Within the past few years, it has become apparent that the UK is the leader on the world stage of environmental issues. As the first nation to bring about legislation that is aimed at significantly reducing our carbon footprint toward the ultimate NetZero date of 2050, we are making great strides. But is that enough? Can we leave everything to government without taking personal responsibility for this human-caused global crisis?
Even sceptics have begun agreeing that global warming is real and that if something isn’t done soon, there will be no reducing the catastrophic effects caused by a total breakdown of the ozone layer. The ice caps are already melting, and large chunks of glaciers are breaking off and will eventually lead to major tsunamis along every seacoast around the globe.
The point is, now is our turn to do something real to put a halt to further destruction on planet Earth. Change only happens if enough people get involved in the process of reversal through sustainability. As an employer, you are now tasked with motivating your employees to Go Green. What will it take and what can you do to lead the way? Here are a few suggestions to get you headed down the right path.
Lead By Example
One of the criticisms the UK is receiving is that there are policy gaps in their previously ambitious legislation, many of which are rooted in lack of budgetary funding. Even so, they are still advancing as the world leader in their efforts to bring about zero carbon emissions by mid-century. It is believed that progress starts from the top down. Government is doing what they can with the resources available to them, but perhaps being joined by corporate leaders would accelerate national efforts.
As an owner, director or manager of a UK business of any size, it is important to understand just how important it is to lead your company’s efforts toward sustainability. Once you implement a Go Green strategy, it is up to you to ‘practice what you preach.’ It is imperative to understand that you truly are the leader of the pack and where the leader goes, the pack will surely follow.
Provide Transportation Alternatives
Since the primary goal is to reduce carbon emissions, this should start with providing alternatives in transportation. If the majority of your workforce travels by automobile to work every day, perhaps you could subsidise public transport passes to and from your place of employment.
What about building a bike shed to encourage more employees to bike to work? Even this can be accomplished with sustainability in mind because you can have the shed built with all sustainable materials. You can let ClearAmber Shop provide corrugated roofing at low market prices. Bear in mind that a Corrapol PVC Installation with sustainable corrugated roofing would be an example of both a sustainable building and zero-emissions transport. With a Corrapol stormproof structure, employee bikes would be kept safely in all types of weather.
Establish Energy-Saving Procedures
Energy saving procedures in the workplace can go far in reducing our dependence on electricity. Although we have reduced our use of fossil fuels in the production of electricity, the nation is nowhere near its goal of using only alternative sources to power those generating stations.
Set a strict policy of turning everything off when leaving for the night. If you are a manufacturer with 24-hour operations, only the production floor should be powered. All those offices should have lights and electronics off when leaving for the day.
Set Up Recycling Bins
Did you ever stop to think just how many water bottles or soda cans are being disposed of daily at your place of business? One of the things many corporations have begun doing is to setting up recycling bins adjacent to their rubbish bins. This encourages employees to toss their recyclables in the proper receptacle so that they can be taken to the nearest recycling centre.
Use Air-Purifying Plants in Office Décor
This is something that will add a touch of class to your offices whilst also working to purify the internal air that has been depleted of life-sustaining oxygen. Try adding one lovely potted air-purifying plant to each office as well as the reception area of your company. Then assign a team, such as the one mentioned below, to ensure they are watered and fed as needed. Here again, only use natural nutrients to feed those plants because chemicals are a huge part of the damage we are doing to our environment.
Establish a Company Go Green Team
You may already have several employees who are committed to sustainability. Many are already making efforts to live a green lifestyle at home and are probably among the best-informed green activists in your company. Perhaps you could ask for volunteers to form a Go Green Team to help you put many of these suggestions into practice. Let them choose among themselves who they would like to name as team leader.
You might even want to give them an hour or so on the clock once weekly to meet as a team. With the current state of the economy in flux as it is, few might be willing to work off the clock, even for a cause they are committed to. This team will oversee all the efforts already in effect and can help organise a few more as the suggestions come in.
Incentivise a “Go Green” Suggestion Box
Incentivised suggestion boxes have proven to be highly successful in other areas of business operations. Sometimes companies put up boxes in departments for suggestions to increase efficiency and other times suggestion boxes are placed outside of HR for employees to suggest better working conditions or benefits that would help them lead a better quality of life.
With a Go Green team in place and a Go Green Suggestion Box accessible to all employees, it will not be long before more innovations in sustainability are suggested. Some of these will be amazingly creative and these can be ranked and rewarded. For the suggestions that are put into place, those employees could receive some sort of bonus for aiding in the company’s Go Green efforts.
Invest a Portion of Company Profits in Green Infrastructure
One last, but nonetheless equally important, suggestion is to visibly invest a portion of the company’s annual profits in green infrastructure. Bearing in mind that part of what is stalling government efforts in their NetZero programme is a lack of funding. Any form of infrastructure demanding a green alternative could use whatever funding is made available to them.
Perhaps donations could be made to local green activist groups operating as a non-profit organisation. These groups seek to raise public awareness of a growing problem that is not yet being met sufficiently to bring about any real change. Just remember that change really does start at the top, so as your employees see you committed to supporting efforts toward sustainability, you can expect them to follow in your footsteps.
As the company leader, think of yourself as that pebble tossed into a puddle. As you ripple outward, the waves will catch and carry your employees and together you can be that boulder in the ocean bringing about a tidal wave of change.