All You Need To Know About Sustainability In The Workplace

Source: geralt; Pixabay

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Source: geralt; Pixabay

Source: geralt; Pixabay

Going green. It’s a topic many people are concerned about nowadays. From recycling to driving hybrid or electric cars, we find ways to make our lives more environmentally friendly. But that’s at home. What about in our businesses?

Chances are even if you make an effort to incorporate environmental sustainability in your personal life, it might not be part of your professional life. A 2015 survey from Cox Conserves found that while 62 percent of business decision makers make green choices at home, only 45 percent do at the office.

That means many employers are missing a huge opportunity to improve their company. Even if you’re not overly going into the eco-friendly movement, there are a lot of benefits you can reap by incorporating environmental sustainability into your business model.

Here are three benefits that come along with being a greener company:

Easier recruitment

Many Millennials grew up learning about environmental sustainability. They understand the importance of making more responsible choices. And that includes employment choices.

The 2016 Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index found that 73 percent of workers say they consider how green a company is before deciding to work there. Initiating environmentally conscious programs at your company create a big recruiting advantage.

Include information about what you company is doing to be more sustainable on your career page and feature your efforts during the hiring process. Talk with job seekers about why you make the decisions you do and why being green was important. Seeing you care about the state of the world will be a draw for many candidates, especially young ones.

Social reputation

We all know how much a company’s name can be tarnished when it’s revealed that they pollute heavily or make irresponsible social choices. Luckily, however, when a company focuses on environmental sustainability it improves their reputation. People relate to and appreciate their efforts and are more likely to support the company.

A 2015 Nielsen survey found that 45 percent of global consumers said knowing a company is environmentally friendly is a key factor in their decision to purchase its products or service. Your company’s social responsibility can not only help you get more customers, but more loyal ones that keep coming back.

Higher revenue

For many business leaders, they are worried about going green because they assume the more responsible choices mean extra costs their company can’t afford. So instead of purchasing recycled paper or energy efficient equipment they stick with what they know. But the truth is, in the long-term, environmental sustainability is correlated with making more money.

The aforementioned Cox Conserves survey found that 89 percent of companies with more than 100 million dollars in revenue also practice sustainability. Not to mention that of the companies that made green choices, 46 percent said lower utility costs was one of the biggest benefits.

So yes, it might seem like you’re spending more in the beginning but the long-term savings — plus the bigger customer base — will keep the money flowing in.

Options to adopt

Now that you see additional pros of environmental sustainability, what options are best for your company? Here are some small, but important initiatives you can start:

Recycling

Chances are, you’ve got a recycling bin for paper or aluminum cans in your office somewhere. But there are always more opportunities to recycle your resources. A big one that many companies don’t think of is electronics. In most cases most computers, phones, and printers can be recycled, which makes a big environmental impact.

Going paperless

Think about all the files, invoices, and documents it takes to run a business. If you haven’t yet gone paperless with the majority of things, that’s a lot of wasted trees. And in this day and age of cloud storage there’s really no reason why you can’t make everything from your billing to your payroll paperless.

Energy efficient equipment

There are very few pieces of equipment that don’t have a more energy efficient option. Whether it’s the light bulbs you use or the old microwave in the break room, there are a hundred things you could replace with newer models that use less electricity. For bigger pieces of equipment, the government sometimes offers subsidies for the purchase so do research on those requirements to find out more information.

What are some other ways for companies to practice environmental sustainability? Share in the comments below?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.