22.04.2020

Prioritizing sustainability in the workplace

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As the world celebrates the 50th Earth Day, it is a perfect time to take a look into sustainability in workplaces. What makes an office sustainable and planet-friendly? How could we all do our part to be a bit greener at our daily jobs?

Sustainable workplace aims to balance the planet, people, and profit to produce success and viability in the long-term. Sustainability at workplaces is undoubtedly not just a hype. It means an attentional effort to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of employees. Let’s look at the opportunities to incorporate sustainability into our daily work life. 

Use natural light as much as possible
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The World Green Building Council reports that employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. So, adjusting to natural light seems a good step for individuals and for the planet. “Natural light sets the body’s circadian rhythms, which control awakening, falling asleep, synthesizing vitamin D and digestion,” said Jennifer Walton, principal of H. Hendy Associates. “Indoor light, however, is a major disruptor.”

Relying more on natural light is a great energy saver. Also, all the lighting fixtures could be replaced with energy-saving LEDs, as in Workland coworking centres. Workstations placement in the centres is designed to benefit from natural sunlight during the day as much as possible. 

Sharing is caring
Workland Maakri kitchen

Every office needs some essentials besides the laptops and desks. From time to time we need to use a printer, want a cup of coffee, need a place to keep our lunch, a room to hold meetings or take a break etc. Coworking centres work on a shared economy principle, so every business operating in the centre could benefit the equipment available. It means that a company does not have to have their own printers and coffee makers nor even their own furniture. The common areas – kitchens and meeting rooms – and other things needed in the office are shared with all the members, which altogether is sustainable and also cost-beneficial for businesses.

Set standards with suppliers

Most of the businesses are involved in various supply chains, and those should be audited for environmental impact. If a sustainable business is your goal, make it a deciding factor when choosing suppliers and vendors. For example, buy laptops that are repairable, upgradeable or engage with cafeteria food-service vendors that offer compostable packaging. When making your workplace cleaner, your business and the planet will only increase over time.

Ditch the single-use products
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How much single-use plastic or packaging do you use in one day? Swap out those plastic cups or water bottles and instead bring in a reusable water bottle. Also, consider how do you pack your lunch? Maybe there are some more sustainable alternatives? 

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Be mindful about things you don’t use anymore by recycling them. Many businesses are looking into ways to recycle the daily waste starting from plastic or carton lunch boxes to biodegradable left-overs etc. To support the sustainability goal, it is essential to form a habit to recycle.

But don’t stop just there. Consider how you can reuse old folders and notebooks or maybe you could be taking notes on the other side of the page – it will help the environment and also saves money. 

Bring in the greenery

Greenery in the office will have more than one benefit. TechRepublic advises bringing plants to the workplace as they will improve indoor air quality and bring some nature into the office environment. Also, plants produce more oxygen and make a cleaner, happier place for people to work in.

Encourage green commuting

For reducing the ecological footprint travels should be brought as low as possible. It could mean working from home from time to time or from a coworking centre close by. The coworking centres are designed to have a substantial impact on productivity compared to working from home. Also, there are several video conferencing tools available, that allow saving time and budgets as well as carbon footprint. 

When it comes to taking care of our planet, every small step at our homes and offices makes a difference. Greener office is a better working place for everyone, so why shouldn’t we all actively contribute to the cause. We can do it! 

To find out your personal ecological footprint, visit https://www.footprintcalculator.org/ and take a moment to consider what steps to take to reduce it.