15 Tips to Make Your Workplace Culture More Eco-Friendly
Engagement 11 minute read

15 Tips to Make Your Workplace Culture More Eco-Friendly

Rise | April 18, 2024

In a world where environmental awareness is becoming more and more important, businesses find themselves at a crucial crossroads. They are called to rethink their practices to adopt a more sustainable approach, a change that often begins at the very heart of their culture. Transitioning to a green workplace is not only good for the planet, but it can also lead to a healthier, happier and more productive atmosphere for everyone.

With this in mind, this article shares practical and accessible advice for infusing the ecological spirit into your company culture, transforming small gestures into big steps forward for the environment.

Why Is an Eco-Friendly Workplace Important?

Environmental practices within the workplace are important for a wide range of reasons. Beyond the benefits they bring to your company, minimizing your company's environmental damage also has a great impact on the state of the world. Implementing just a few effective practices and spearheading environmental initiatives in your workplace highlights an ongoing commitment to your employees' well-being as well as the well-being of the planet. 

Here are the benefits of having an eco-friendly workplace:

  • Alignment with Sustainability Goals: Establishing an eco-friendly workplace reinforces an organization's commitment to sustainability goals, fostering a culture where employees are motivated to engage in environmentally responsible behaviours and contribute to a common environmental goal.
  • Reduction of Carbon Footprint: Implementing eco-friendly practices in the workplace such as energy-efficient appliances and reduced plastic bottle usage can significantly decrease your carbon footprint, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of carbon emissions on the climate.
  • Conservation of Natural Resources: By adopting sustainable business practices, workplaces can contribute to the conservation of natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials, thus ensuring their availability for future generations, proving your business is committed for the long run.
  • Cost Benefits: Incorporating eco-friendly practices often leads to cost savings in the long term through reduced energy consumption, waste reduction, and lower environmental costs. These financial benefits can positively impact the bottom line of businesses while promoting environmental stewardship.

Explore Digital Solutions to Minimize your Environmental Impact

Top 15 Tips to Make Your Workplace Culture More Eco-Friendly

1. Prioritize Remote Working and Eco-Friendly Transportation

With the lockdowns of 2020, we all noticed quieter streets, less polluted cities, and nature thriving. For the planet, it was a breath of fresh air as the widespread telecommuting significantly reduced our travel and thus, pollution. This is a trend that can easily continue. Invite office workers to adopt flexible schedules that don't require mass transit which causes huge carbon emissions.

Instead, if employees do have to come into the office space, encourage them to use more eco-friendly modes of transportation such as public transportation, bikes, electric scooters, or even skateboards and rollerblades! A good first step to make your company more responsible!

2. Implement a Sorting Program to Encourage Waste Recycling

Waste sorting has become a habit for many Canadian households. Why not maintain this good practice at the office to encourage material recycling? From the kitchen to workspaces, set up a waste sorting system by installing different recycling bins dedicated to compost and food waste, plastic materials, paper waste, and non-recyclable waste products. Also, provide clear signage to help your employees correctly sort their waste.

A recycling program is a small initiative that everyone can partake in that highlights a dedication toward a greener future. You should also consider using recycled materials and sustainable products in your everyday work life, such as recycled paper or second-hand appliances to take your recycling initiative one step further.

3. Save Energy On Your Premises

Do you make sure to turn off lights and heating in the evening or during weekends when leaving the office? These small gestures make all the difference in saving energy resources and cutting costs on your electricity bill. Turning off computers at the end of the workday, switching off lights during the day if your office is bright enough or when rooms are not in use, closing taps tightly to prevent water wastage, etc can all have a positive impact. Your team will be pleasantly surprised by your environmental awareness.

4. Prioritize a Paperless Office

In the era of digitalization, say goodbye to massive binders and stacks of loose papers! If not already done, invest in digital solutions to manage all the activities and organization of your company. Online calendars, storage, and sharing spaces, payroll processing software – numerous tools exist to coordinate and store all your work documents and organization data online.

Not only will you reduce paper usage (and consequently the quantity of your waste), but you will likely also gain efficiency! The average office worker has already adapted to the digital sphere, so creating paperless systems should be seamless and it even makes things easier for remote workers to stay in the loop of business operations.

  • Good news: with Rise, you can fully manage your payroll system, HR, and benefits policy through our user-friendly online platform!

5. Do Business with Environmentally Committed Suppliers

Choosing to do business with environmentally friendly brands and companies sends a strong message to your teams and clients. This demonstrates that you are dedicated to working with organizations that share your values. Research the suppliers you are interested in to learn more about their efforts in sustainable development. This could be an organic and fair-trade coffee supplier, or a raw materials supplier committed to preserving resources.

At Rise, for example, we are proud to collaborate with the eco-friendly florist Oursin Fleurs: besides offering us beautiful bouquets, this workshop also strives to reduce its ecological footprint at every stage of the design process with a zero-waste goal.

6. Reuse to Reduce Waste

Did you know that Canadians use about 1.6 to 2 billion disposable coffee cups each year? That is just one example of the wasteful society that we live in, but you can change that. For example, limit waste in your office by providing your teams with travel mugs and stainless steel water bottles in the company's colors to simultaneously discourage waste and promote your brand! Also, avoid plastic cutlery and replace them with reusable utensils in your office kitchen, encouraging employees to wash them after each use.

7. Opt for 100% Green Decor with Indoor Plants

In terms of decoration, indoor plants have never been more trendy! Good news, they also contribute to improving indoor air quality by reducing the presence of harmful pollutants in rooms and increasing oxygen levels. It's not us saying this, it's a NASA study: plants reduce indoor air pollutants by 87% within 24 hours. In addition to personalizing your decor in a green workplace, the benefits of indoor greenery are recognized to help improve people's mood, promote productivity and creativity, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. 

