In recognition of Planet Arc’s National Recycling Week (13 - 19 November 2023), today we’re exploring ways you can integrate environmentally sustainable practices into your workplace and the benefits of doing so.
Examples of environmental sustainability in the workplace
1. Creating sustainable break rooms
Over the last few years, most people have experienced and acclimated to changes in how they buy and consume food - biodegradable wooden utensils, recyclable coffee cups, cardboard packaging, and brown paper bags have largely replaced the single-use plastics of the past. For this reason, making positive changes in your break room or lunch room is a great way to start introducing sustainable practices into your workplace. From replacing disposable plastic cups and utensils with reusable (or at least recyclable) alternatives to composting food scraps, using biodegradable coffee pods and attaching water-saving fixtures - there are plenty of simple ways to make this space more environmentally friendly.
2. Repurposing office E-waste
Did you know that 88% of the combined seven million computers and TVs purchased every year in Australia will end up in landfill? What makes this even more alarming is that 98% of the parts that make up these devices can be recycled. Instead of discarding your e-waste (computer equipment, printers, modems, monitors etc.), consider donating or recycling it. Organisations like Technology for Ageing and Disability WA (TADWA) undertake free data wipes and refurbishments of used computers so they can be re-used to support their community outreach initiatives. At the same time, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water maintains numerous recycling facilities where you can drop off your e-waste for appropriate processing.
3. Encouraging low and zero-carbon commuting
Creating a workplace culture that encourages employees to forgo commuting by car in favour of more environmentally friendly options is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your organisation. From walking, running and cycling to public transport, e-bikes and e-scooters, it’s easier than ever to get to work while avoiding traffic and reducing carbon emissions. Workplaces can support this initiative by providing inviting End of Trip facilities to encourage their employees to adopt new habits.
The benefits of environmental sustainability in the workplace
1. Improved environmental outcomes
The most obvious benefit of implementing environmentally friendly practices in the workplace is the reduction of your organisation’s carbon footprint and contribution to unnecessary waste production. However, this can also yield more immediate benefits for your company’s bottom line, including a reduction in utility bills and a decrease in the costs incurred from frequently re-stocking single-use products.
2. Attract more engaged employees
A 2020 report from Unily found that 65% of employees were more inclined to work for an organisation that demonstrated a meaningful commitment to environmental sustainability. The reasoning for this was multifaceted. For one, these employees believed that an employer who cared about the environment would also care more about their employees, thereby creating a more wholesome work atmosphere. Secondly, they associated an environmentally conscious workplace with more meaningful and satisfying work - many were even willing to work somewhere where they would earn less, provided the workplace prioritised sustainability.
As such, implementing environmental practices in the workplace has the potential to drive employee engagement while also attracting new talent hires who are motivated by the idea of working somewhere sustainable.
3. Signal your environmental commitment to clients and partners
For customers and business partners, there is a growing imperative to make sure they are aligning themselves with organisations and brands that share their values and attitudes around environmental sustainability. In fact, for many of them, it may be the difference between whether or not they choose to purchase from or work with a company in the first place.
In this context, investing in and publicising environmentally friendly practices, both in your workplace and across your operations more broadly, can provide a competitive advantage against other companies that provide comparable (or even superior) products or services but have not developed a comprehensive and visible sustainability program.
Are you looking for an office space where you can nurture a culture of environmental sustainability? We offer a number of facilities to support you in doing so, including our premium End of Trip amenities, which make it easier than ever for your team to commute to work by bike or foot, and our unique CBD green space.
Enquire now about leasing opportunities with Central Park.