Improving sustainability in the workplace

Customer experience / Employee experience

A positive business trend is the increasing number of companies becoming more mindful and committed to reducing their environmental impact. Focusing on sustainable work practices can have a multitude of benefits – from moral satisfaction, government tax breaks, to positioning your company as an ideal partner to potential clients and employees who share similar values. Below are some suggestions to get your sustainable goals up and running.

Company Initiatives

For workplace change to occur (and stick), initiatives must be communicated and enforced by top management. Further, you must ensure sustainable initiatives come from top-down management and are supported by the necessary infrastructure. For example, you can’t expect your employees to recycle if you don’t provide accessible recycling bins. Leading by example and providing incentives to follow sustainable practices in the workplace will help employees motivate others at all levels to support the company’s environmental goals.

Encourage sustainable transportation

A great way to support and encourage your employees is by providing rewards for team members willing to take alternative modes of transport to the office. This can be done by providing bike parking, rewarding employee carpooling or offering rebates on public transport costs.

Our approach to encouraging sustainable transportation includes optimising routes, filling vehicles more efficiently, switching to low-emission fuels and renewable electricity and using more rail transport.

Support green vendors

Aligning your company with other brands that promote green-friendly practices is a great way to create a more environmentally conscious workplace. Before signing contracts with brands, take a moment to review their website or reach out to the brand’s rep to ask about their green policies. Most businesses list their environmental practices on their website. Businesses keeping their partners accountable will help make a positive change. This can be as simple as the office coffee supplier you choose.

Here at Nestlé, our goal is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. How are we planning to achieve this? We are refining our supply chain management to accelerate our work in manufacturing, packaging and carbon-neutral brands. We’re also investing in regenerative agriculture across our supply chain. Learn more about our commitment to sustainability here.

Conserve energy within the office

While it is normal for companies to enforce turning lights off at the end of the day to reduce electricity bills, there are a few extra steps that can be taken to promote energy consumption. Communicating policies to employees to conserve energy can be as simple as turning off lights when meeting rooms aren’t in use or making sure someone turns off coffee machines and printers before leaving the office.

There are also plug-and-play smart lighting systems that use sensors to detect movement and automatically turn off lights in areas not in use. These simple yet effective measures can make a big difference to your company’s carbon footprint.

Our NESCAFÉ® plant in Gympie Queensland sources 70% of its energy from renewables and recycles coffee grounds to be used as a renewable energy source.

Promote a paperless office

The pandemic has accelerated the use of digital workforce technology. Digital team collaboration, communications and cloud computing solutions have enabled businesses to streamline and become greener. Communicating the desire to become a paperless office can be implemented officewide. Platforms such as Google docs and Microsoft Office allow teams to write and edit documents entirely online, while they can brainstorm and collaborate digitally using programs like The HR and accounts departments can go paperless by moving their payroll and accounting to cloud-based accounting software like MYOB or Xero. Where printing is unavoidable, using eco-friendly alternatives like recycled paper and printer toner cartridges is a great way to reduce your company’s footprint.

Implement a recycling program

A standard way of supporting mindfulness around sustainability is to establish a recycling program within your office. Help your people distinguish between what items belong in recycling, compost and in rubbish bins bound for landfill. From the kitchen area to your workspaces, provide education on responsible waste disposal through clear signage on designated waste stations.  You can also look into the safe removal and donation of old computer parts and other items taking up space in your workplace to a local organisation supporting the ethical recycling of electronics.

Get outside and volunteer

A powerful way to help offset your company’s carbon footprint is by organising volunteer programs and activity days – getting teams out into the community and involved in green programs. This can include raising money for conservation causes or taking a hands-on approach like participating in community tree planting as a part of team-building days.

Taking steps to a more sustainable workplace can be as hands-on or hands-off as you choose – but every step helps towards a more sustainable future.

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