With the recognition that some people spend more time at work than in their homes, being part of a healthy, sustainable work environment is important. This type of workplace correlates to happier employees, increased employee productivity and fewer work-related illnesses, which helps companies achieve better profitability.
The Benefits of a Sustainable Workplace
To achieve a sustainable workplace, companies need to consider both the needs of the workplace and the needs of the company. A growing number of companies understand that a sustainable workplace is beneficial and profitable for long-term improvement. Energy efficient fluorescent lighting or setting up skylights lowers electricity bills. Healthier food choices in the cafeteria increases employee productivity due to improved energy levels and fewer sick days.
Increased market value, improved talent recruitment and retention, greater consumer confidence, increased income/profit/productivity, and developed economic activity are all benefits of a sustainable workplace. These benefits prove that building a sustainable workplace has its advantage, both for the company and for the employees.
Concepts in Building a Sustainable Workplace
Following are some ways that you can begin to build a sustainable workplace:
Healthier food options give employees enhanced energy levels for work productivity. In addition, encourage cafeteria personnel to substitute plastic and Styrofoam containers with reusable dishware to help the company and the environment.
In person meetings require resources such as gasoline, water and electricity. Web conferences can be more resource-efficient, as travel is not necessary.
Reduce your electric bill through regular cleaning and maintenance of office machinery. Replacing old appliances and machineries with newer, more energy-efficient models can also help.
Take time to assess what materials are truly needed in the office. When possible, buy second-hand, energy-efficient office equipment that is still in good condition.
Wellness can be incorporated in a sustainable workplace so that healthy employees are a part of your sustainable work environment. Suggest exercise programs and implement a no-smoking policy to help achieve a healthy lifestyle in the office.
Sustainable Supply Chain
Identify inefficient processes, choose suppliers with sustainability as a criterion and use sustainable raw materials to help improve your supply chain.
Sustainability Leads to Success
Creating a sustainable workplace should be considered an investment that will save companies in the long run. Successful companies are forward-thinkers—innovation and improvement are their key points for investing in sustainable workplaces.
FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) helps organizations recognize business drivers for sustainability practices and offers cost-effective sustainability management solutions. FCS provides guidance on industry best practices and can help you with your sustainability programs. For more information on other sustainability solutions, read this article from our monthly newsletter, GreenWatch.