Many businesses are now working hard to reduce the impacts of their operations, their services and/or their products. As part of this, every employee has an important role to play. Even if your company isn’t taking action to reduce their environmental impacts, to cut their carbon footprints or to improve their resource efficiency there are still many things that you can do yourself.
5 Top Environmental Impact Reduction Tips
1. Conference calls – There are an increasing number of ways to have remote meetings. For example by video call, conference call, webinars or even through Skype. It is becoming increasingly acceptable to have a virtual meeting in place of a face to face meeting. This is not only a great time and money saver but it also one of the largest carbon savers that you can do. Of course there are many situations where face to face meetings are necessary, but there are many more where a remote meeting is more than satisfactory. Finally, remember that his works both ways – if you are arranging a meeting consider the distance that people are travelling and consider if you need the face to face element or if a remote meeting is a better option.
2. Printing – Whilst becoming a bit clichéd the saying “think before you print” holds so much truth and value. The impact of producing paper is surprisingly high. It is therefore no longer good enough to simply recycle the paper when you have finished. Recycling office paper has become the standard. Therefore to help reduce the environmental impact of your work you should cut down the amount of paper that you print in the first place.
For a period of a year I didn’t have access to an office printer. Whilst this may sound impractical I was amazed how this changed my working practices and how easy it was to accept the fact that I couldn’t print a document or report. During this period, when I did need to print a document it was usually just a single page or two. To this date I have avoided printing large reports and documents and now genuinely prefer to work with digital copies, where I can add my notes and annotations, to more easily distribute to others. It admittedly takes a bit of time and effort to get used to it, but give it a go. After a while, you will be surprised how few documents you really need to print and how much cleaner your desk and office becomes.
Environmental impact work
3. Commuting and travel – This is another important part of your environmental impact and includes your daily commute and any business travel. Can you reduce the impact of your commute, even if it’s only for a day or two a week? Good ways of reducing the impact of your commute are to use public transport, walk, and cycle, or if possible share lifts with a colleague that lives bear by. This is also true for business travel.
4. Switch it off – It may sound simple, but it’s effective. Many sure that you switch off your computer monitor when you are away from your desk. When you leave a meeting room turn the lights off (assuming that it doesn’t have automatic controls), don’t leave chargers plugged in when not in use and generally if it’s not meant to be left on – switch it off.
5. Engage and communicate – Finally, don’t forget that we all have an influence, there is always something that we can do. Encourage your company or your colleagues to also reduce the impacts of their work.
Source – Circular Ecology