The growth of technology over the past years has helped immensely in transforming the way we live and work. Companies all over the world are using innovative ways to successfully provide their services and products. Even though the quality of life is continuously improving, pressing environmental concerns are looming over everyone around the globe. Issues like climate change and pollution are becoming more and more evident throughout the years.
Because of the escalation of these problems, solutions are no longer only in the hands of individuals. Companies are now expected to do their part by adopting green practices in their offices.
Sustainability and Its Importance
In simple terms, sustainability is the effort to fulfill the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of the generations to come.¹ It is the act of ensuring economic growth while still maintaining the state of the world.
As stated by the United States Department of Labor, green organizations strive to create sustainability-related decisions which can affect three major aspects: their people, their profit, and the environment.² Promoting and supporting sustainability can be beneficial to your organization.
For your people
Some employers think that sustainability efforts affect only the people with purchasing power but that’s not the case. The effort your company exerts for sustainability is also directly related to the acquisition and retention of your employees.
Research conducted globally found that employees do, in fact, care about sustainability. In the U.S. alone, 41 percent of office workers claim that they will refuse an offer if the sustainability values of the company did not align with theirs.³
Showing you care about implementing sustainability also shows how you value the well-being of both the current and future generations.
For your profit
Your consumers choose products and services based on more than just their needs. According to Business Wire, customers see themselves as agents of change and they make purchasing decisions based on that point of view. This means eco-friendlier practices in your company can result in higher profits.
In the global market, 85 percent of people said that they shifted their purchase behavior in order to become greener in the past five years. Meanwhile, 55 percent of U.S. consumers claimed that they’ve made modest to major changes in how they choose what products to buy.⁴
This proves that exerting effort to have an eco-friendlier company can attract more clients. which translates to a more successful business.
For your environment
The main purpose of choosing sustainable options is to take care of the global environment for the future population. Adopting practices like promoting zero-waste in the office can go a long way toward reducing your company’s negative impact on the environment.
Aside from increasing employee retention and industry profit, you are also taking part in conserving your surroundings for other people to experience.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a big company or a start-up. Every action taken contributes positively to the main environmental issues and concerns everyone on Earth faces.
Technology and Sustainability
There are many sustainable practices being implemented in different industries. Some are grand, full-scale plans that involve company-wide programs. Others are small-scale decisions that still have a positive effect on the environment.
For example, did you ever wonder why office walls are usually light-colored? Why do most offices have actual plants all over the place? Light colors reflect most visible wavelengths, making them absorb less heat than dark ones. On the other hand, plants have been proven by NASA to have the ability to clean closed environments like small rooms or chambers.⁵ These two options lead to less use of cooling systems and eventually less carbon emissions.
Now that industries are evolving, the need for these efforts increases. Keeping a plant alive in the office is no longer enough to sustain the environment. If you want to do your part in meeting the sustainability goals of your company, you need to keep up by using one of the best innovations in the world: Technology.
5 tech-enabled sustainability practices you can adopt in your company.
1. Conserve energy.
One of the most simple and straightforward sustainability initiatives is to turn off all utilities and equipment that are not in use. To do so efficiently, consider automating simple chores like turning the lights off.
For example, employees sometimes forget to turn off lights when leaving rooms, especially in communal places like shared office spaces. To remedy this, you can consider installing motion sensors. Ensuring that utilities are turned off when not needed can save energy your company consumes.
Another way to conserve energy is by using programmable power strips to prevent phantom power. Phantom power refers to energy used by devices like monitors and desktop computers when left on standby or even turned off. The function of a power strip is to stop the supply of electricity to the equipment when no one is using them. They can be programmed to cut the supply during holidays or non-working hours.
2. Choose energy-saving options.
Aside from shutting down equipment and utilities when not in use, you can also adopt green practices by actively choosing options that can save the most energy.
Most business gloss over the fact that everyday equipment can be replaced with sustainable technology or other options. Take your air conditioning as an example. Instead of buying a regular air conditioner, you can purchase an inverter unit that promises less power usage and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Another easy choice is to install LED lights since they have been proven to use 75 percent less energy than other light bulbs. Less consumption of energy naturally equates to longer-lasting lights in the office.
3. Implement flexible work.
Allowing employees some days to work from home is also good practice. The fewer people there are in a building, the less energy is used by your company.
Aside from energy consumption, there will be less carbon dioxide emissions since employees don’t need to use their cars to get to work on a daily basis.
With the help of technology, your employees can still remain productive and communicative even in the comfort of their homes.
4. Provide a greener commute.
For some companies, flexible work is not possible considering the nature of their jobs. If this is the case for you, consider providing your employees with a greener commute option.
Imagine you have ten employees living in one area who all commute by private car. Each of their vehicles releases carbon dioxide that contributes to pollution and climate change.
To help your employees lessen their carbon footprint, you can provide company-owned electric transport as an option for their daily commute to work. This transport, using electric buses (eBuses) for example, can have a planned route to make sure everyone is on schedule.
Research shows that eBuses are more expensive than a regular vehicle, but they are ultimately worth the price considering how costly fuel is in the market.
5. Shift to renewable energy.
If your company is financially able, shift your energy source from electric to renewable energy. This will greatly lessen your carbon footprint and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from your organization.
Renewable energy can come from different sources like solar, wind, and hydro. To choose the best one for your company, you need to observe your surroundings. Buildings in windy places with the space to build wind turbines can harness wind power. Meanwhile, offices that are always under direct sunlight can choose solar power. It’s different for every company so it’s important to do your own research before investing in one renewable option.
What if you can’t afford to fully shift to renewable sources of energy? Remember, a small step is still a step. You can change your company’s energy source slowly over time. For example, you can choose to run only one floor on renewable energy in the first year. In the second, when you can afford it, you can run two more floors.
Shifting to renewable energy is not a trend that will go away anytime soon. It is a viable option that you can choose to invest in.
ACTIVELY CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE OPTIONS WITH THE HELP OF DAVIS COMPANIES
Delivering staffing solutions since 1985, DAVIS Companies can help you set your goals for the future. With meticulous observation and detailed analysis, we can create a plan for sustainability made specifically for you. Start your journey to becoming an environmentally friendly company by contacting us today.
- “What Is Sustainability? Definition, Types and Examples.” Santander Universidades, 6 Apr. 2022, www.becas-santander.com/en/blog/what-is-sustainability.html. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.
- Sustainability in the Workplace. United States Department of Labor. https://www.osha.gov/sustainability. Accessed 10 June 2023
- Pickup, Oliver “How sustainability has become an advantage in the talent war, but candidates aren’t fooled by ‘greenwashing,’ say experts” Work Life, 9 November 2021 https://www.worklife.news/talent/how-sustainability-has-become-an-advantage-in-the-talent-war-but-candidates-arent-fooled-by-greenwashing-say-experts/
- “Recent Study Reveals More Than a Third of Global Consumers Are Willing to Pay More for Sustainability as Demand Grows for Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives” Business Wire, 14 October 2021 https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211014005090/en/Recent-Study-Reveals-More-Than-a-Third-of-Global-Consumers-Are-Willing-to-Pay-More-for-Sustainability-as-Demand-Grows-for-Environmentally-Friendly-Alternatives
- “Getting into the Weeds: Do Houseplants Really Improve Air Quality?” American Lung Association, 16 Feb. 2017, www.lung.org/blog/do-houseplants-really-improve-air-quality. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.