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You only have to read the news each day to understand the importance of becoming more sustainable. We are seeing the impact on our planet and how unsustainability has caused numerous problems. The government has implemented certain targets that they want to meet and to achieve this, they need us all to play a part. What this means is that changes have to be made in the workplace and now is as good a time as ever to make a change. 

So, in this article, you will find a number of useful tips that can help your business to become more sustainable.

Develop a sustainable strategy or policy

If you want to make a change then a sustainable strategy or policy will provide clarity and enable you to demonstrate how your business will change. It will inform staff of what is expected of them and how you plan to implement changes. This might cover how you plan to change the fuel you use, how you plan to purchase from other companies that are sustainable and what staff should do. Overall, the strategy will make it simple to adopt these changes and make changes as you move forward, giving you a clear path to a more sustainable future.

The aim is to create a blueprint that your business can turn to when making decisions on sustainability and what goals you want to achieve. This strategy or policy can change as you see fit but by having one in place, it is proof that you are making strides in the right direction.

Focus on using green energy

There is no denying that change is coming when it comes to fuel. You only have to look at households and the plan to ban gas boilers in the near future. So, it is fair to say that businesses are going to have to do the same as well. What this means is that now is the perfect time to consider your options and look at renewable energy. The prices are lower and they are more sustainable as you have options such as solar energy, wind energy and even different heat pumps to choose from. 

The good news is that technology is evolving rapidly which means that it is becoming even easier to switch to green energy. It might seem daunting to make the switch but the benefits are immense and you will see a significant improvement in energy costs and sustainability.

Reduce electricity consumption

It is quite surprising how much electricity a business will use and yours will be the same. Whether it’s using artificial lighting all day during the winter months, leaving computers in standby mode or using air conditioning, it all uses significant amounts of electricity. While it can prove difficult to reduce electricity, it is possible. You can install new lighting on timers so that lights are turned off after certain periods of time while you can encourage staff to make sure they shut their computers down at the end of the day. Furthermore, you can change appliances to energy-efficient appliances and make sure that you do everything possible to reduce your electricity consumption. The less energy you use, the lower your carbon footprint will be and that is the main goal of becoming more sustainable. While some of the changes might seem small, collectively they can all make a difference.

Promote better water conservation

While people automatically think about electricity and energy when it comes to sustainability, it is important to think of the bigger picture. This is where water can also play a part because we use way too much water on a global scale when there is no need to do so. In the workplace, depending on what you do, you might be able to implement big changes but in general, you should make sure that you have water efficient taps in place as well as taps that automatically shut off. You might also want to make sure that staff only use the water that they need to ensure it is not wasted while you can install water efficient toilets with eco-flushes. Again, what might seem like small changes are actually bigger than we might think which is why it is important for everyone to play their part.

Implement green office best practices

There will be some members of staff who are not quite sure about what they need to do in order to be sustainable so it can help to give them some guidance. You could issue all members of staff with a checklist of the things they can do to be greener. It can involve ensuring they recycle their waste correctly in the workplace, print less, use less paper, turn their computers off and make sure that lighting is only used when needed. These best practices are easy to follow and can help to give employees an insight into what is expected of them or what they can do to help make a change.

Promote greener commute

How people get to the workplace is also having an impact on the environment, especially when they are travelling in cars that emit greenhouse gases. There are many things that you can do to promote a greener commute because there are many schemes that you can take advantage of. You can help employees to access bike-purchasing schemes or encourage them to share lifts where possible. In addition, you could also choose to install electric vehicle charging points that staff can use to charge their vehicle. Furthermore, you might choose to allow staff to work from home one or two days a week to reduce the amount they commute. The good news is that there are options available, so it makes sense to take advantage of them.

Switch to a paperless office

It seems all too easy to hit the print button and grab your sheet of paper from the printer only for it to be filed away or simply thrown in the bin. We now live in a digital world where we can do everything from our devices so is there any need to use paper at all? Documents can be shared and accessed electronically and reports can be generated electronically too. Along with this, you can also ask suppliers to send invoices electronically and then store them on a secure system. 

Ultimately, the majority of the paper we use can be used electronically instead because the tools and software are readily available.

Source sustainable food and supplies

Food has a huge impact on the planet from a sustainability perspective. From farming to production and transport, there is a lot involved in the food chain and all of that has an impact on our planet. If you have catering for meetings, you can try and order less to reduce waste and perhaps you can choose foods that are organic or free range. Also, you might want to think about the packaging that food comes in and the suppliers that you use. If you use suppliers that are also considerate about the environment then you can make a big difference. 

Reduce the business carbon footprint

There are many things that add to your carbon footprint and that can include what you recycle to how much electricity you use and how your employees travel. However, what this means is that there are many things you can do to reduce your business carbon footprint. You can encourage staff to hold more meetings online instead of travelling and you can do all you can to save energy in many ways such as using alternative energy sources and being more mindful about how energy is used.

Reduce usage of single use plastics

Single use plastic is a real problem as much of it ends up in the ocean and even into food chains. It also takes hundreds of years for plastic to break down which means that it continues to pollute way into the future. So, you should focus on using plastics that can be recycled where possible and even look at alternatives. Essentially, there is a lot that you can do to ensure that you avoid using single use plastics. From offering staff metal water bottles that can be reused to ensuring you use materials that can be broken down easily when disposed of. 

The workplace can contribute significantly to the problems that our planet is facing but if you take the time to make the right changes, you will soon find that a sustainable workplace is easy to achieve.

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