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Uphold the Green Standard in Your Office

2 April 2019 - 12:00am

Uphold the Green Standard in Your Office

 

Consumers are now becoming more actively involved in participating to mitigate various environmental risks that the world is facing today.

 

The clamor to join the “Go Green” environmental initiative seems to be gaining significant traction among consumers whose socio-civic beliefs make them more environmentally-conscious.

 

This is why it is not surprising to see that organizations are also starting to follow suit. Businesses are already beginning to see that going green is simply good for business.

 

Organizations are now feeling the pressure to be fully transparent when it comes to their environmental sustainability practices. Due to this, major corporations worldwide have been raising the bar higher in terms of meeting consumer expectations on environmental initiatives and sustainability.

 

 

Why going green is good for business

 

Managing an organization’s energy, natural resources, and waste will create a significant effect on its long-term environmental performance. Going green now has started to become an essential formula to ensure an organization’s staying power in the industry.

 

An empirical study conducted by Harvard's Future Business Council showed that organizations with higher levels of sustainability and environmental performance create more value for their shareholders and stakeholders. These organizations are gaining a more competitive advantage since they are continuously attracting and keeping more committed employees and loyal customers.

 

As long as businesses continue to meet consumer expectations on responsible environmental sustainability practices, their credibility and reputation will also continue to increase. Sustainable organizations also help in the conservation of the earth’s natural resources through their environmental advocacies and sustainability programs. Companies are now leveraging environmental sustainability to improve business performance, reputation, and ultimately profits.

 

 

How major companies incorporate green office solutions into their business strategy

 

To meet the ongoing demands and changing needs of their key stakeholders, retail organizations are making a conscious effort to be more environmentally sustainable by adopting several green office solutions. Some of these environmental sustainability programs are efforts to explore cost-saving opportunities and enhance workforce commitment, reduce energy, greenhouse gases, and chemical wastes.

 

  • Siemens, the German industrial conglomerate whose businesses range from power plants to medical imaging machines, is also a top ranking corporation in terms of sustainability. It is the most energy-efficient firm in its sector, has a low carbon footprint and low employee turnover. Siemens dedicated its growing portion of its business to creating environmentally friendly infrastructure, with products like green heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Hewlett-Packard is a pioneer in greenhouse gas emissions reduction. HP was also one of the first companies to have reported its greenhouse gas emissions. The company committed to cutting back on using toxic substances in its products. HP invested heavily in reducing wastes going to landfill through an extensive recycling program.
  • Google is not only popular for its cool work culture, but is also another leader in embracing a greener future with its green supply chain management practices and environmental sustainability. Google uses renewable energy sources, hosts farmers' markets, sponsors sustainable cooking seminars, and brings goats to trim grass. Embedded in its work culture is its advocacy to champion environmental sustainability, staying true to its reputation as one of the world's most forward thinking companies.
  • Ricoh is a known Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company which champions environmental sustainability on four areas: energy conservation and prevention of global warming, resource conservation and recycling, pollution prevention, and biodiversity conservation. Due to its commitment to green initiatives, Ricoh is 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. This award comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which recognizes Ricoh’s work to foster environmental sustainability. Ricoh also committed to reducing the total lifecycle CO2 emissions of the Ricoh Group by 30 percent by 2020 and by 87.5 percent by 2050.
  • Adidas has been selected to join the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the 18th consecutive year. The DJSI is the world's first global s bottom global sustainability index family tracking the performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. In the “Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods Industry”, Adidas was rated industry best in nine criteria including supply chain management, impact measurement and valuation, and environmental policy and management system. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices.

 

 

How to embrace the green office strategy for your organization

 

The companies mentioned above are just some of the big global brands that have successfully implemented their environmental sustainability programs. These green giants are currently reaping the benefits of their efforts in doing what some might call an impossible feat – making profits on a sustainable business.

 

How can your organization emulate these companies and launch their own green office solutions? Upon observing the green office strategy from some top companies by sustainability expert Adam Siegel from RILA, here’s a summary of their efforts into a five-step methodology:

 

  1. Review your company’s position on the go green initiative.

     

    Organizations need to start their own green initiative by analyzing the globally-pressing social, environmental and ethical issues first. Doing so will make the green agenda holistic as it aims to springboard the assessment of the company’s strengths by finding the best course of action to address any or most of these concerns.

  2. Meet with internal stakeholders.

     

    Integrate your plan by involving internal stakeholders and key influencers who will support the execution of the programs that are geared toward environmental sustainability. Companies need to get the support of its internal stakeholders from the get-go. Key influencers from different departments inside the organization can work closely with the management team so that they can help not only with responsibility-sharing but also with communication-cascading.

  3. Create and embrace your green strategy.

     

    Once organizational members have plotted out the company’s environmental sustainability agenda, they can now craft sustainability strategies that can be molded together with the goals and objectives of the company. These sustainability strategies can not only create positive environmental impacts but it will also set a holistic vision for the long-term.

  4. Execute and evaluate your green strategy.

     

    Project execution of an organization’s green strategy is a continuous process and therefore, requires proactive management and monitoring. Management can monitor the progress by using both formal and informal mechanisms to gather feedback and new ideas. Some companies use intranets, employee blogs, forums, or interest groups to engage and collaborate with employees throughout the organization. These channels, whether formal or informal, can surprisingly spur new ideas to expand and continuously excite employees for sustainability programs.

  5. Report back progressively.

     

    Encourage constant engagement by keeping all stakeholders informed. Maximize corporate communication tools and mechanisms to “keep the clamor for the green initiative burning” by encouraging everyone’s active involvement.

 

 

Are you ready to try out the green office solutions in your organization?

 

Integrating green office solutions in the business may sound a little daunting and time-consuming. However, businesses can always start small and build their way up towards achieving a sustainability agenda. Even individual member of the organization can make great strides in the pursuit of an eco-friendly environment. Changing practices even on the individual level will make a big difference. Here’s how:

 

  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs in your office cubicle.

     

    By upgrading your office light bulbs to LEDs, the office can immediately reap the benefits of energy-efficient lighting. LED lights can be treated as a long-term investment for the office as it can last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent light bulbs.

  • Think before you print.

     

    By asking yourself twice if you really need to have a physical copy of some of your office documents before printing them can eventually curb the amount of paper consumption in the office. Simple ways such as emailing inter-office memos instead of posting them on bulletin boards or printing double-sided copies of your documents can go a long way.

  • Go green and recycle!

     

    By committing yourself in following the rules of office recycling, these small steps can make a huge difference in the long run. Businesses can reduce the frequency of garbage collection if they divert waste from garbage bins by switching to recycling bins. Employees just need to be motivated to follow the right methods of garbage disposal.

  • Source sustainable office supplies and furniture.

     

    By using office supplies that are made from recycled materials or buying ecologically-friendly products, the office will not only reduce its operational costs but it will also set a precedent that employees can follow and emulate. Your organization can also take the initiative to look for refurbished and remanufactured office merchandise and slowly convert the office space into an eco-friendly environment.

  • Keep the clutter minimal.

     

    By simply adhering to the mantra of “doing more with less,” the office will have significantly less clutter in every employee’s workstation. Keep in mind that you don’t really need different sets of pad papers, sticky notes, notebooks, pens, tapes, and staplers; you just need one of each. Doing this will help the office remain neat and tidy so that the clutter will be kept at a minimum.

 

 

 

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