Oct 22, 2013

Guest Post: Sustainable office culture - How to do it

It is no secret that, even if you build an amazing gym with state-of-the-art weights and treadmills in your home, you will never get in shape until you move from the sofa.

Apply this logic to your company's sustainability efforts: purchasing energy-efficient equipment might not always make your office a greener place if your employees don’t do their bit. With that in mind, here are some ways to get the whole team on board in creating a greener workplace with energised staff. Just like these cheerful fellows:

Establish company-wide policies

It’s a good idea to set up office standards for everyone to follow. For example:

  • Always turn off lights when exiting a room
  • Always shut down computers and office equipment when leaving for the day
  • Buy recycled products wherever possible, especially paper
  • Place recycling bins next to all dustbins
  • Print and copy documents so they’re double-sided and reuse one-sided paper

It might be a good idea to appoint a recycling monitor to help enforce this. You could ask someone who’s really enthusiastic about green issues to hopefully inspire the rest of the staff. Alternatively ask someone who’s quite the opposite, and see if they’re up for the challenge!

Hold Contests

Nothing energises a group like a good competition. If you can tie it into your eco-efforts then all the better! This could be as simple as getting staff to transform waste paper into planes, recycling bins into targets and holding a competition to see whose plane flies closest to home. Once you’re done, hold an awards ceremony to celebrate the best (and, of course, the worst) of what you’ve seen.

With your focus on sustainability in the office, don't let staff forget about sustaining themselves. You could encourage employees to consider this by (continuing the competition theme) setting up cooking contests to find who can create the tastiest healthy snack. Work out schedules for cooking and tasting before the whole office votes. Team building and healthy body building in one!

Salads by WordRidden, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by WordRidden

Lead by Example

Your employees will hopefully follow the example set by upper management, so it's important to practice what you preach. After all, if you are willing to make changes there's no reason why they wouldn’t be happy to follow suit.

Brent Hardy oversees all corporate construction and facilities management activities for Extra Space Storage.


Dave White Posted on October 25, 2013

Thanks for the tips. We recently had a clear-out in the office and were worried about how we were going to dispose of the furniture. We eventually found a company that does office clearance in west London and then recycles what it collects.

Lawrence Rogers Posted on November 05, 2014

Practicing your culture within your office is one step in creating a healthier environment at work. The policies that were made will turn the the place into a more greener enviroment. I agree with the content written in this blog. This will be helpful for me because we just transferred to a new office. Thanks!

Add a comment