In order for people to see sustainability as a lifestyle change, rather than a one-time effort, sustainability needs to be a greater part of office culture. By building a sustainable culture within your company, you can implement changes on a daily basis and help others to implement similar changes.
Every company, big and small, has a responsibility to integrate sustainability into long-term company practices as a way to preserve vital resources and reduce the damages of modern supply and manufacturing chains.
Sustainable culture can start with just one person or initiative. By committing to sustainable solutions, individuals can inspire those around them to keep up the efforts of sustainability.
Creating a Sustainable Culture in the Office
Office managers have a multitude of responsibilities, and even incremental changes to efficiency can help to improve the success of said managers and their employees.
Of course, someone has to lead by example. Full acceptance of a new program or new idea requires an endorsement from the top. Have leaders, CEO’s, and office managers give their full endorsement and commitment to sustainable practices. Ensure that every member of the organization, from the bottom to the top, knows about sustainable practices and their ecological benefits.
Office leadership can also encourage employees to take part in initiatives outside of the office as well, such as local volunteering. Those at the top can inform employees of easy ways to make more eco-friendly choices, and help those employees to adhere to their commitments.
This level of sustainability is a discipline, and as is the case with many major lifestyle changes, people sometimes need help and guidance. This can take the form of an accountability partner. While you may have one leader in charge of the cultural change, you should encourage compliance by pairing up employees or members so that they know someone will be there to hold them accountable. This could also take the form of department heads, who would then be in charge of guiding their employees toward regular sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Do keep in mind that these are big changes (especially in larger companies) and they simply won’t happen overnight, so it can be detrimental to rush to present these accountability groups or partners without buy-in. Present the concept of an accountability partner as a positive thing - someone there to help nudge others to make sustainable choices.
Change takes time, and it is important to measure progress. Sustainability should also mean incorporating environmentally friendly, company-wide goals into the business plan. These goals should then be evaluated at regular intervals.
Encourage Small Changes
Smaller efforts by the organization at large can make this culture easier to develop. For example, give employees the option of telecommuting, if it is possible for your business. Make it an option on one day of every week, which will help to reduce commute time.
Switching light and water fixtures to things like low flow toilets and LEED compliant lights can show employees you mean business, and that you are as committed as they should be. You can also swap out office cleaning supplies with safer, organic supplies as well. If you are concerned about the difficulty of making these adjustments, just remember that being a sustainable company is likely easier than you think.
Sustainable practices need to be encouraged in order to last in the long run. By taking steps to build and nurture a sustainable culture, you can help to save the planet in a way that lasts. Another step you can take is to begin using Double A Paper, which is sustainably produced. Make a change today, and start saving the Earth.