approach to business can have an enormous impact on both culture and bottom line.
So before you dial up that air conditioner or print out countless copies of your next board meeting’s agenda, you might want to take a moment to consider the countless benefits of a sustainable existence, and make a pledge to play your own role (no matter how small) in the resuscitation of our planet.
Not sure where to get started? Here are 5 easy and eco-friendly ways to up sustainability in your office space:
Update your space
There’s no need to revamp your entire office, but with a few simple changes, you can reduce your energy use and preserve natural resources. By installing blinds to create shade instead of pumping the aircon all day long, or widening your windows to allow in more natural light as an alternative to burning lights, you’ll be able to cut back on those electricity bills, and in turn do your bit for the planet.
Encourage your staff to completely shut down before they leave the office. Most modern computers and electrical appliances are equipped with either a stand-by or sleep mode, which still uses small amounts of electricity throughout the night. By turning off your computers and plug points, you will reduce your electrical consumption and save a significant amount of energy in the long run.
Technology has afforded us the simplest way to go green, so encourage your team to use digital forms of communication and record keeping wherever possible. Avoid printing out documents, and opt for digital programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Professional, which will allow you to create, edit and sign digital documents. By creating e-signatures, you eliminate the need to print out lengthy contracts and proposals that may need to be signed. Instead, you can e-sign documents, and send them back for approval without compromising a single tree.
Take the hassle out of recycling by placing dedicated recycling bins in easily accessible spots around the office. Ensure that there’s a paper bin near the printer, and a bin for plastic in the cafeteria. Make sure each bin is clearly labelled and emptied on a regular basis.
Work with other green companies
With many companies acknowledging the need to go green, chances are that there are other businesses in your area also looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. If you want to be seen as a green NPO, you need to do your best to ensure that your affiliates are green too, so make use of eco-friendly suppliers wherever possible so as to further reduce your environmental impact.
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