8. Take Care of Your Human Energy

You might not have suspected it, but an eco-friendly company is also an organization that encourages healthy lifestyles and the well-being of its employees. Ensure that offices and bathrooms are always clean, prioritize healthy snacks and drinks (fruits, tea, infusions), and encourage employees to engage in regular physical activity by reimbursing their gym memberships.

Take care of your team by providing a healthy and non-toxic environment on a daily basis. A healthy team will be even more beneficial for overall productivity and the image of your company and highlights your dedication to their wellbeing. 

Prioritize your Employees with Regular Check-ins

9. Volunteer to Support Causes That Matter To You

As a more responsible company, supporting causes that are important to you can also be a good way to communicate your company values and give meaning to your approach. Participate in waste cleanup operations in the city or nature, collect items for recycling, and maintain a shared botanical garden – there are many volunteer programs you can be a part of.

It's an excellent way to have a significant impact on your surroundings and create a genuine sense of belonging among your employees who will want to get involved with you. Find a philanthropic project that resonates with you and involves your collaborators.

10. Make Green Thinking an Asset of Your Corporate Culture

Nothing beats communication and team spirit to convey your environmental commitment to your employees. Involve them, seek their opinions, engage in discussions with your team members, and collaborate with them to gather their ideas on how your organization can become more environmentally friendly.

To encourage useful and diverse initiatives in your team, you can explore the United Nations' "17 Sustainable Development Goals to Save the World" on their website. A great source of inspiration and motivation to build a better world with your organization. By making responsible practices a shared goal, you can embody the image of a quality employer brand and encourage your employees to get involved with you.

11. Grow a Garden

Growing a garden in the workplace promotes an eco-friendly environment in numerous ways. Firstly, it reduces the carbon footprint by absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen, improving air quality. Secondly, it encourages biodiversity, providing habitats for beneficial insects and birds, thus enhancing the local ecosystem. Thirdly, cultivating a garden fosters a connection to nature, reducing stress levels and boosting employee well-being and productivity.

Additionally, it promotes sustainable food practices, enabling employees to harvest fresh produce, and reducing reliance on packaged and processed foods. Overall, a workplace garden embodies sustainability, fosters community engagement, and contributes positively to both the environment and employee health.

12. Install Solar Panels

Installing solar panels in the workplace is pivotal for fostering an environmentally friendly work environment. Solar panels harness sunlight, a renewable energy source, converting it into electricity without emitting harmful greenhouse gases, thereby mitigating carbon emissions and combating climate change.

They bolster energy efficiency by providing a clean and sustainable power source, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. This not only decreases the company's carbon footprint but also cuts energy costs in the long term. By embracing solar energy, businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, bolstering their reputation as responsible stewards of the environment while paving the way for a greener future.

13. Implement a Digital Library for Professional Development 

Transition to a digital library for your organization's professional development resources. Instead of purchasing physical books, magazines, or printed materials, subscribe to digital versions or use e-books. This not only significantly reduces paper use but also allows for easier sharing of resources among employees, leading to a more collaborative and environmentally conscious learning environment. Encouraging digital readership contributes to sustainability efforts by minimizing the demand for paper production and transportation of physical materials, while also keeping your team engaged and up-to-date with the latest industry trends and skills development opportunities.

14. Encourage Resource Sharing

Employees sharing resources in the workplace fosters an eco-friendly environment by minimizing waste and reducing consumption. Sharing items like office supplies, equipment, and even workspace encourages a culture of resourcefulness and sustainability. By pooling resources, companies can reduce the need for excessive purchasing and production, thereby decreasing their overall environmental impact.

Additionally, resource sharing promotes collaboration and camaraderie among employees, fostering a sense of community and teamwork. This practice not only conserves natural resources but also saves money for the company while promoting a culture of responsibility and environmental stewardship among employees.

15. Set Green Challenges

Green challenges in the workplace are initiatives designed to engage employees in eco-friendly activities and behaviors. By setting goals related to energy conservation, waste reduction, or sustainable practices, companies inspire staff to actively participate in environmental stewardship. These challenges foster a sense of camaraderie and competition among employees, motivating them to adopt more sustainable habits both at work and in their personal lives.

Through participation in green challenges, employees learn about the importance of environmental sustainability and the collective impact of small actions. Ultimately, these initiatives promote a culture of environmental responsibility and contribute to a greener, more eco-friendly workplace.

Do you know your eco-responsibility score? Have you heard about the Green Pages website? It's the largest directory of eco-friendly businesses in Quebec and Canada. The site allows you to rate the environmental score of your organization to assess your level of eco-responsibility. Inquire to obtain your certification – it's free!

Create an Eco-Friendly Workspace With Digital Solutions

Rise's people management platform revolutionizes HR operations with its digital software, enhancing efficiency while championing eco-friendly practices. By digitizing processes such as payroll, employee scheduling, and performance management, Rise minimizes reliance on paper documentation, significantly reducing waste and environmental impact.

This streamlined approach not only improves workplace productivity but also aligns with sustainability goals, demonstrating Rise's commitment to environmental responsibility. Through innovative technology, Rise empowers organizations to manage their workforce seamlessly while contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.

Bring life to work, and your inbox.

Subscribe to our monthly email roundup of news and helpful resources on workplace trends, employee engagement tactics, and more.

Give your employees, and yourself, the experience we all deserve.

Book a demo