The summer of 2023 was the warmest on record, and the whole year should also qualify as such, according to weather specialists. Many movements around the world are trying to create programs and educate people and companies to the urgent need of becoming more eco-friendly.
To some, it may seem like a difficult task, but as we will explain below, taking care of every small details matter every day for a company to become more sustainable. And it is not as hard as they believe.
Cut Down on Paper
We have been talking about reducing paper consumption in companies for decades already. Yet, the results are not as they should be, as too many printed items can still be found inside offices.
In reality, it is possible to read everything that we need on a computer or a mobile phone these days. Printing it won’t make the document more important, useful or interesting in any way. Since everyone as at least one electronic device on which to read them, at least in companies, an electronic file will do just fine.
More importantly, it is easier than ever to create digital documents that possess all the necessary benefits for companies to be satisfied with their use. All they have to do is to transfer every file that they have into one single format: PDF. How easy is it? You can actually convert from Word to PDF online, in only a few clicks.
And why is PDF the solution? Here is a brief description of the advantages that offers this format.
- Accessible – Almost everyone can open a PDF file, no matter which device they use and software that is installed on it. If a reader isn’t found on the computer or the mobile phone, it can be opened online as well.
- Protected – You can protect any PDF file through encryption and a password. It guarantees that the document won’t be modified by anyone other than those who have the rights to do so.
- Always Identical – At the opposite of some other formats, a PDF file will be seen by all exactly the same way.
- Easy to share – PDF files are of smaller sizes, making it easy to transfer to others, without having to wait long for the download to be completed.
These are all reasons that can easily justify moving away from any paper print in the office. And instead of being a difficult problem to solve, converting all company documents into PDF file will make it easier for everyone to access all documents at any given moment; even if they are not in the office.
Almost every company has some kind of recycling program implemented inside its walls. The real question is: Does it cover all the materials and is it working efficiently? Setting up the program is only the first step in making sure that companies are eco-friendly.
If there is only one location in the office where you can find bins where materials are separated, it is possible that employees will throw pieces of cardboard, plastic or even metal inside their own trash baskets. According to the size of the company, recycling bins should find their place in many different places and should collect every possible material, including computer parts.
Once the program is ready, it needs to be announced throughout the whole company in a variety of ways (e-mails, vocal announcement, posters, etc.). Later on, the message will need to be reinserted into the company by creating a reminder campaign.
Reduce Energy Consumption
This may seem like an easy and obvious thing to do, still, when you walk around offices you often find lights opened for no reason whatsoever in various rooms. The most common ones are the kitchen and the bathrooms.
It is important to remind employees to switch off the light, whenever they leave a room. It should also be suggested that during the day, lights should only be switched on if they are entirely necessary, which is often not the case until the sun light is completely gone. At the end of the day, all employees should be required to close all their electronic devices that they leave on site, whether they belong to the company or not.
Most importantly: Technologies change. It means that managers should remain informed on which tools can help save energy. A clear example of that is using LED lighting. Smart thermostats should also be installed, and any new energy-efficient technology should find its way inside the office, sooner rather than later.
Encourage Eco-friendly Behaviours
There are so many ways to raise the sustainability of a company by reaching out to employees and asking them to do their part. It starts with reminding them that they can come to work by carpooling with others that may live in the same area. Travelling by bike or using public transportation is also eco-friendly and reduces the carbon footprint of those who choose to travel this way. To encourage them, nothing better than through incentives such as subsidies for public transportation and building a parking for bicycles and electric cars.
Inside the office, everyone should be aware of their water consumption. This starts with management implementing low-flow faucets and toilets. It also has to make sure there are no leaks where water could be lost. To be sustainable, nothing like collecting and reusing rainwater, whenever that is a possibility.
The choice of eco-friendly products is also a must. Today, it is possible to find sustainable office supplies, furniture and cleaning products, as well. To do so, the buyer should look for products that are made out of recycled materials or biodegradable, and the products used should be free of harmful chemicals.
In closing, let’s remind all company owners and managers that educating employees on how they can be aware of their environmental footprint is a great way to help the office become more eco-friendly, but also to make the world a better place. Setting objectives to help reaching the goals mentioned above will go a long way into really changing mentalities and getting results.