Tomorrow is Earth Day. This day gives employers an opportunity to consider implementing or supplementing green workplace initiatives. Green initiatives vary from flexible work schedules and telecommuting to recycling programs and increasingly paperless and less-paper offices.
Being environmentally conscious doesn’t just benefit the Earth, it can also result in cost-savings to your business. According to Colorado utility Xcel Energy, in 2013, the average on-site energy assessment identified $8,069 in annual energy savings for each participating business. And, being green attracts and retains employees. Ninety percent of respondents to a 2012 survey said that working for an environmentally friendly company was important to them. An additional 72 percent of workers said if they had the choice they would work for an eco-friendly company over another company. Although working at an eco-friendly company is a top priority for a majority of workers, only 48 percent of respondents considered their company to be green while 35 percent said their company was not green.
Here are a few low or no-cost green initiatives any employer can take on:
- Green up the break room by replacing disposable cups, utensils, and towels with the real (and reusable) thing
- Double up by printing and copying double-sided documents
- Use web conferencing, where appropriate, and reduce air travel
- Rent or purchase hybrid vehicles when possible
- Provide information on hard-to-recycle items