Sustainability in the workplace is now, more than ever, more than just a buzzword; it's a culture that is increasingly becoming adopted by countless companies. It's something that employees can be proud of when they work for an organisation that is driven to make good things happen, not only for their workplace, but for their people and customers.
Leaders are taking time out to educate themselves and becoming more familiar with the regulations around sustainability and how to incorporate it into their business operations. This also encourages employees to take ownership of sustainability in their workplace, which is now shown to improve employee engagement and longevity.
“Sustainability in the workplace is now, more than ever, more than just a buzzword; it's a culture that is increasingly becoming adopted by countless companies.”
A sustainable workplace is one that is concerned with the environment, society, and its people and there are several benefits to creating a sustainable workplace such as reduced operating costs, increased employee engagement and productivity and an enhanced company reputation. Additionally, it allows people to express their values through their work by contributing to a more eco-friendly environment which helps create positive relationships between employees and employers alike.
By making changes and adapting to sustainable policies and activities it has been shown to have many benefits for businesses, such as improved employee health, increased productivity, reduced costs, increased profits, and attracting talent.
People love to work for organisations that care. Organisations can start to create a sustainability program by investing in energy efficient equipment, building systems that reduce waste and pollution, and offering green incentives for employees.
Sustainable practices, such as reducing energy consumption, conserving water and recycling materials, help reduce a company's impact on the environment. Establishing an environmental program also encourages employees to consider their own personal sustainability practices in the workplace.
Additionally, creating a business culture that values sustainability can foster responsibility among staff members. A green team of employees can create initiatives to identify ways for the company to reduce its environmental footprint and waste for future generations. By integrating sustainable practices in the workplace, companies are able to engage their employees in meaningful conversations about resource conservation while building a culture of responsibility and respect for nature and preserving our planet's future.
Look to start small with things like sustainable office supplies, recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances, all of these can help reduce electricity bills and overall energy consumption. These small things can go a long way as companies who make sustainability an integral part of their corporate culture are successful in gaining loyal customers who appreciate their friendly business practices.
Moreover, future businesses must strive to be ‘green' by setting targets for reducing waste, using eco-friendly materials where possible and encouraging employees to adopt sustainable habits. Promoting a friendly workplace culture that rewards employees who take initiative in reducing the company's carbon footprint can also be beneficial for the success of the business. By establishing sustainable policies in the workplace, companies will be able to create a positive environmental impact while ensuring long-term economic success.I'm personally so thankful to be working for a business like Aquent that has decided to address climate change head-on with their journey to become carbon negative.
“In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint and become carbon neutral by the end of 2023, we have given up our office leases not only in Australia but around the world. This goal has really been driven from the top down, with our CEO John Chuang leading the way.”
Well, since we do not manufacture any goods, our carbon footprint is largely driven by office utilities, employee commuting, business travel, and technology systems.
Taking these factors into account and using the EPA guidelines for calculating carbon generation, we have calculated our company's global carbon footprint (including internal staff and talent) for 2019, 2021, and 2022:
Was our “Benchmark” year – we generated almost 12,000 tons of carbon. A substantial portion of this number was due to our staff and talent commuting to offices.
Saw an 59% carbon reduction – a truly pivotal year, with COVID forcing us to move all our staff and talent to work remotely. We generated just over 4,800 tons of carbon after we let go of physical offices and became a virtual-first workplace.
Gave us a further 21%, giving us a total of 80% Carbon Reduction since 2019. Our carbon footprint was approximately 2,500 tons with many solar projects coming online along with other sustainability initiatives.
In order to reach our goal to become carbon negative in 2023, and begin erasing our 35-year carbon footprint, we have taken decisive actions and started key projects to make that happen:
- Building solar arrays – while we considered buying carbon credits, we decided that creating a renewable energy source was more in line with our values. At the start of 2021, we began working with several partners to build two solar arrays in Indiana and Ohio. These arrays will offset two times the amount of CO2 that our staff and talent generate annually worldwide.
- Moving our data storage – our proprietary recruiting software has been hosted at a data center in Virginia, a state on the higher end of carbon generated per kilowatt-hour. We are migrating to a facility in Oregon which is powered by renewable hydroelectric energy. This move will save approximately two tons of carbon emissions annually.
- More efficient equipment – we've started providing our staff with more efficient Apple M1 computers, which draw significantly fewer kilowatts per hour.
I'm looking forward to what 2024 and beyond holds and can't wait to talk to our clients about carbon offset, sustainability and the changes they are looking to make in order to help preserve our beautiful planet.
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