Being Environmentally Sound at Work

All the eco-friendly measures you put in place at home — energy-efficient appliances and equipment, water-saving and energy conservation devices and strategies, recycling and reusing programs — can translate very effectively to the workplace. Many employers already take action to improve their environmental and social responsibilities. You can encourage this wherever it’s happening and ask for change where it’s not.

Transportation is an area in which the workplace can take an eco-friendly attitude by

  • Reducing the number of company vehicles and going for a smaller, greener fleet.

  • Staggering or changing start and finish times so that workers can get to work outside of morning and evening rush hours, when public transportation and roads aren’t as busy.

    Flexible scheduling and allowing workers to work from home full- or part-time help cut greenhouse gas emissions as well.

  • Encouraging employees to join carpools, bike to work, and use public transportation.

    Employers can reward carpoolers with prime parking places, make biking easy with secure lock-ups and shower facilities, and subsidize the costs of public transit.

Many businesses that don’t embrace green practices simply for their environmental benefits will go green if it saves them money. If your workplace doesn’t have sustainable travel options or incentives in place, ask some of your colleagues to join you in lobbying for them. If you can gather support, go to your manager with a report that outlines the benefits for the company in developing them, such as:

  • Team building: Understanding staff needs (such as public transit incentives) facilitates better relationships between staff and management.

  • Turnover reduction: Adding sustainable options to employee benefit packages enhances the company’s ability to retain and attract staff.

  • Image enhancement: Adopting sustainable approaches helps to boost the company’s image in the community.

  • Expense reduction: Subsidizing employee public transport instead of providing vehicles as part of salary packages can help to reduce company expenses.

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