How Do Your Office Sustainability Initiatives Stack Up Against the Competition?

Office sustainability is a major focus of companies around the world. As the conversation around climate change and environmental conservation ramps up, companies – and consumers – are looking for ways to do their part and reduce their footprints.

According to the CEO of the Global Reporting Index, at least 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have sustainability initiatives for their offices. That number reflects a growing awareness of consumer expectations. Some 70 percent of consumers consider sustainability a “key” priority that will influence where they shop.

However, it’s not enough to simply claim the presence of a sustainability initiative. In 2020, consumers want proof that a company walks its talk. Here’s a closer look at sustainability and what a company can do to green its office easily.

The Statistics of Sustainability

Sustainability is good for business and people. Research shows that green-certified office buildings have a direct impact on employee health. In one study, employees in a green building scored 26 percent higher on cognitive tests and showed 30 percent fewer symptoms of sickness than those who weren’t in a sustainability-oriented environment.

Likewise, sustainable practices have long been associated with significant cost-savings for a company. Consider PepsiCo, which claims to have saved over $375 million since implementing sustainability initiatives. Microsoft has also experienced millions in savings through the creation of its carbon fee.

Businesses are increasingly turning to sustainability because not only do customers expect it, but it makes financial sense. In 2020, companies that don’t have a sustainability initiative are missing out both in savings and in business.

The Top 5 Easiest Changes to Support Office Sustainability

Although the idea of going green might seem like it requires many radical changes around the office, adopting green practices is easier than it sounds. Here are five of the easiest ways to support office sustainability.

1. Print Less

Printing is one of the biggest sources of waste that any office has. Whether it’s the 10,000 sheets of paper that an office worker prints yearly or carbon footprint associated with toner cartridge production, printing less can dramatically impact a company’s green image.

Switching to digital documents as much as possible also has other immense benefits on the organization. It makes processes faster, simplifies workflows, and helps keep the entire document environment secure.

2. Recycle Toner Cartridges

With printing so ubiquitous and constant, companies frequently burn through toner cartridges rapidly. However, that has an impact on the office’s carbon footprint. Producing a single toner cartridge puts just under 11 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air – and the US alone uses 375 million of them each year.

However, empty toner cartridges are incredibly easy to recycle. Simply connect with one of the many toner recycling programs in Wisconsin and begin preventing greenhouse gasses from ever entering the atmosphere.

3. Turn Off More Than the Lights

Turning off the lights when the room isn’t in use is a good practice all around, but it’s easy to take it further at the office. Create a “lights out” policy that encourages the daily shutdown of all devices after business hours. Doing so will not only save the electric bill but also get employees thinking about sustainability.

4. Eliminate Disposables in the Break Room

Does the breakroom use paper plates or styrofoam coffee cups? According to some estimates, the average office worker goes through about 500 disposable coffee cups per year. Replacing them with reusable ones – or encouraging employees to bring their own mugs – can cut back both on costs and waste.

Even cheap plastic plates reduce the amount of waste generated and support green initiatives. Likewise, consider reusable filters for the coffee pot and eliminating disposable filters, too.

5. Create Monthly Challenges

Research shows that challenges and games improve employee morale and help promote productivity. Whether independent or on teams, challenges and competitions can be a great way to help people feel included and invested in the workspace.

Inspire employees to support sustainability initiatives with monthly challenges to get people motivated. One option includes tracking printing between departments and offering a prize to the department that prints the least.

Go Green with James Imaging

Whether it’s making small changes in everyday operations or embracing sweeping change, there are many ways to embrace sustainability. This article has covered just five and hopefully has provided some ideas about how to go green in ways that matter.

Sustainability has become a focus for most companies, and most consumers expect it. As research continues to show that people are willing to support brands that embrace sustainability, it’s proving to be a smart move from more than just an environmental perspective. Going green is good for people, the planet, and profits.

James Imaging has long believed in sustainable practices and is thrilled to work with Wisconsin businesses to develop them. Start a conversation now about sustainability.