Making the office a greener operation will only transform the workplace into a better functioning one overall
By Jakob Barry, Contributing Writer
First impressions last, which is why going green can be an important step for companies big or small hoping to attract more attention and in turn increased business. It wouldn’t mean taking on the mantle of environmental activism but simply upholding certain ideals that are directly related to improving their interaction with the environment.
Doing so is a positive step which won’t go unnoticed and in fact, when a business has succeeded in moving towards instilling green-minded acts as a natural part of its growth it will certainly draw interest. If this is marketed well and the picture matches the facts it can only mean good things for everyone involved.
Some may cry foul, saying this kind of environmentalism isn’t authentic but the fact a company has moved in this direction leaves room for cautious optimism that whatever the reason, it is a worthwhile effort. In the end the result can be a tighter ship which not only goes green but saves overhead along the way.
Nevertheless, while employees are focused on their jobs they have little time for anything else. For this reason success in this endeavour depends on how much of a push there is from the top down to provide the tools for making a greener business a reality.
Paving the way towards greener horizons starts from the top. Administratively the company has to look at itself and decide what areas are environmentally unfriendly and how that can be changed. After all, when the leadership takes control it’s only natural for everyone else to follow.
Where’s a good place to begin? Start with reviewing production.
- Does the process need to be altered so it produces less pollution and waste?
- Are there chemical ingredients used during production which can be swapped for more environmentally friendly ones?
- Do regulations for waste disposal match green standards or should disposal be carried out in a more environmentally friendly way?
- Is production as efficient as it could be or is it using too many resources?
This assessment may take some time and effort but since the production process of many companies is what impacts the environment most such a critical survey for going green is necessary.
The production process is one thing; routine office utility usage is another. The key word when discussing utilities and going green is efficiency and the focus is mainly on electricity, water, heat and air-conditioning:
- Is the company using compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) which not only slashes bills but lowers the amount of wattage and the pollution produced by power companies?
- Are electronic devices which are turned off overnight plugged into power strips so they may be turned off easily?
- Are there water flow regulators on faucets so water doesn’t shoot out too fast?
- Do heating and air-conditioning systems received regular maintenance checks?
- Have drafts been sealed around windows and doors to prevent indoor air from escaping and heating and air-conditioning systems from working overtime to keep a set temperature?
Once the answers to these questions are determined it sets the company on course to making similar decisions elsewhere.
While production and efficiency related to utilities is very much an issue for the company administration, regular employees are the ones keeping everything going. For this to happen they need to drink, eat, order out, print out, and more which means a system needs to be implemented so all these little things are covered with a shade of green.
The best way to go about this without infringing on personal rights in the workplace is to try some of the following:
- Make reusable tableware such as forks, spoons, knives, plates, and cups available.
- Set up recycling stations for paper, plastic, and glass and give incentives for remembering to recycle.
- Have eco-friendly cleansers and dish washing soap instead of chemical cleaners.
At the end of the day none of this should hinder employee’s work. On the contrary, improving production, better efficiency, and giving staff the tools to making the office a greener operation will only transform the workplace into a better functioning one overall.
Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He blogs about green topics for remodeling contractors across the U.S.
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