A good way to improve employee awareness of “good-practice” towards saving energy and helping contribute to a healthy work environment is to designate a green leader(s) at work. While there is much debate over recycling and other aspects of environmentalism, a green leader can help motivate employees who want to make a difference in their work environment. We are becoming increasingly aware of the need to make a difference in the global environment, so a green work initiative is a great place to start.
A green leader can encourage others to save energy and time, keep trash out of landfills, opt for reusable dishes, and share books in the office. They could hold regular meetings to brainstorm and develop ideas.
Some such methods of environmental “good-practice” at work include:
- Keeping a fixed room temperature.
- Experiment, because employees have to be comfortable, but use air conditioning with discretion during warm weather months.
- Turn off your office lights while you attend meetings during the day and at night and over the weekend.
- Limit the use of space heaters. Ask employees to dress more warmly instead. Space heaters can also become hazardous especially if employees forget to turn them off.
- Recycle cans, bottles, newspapers, and magazines.
- Limit the use of disposable products at company-supplied lunches and events.
- Put your computer and printer on energy-saving settings when you know you’ll be away from your desk for a while.
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances for your offices.
- Turn lights off in restrooms, conference rooms, libraries, and so forth when the room is not in use.
- Send extra food from company events and lunches home with employees or deliver the food to a local charity rather than throwing it away.
- Email advisories about how employees can use less paper. Examples include setting printers to duplex by default; print on both sides of paper for internal or personal use documents.
- Purchase large or refillable containers of creamer, sugar, salt, pepper, and butter instead of individual containers.
- Suggest lighting changes and use more energy-efficient bulbs.
- Provide or encourage employees to bring work blankets.
- Evaluate packaging, shipping, and marketing materials to eliminate waste.
- Ask vendors who supply company lunches not to deliver lunches in individual boxes.
- Encourage employee carpools. Provide transit discounts to encourage public transportation use.
- Encourage employees to recycle at home.
Having a green leader is a win for the employer, the employees, and the world environment that sustains us all. These ideas can help a green leader get started. They will be a welcome addition when creating an empowering, engaging work environment for employees, and will emphasise your corporate social responsibility.