9 Ways To Fight Climate Change in the Workplace
Posted February 18, 2020, by Elesha
Be a change agent for sustainability at work! These 9 ways to fight climate change in the workplace include small, easy habit changes plus big, whole office transformations that all make a positive difference to the health of our planet.
Cut Single-Use Plastics Out
Single-use plastic is causing environmental carnage.
Items like cups, coffee stirrers, and plastic cutlery get tossed in the bin after just one use and end up in landfill or finding their way into oceans and rivers.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean and is three times the size of France. It shows the terrifying impact plastic has on our environment, especially the single-use kind.
Start in your workplace kitchen and common area swapping any single-use items, like plastic cups or coffee stirrers for reusable versions.
Coffee is an office staple – could we even get through a workday without it?! However, the single-use coffee capsules aren’t doing the environment any favours. Although they can be recycled, all too often they are thrown out with the usual rubbish and end up as landfill. A drip brewer is a more eco-friendly alternative.
Try stocking up your kitchen with essentials like tomato and BBQ sauce to avoid colleagues picking up small squeezies while they’re out for lunch…. We’ve even got bottles of soy sauce here for all our sushi lovers.
Invest In Office Equipment With An Eco-Friendly Energy Rating
Buying or leasing the right office equipment is an effective way to reduce climate change in the workplace.
Visit the business section of the Australian Government’s website dedicated to energy for a guide on how to conduct an energy assessment of your current office equipment.
Even if you’re not the one to give the final OK to purchasing new office equipment, you can certainly do your part to make it happen!
Put some time into researching more energy-efficient alternatives to equipment like the photocopier, office fridge, etc.
Collate your findings into a proposal on how the office can tackle climate change by reducing energy consumption and present it to whoever is in charge of purchasing/maintaining equipment.
Also encouraging everyone to switch off their computers each afternoon when they head of is a huge energy saver, not to mention the wonders it’ll do for your electricity bill.
Champion A Paperless Office Movement
It’s no small feat for an office to go entirely paperless but this change can have a huge impact when it comes to fighting climate change in the workplace.
With today’s technology, it’s definitely easier than it has been in the past for an office to transform into a paperless workplace.
Set goals for incremental change over time with a process that can be tackled step by step to include –
- Devising a new paperless filing system
- Removing photocopiers and printers
- Enabling digital scanners
If the office can’t go entirely paperless, make more conscious decisions about the paper that is being used. Rather than the super bleached white paper, opt for natural recycled paper which in addition to environmental benefits will save money too.
These small changes can really add up to fight climate change in the workplace!
Swap To Sustainable Suppliers With An Eco-Friendly Misson
Every office outsources some, or a lot, of business activities – whether it’s catering for the weekly staff meeting, hiring event spaces or having marketing materials produced.
Review current suppliers and research if there are more sustainable options out there, for example, a catering company who only uses fully biodegradable or reusable serving utensils, office tissues and toilet paper that are made from recycled materials, or a marketing company who provides a service to collect and recycle old marketing materials.
Have A Clear Recycling System In Place
This is eco-friendly office 101; having a proper recycling system in place.
Make sure recycling bins marked as to what belongs where – and it doesn’t just end with paper – plenty of other waste items in your office can be diverted from landfill.
Businesses can recycle electronics, cardboard, plastics and even set up a sealed compost container in the workplace kitchen for food scraps and coffee grinds to be disposed of separately.
Keep bins in each main office area to make it easier for staff to recycle rather than just dropping it into the usual garbage bin.
Gift Employees With Litter-Less Lunch Kits
This is a fun and practical way to fight climate change in the workplace! Give each employee their own sustainable lunch kit – a high-quality, reusable container for meals.
This encourages people to bring their lunch in the containers rather than using plastic wrap, single-use sandwich bags, etc.
A reusable coffee cup, like a Keep Cup, is a good idea for each team member too. We’re all about a bit of shamless self-promotion so why not throw your company logo on there.
Both the lunch kits and coffee cups could be included as part of the welcome pack for each new employee.
Host A ‘Lunch And Learn’ Session With A Documentary Climate Change
You can inspire your colleges to join your quest for implementing climate change solutions in the office by hosting a lunch and learn day focused on climate change.
If you’re not the boss calling the shots, ask your manager if you can use the conference room to play a documentary, invite everyone to bring their own lunch (with their litter-less lunch kits of course!) and get your team inspired to reduce climate change together.
Here’s a list of climate change documentaries to get you started.
Make Carpooling Cool!
Cars emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which are some of the major causes of global warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which causes temperatures to rise little by little around the world each year.
Cut out the number of cars rolling into work each day by organising a carpool – basically a few people grabbing a ride to and from work together.
Put the idea out there at your next team meeting to gauge interest then use a carpool app like KARPUDDLE to organise the schedule for everyone to access and sign up to drive.
Putting together some well-documented guidelines first will also reduce any carpool confusion and get clear on how drivers will be reimbursed.
Organise A Team Event On World Environment Day – June 5
Did you know June 5 is World Environment Day?
This is a great opportunity to organise a team-building exercise (that isn’t lame!) focused on raising awareness about climate change in the workplace.