10 ways to encourage your employees to go green

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When you have a business to run, you probably don’t give your energy bills much of a second thought. After all, with an endless list of duties to complete, meetings to attend, clients to keep onside and employees to pay, cutting your energy costs is likely to be somewhere near the bottom of your priority list.  What’s more, when it comes to reducing business energy costs and increasing your own sustainability, all it takes is a few quick fixes to keep the numbers low.

Gas and electric bills are set to rise by as much as 50% by spring.  Which means you may be searching for ways to cut your workplace bills. Luckily, going green is beneficial for any organisation. It can save you money, improve efficiency, and reduce your carbon footprint. Small steps are the best place to start to create long-lasting changes. To help you get started, here are five eco-friendly ways to cut costs:

Top 7 ways to save energy:

  1. Switch off appliances that are not in use.
  2. Install Ceiling insulation.
  3. Make use of blinds if you have them (this will keep the heat in).
  4. Invest in a smart meter.
  5. Use energy efficient
  6. Never leave lights on in an unoccupied room.
  7. Keep the cold air out. Rather than having to rely on heaters you should make sure that your business is properly insulated.

Maintaining your heating and AC systems will save you a lot go money in the long run. It’ll also stop employees from bringing in their own electric heaters or fans which can quickly run up electric bills. Draught proofing also helps keep costs down. In many buildings, 10% of heat loss is caused by poor insulation.

The pandemic showed us that business doesn’t always have to be conducted face to face. Replacing long haul travel with video meetings will cut costs and your carbon footprint.

Did you know that a dripping tap can waste up to 1,249 litres of water per month? Depending on where you’re based, that could cost you an extra £125 per month. Not only that, but leaky taps can cause mould and mildew. Removal of this can cost thousands, not to mention the damage it can do to employee health. Speaking of water – The Energy Saving Trust found that overfilling kettles costs the UK £68 million a year. Installing an instant hot water tap will stop employees boiling the kettle multiple times a day and save you a lot of money.

10 Ways to engage your employees in going green:

  1. Be a role model.- Don’t just say it, do it. Be the first to ride your bike to work. Sort your lunch waste into garbage, compost, and recyclables.
  2. Start at the top.- Signal the importance of environmental and social commitments by putting senior people in charge of projects. Ensure company-wide environmental committees include senior staff members. Assign major projects, like going carbon neutral or environmental auditing, to the most senior operations person.
  3. Put your money where your mouth is.- Allocate time and money to environmental and social initiatives. Give employees company time to participate in volunteer projects. Buy energy efficient equipment or lights. Buy carbon credits to offset your firm’s greenhouse gas emissions. Offer employees flexible work hours or mobile work options.
  4. Put it into writing- Policies make your corporate values explicit, clarifying expectations and helping employees make better decisions. Update your corporate values to include social and environmental goals. Publish “green” goals on your website. Create policies and codes of conduct that support your goals. Include “green” successes in your annual report.
  5. Build sustainability into day-to-day operations. – Set thermostats one degree closer to the outside temperature. Reduce paper use by printing less. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Conduct life cycle assessments on key products and work with consultants or industry peers to reduce their impacts.
  6. Make it someone’s job. – Ensure employees are responsible for environmental and social performance. Create a new role dedicated to sustainability or build the duties into an existing position (e.g., in health and safety or human resources).
  7. Provide training. – At new employee orientation, teach employees about the company’s environmental goals and why they matter. Train employees on issues specific to their jobs, such as waste management, health and safety, and sustainable procurement.
  8. Explain how it affects the them. – Employees may view environmental or social programs as unwelcome additions to an already-full workload. Explain how the programs relate to their roles. For the financial officers: show the dollar savings you expect to get from investments in energy-efficient equipment. For the sales reps: explain how volunteering with a local community group will improve customer loyalty.
  9. Assemble Champions. – Engage employees of varying seniority throughout the company. Programs that are not just “top-down” get more employee buy-in. Find employees who are already passionate about your environmental or social goals and encourage them to build a “Green Team” that reports to you or senior staff.
  10. Let Employees Experiment. – Encourage employees to figure out how they can make a difference and let them try out new ideas. Let them organize zero-waste lunches or toy/food drives, sponsor local sports teams, raise money for disaster relief, serve meals to homeless or at-risk youth, or participate in a fundraising walk. Encourage employees to suggest ways of saving energy or reducing waste in their day-to-day work.

Harwood HR – HR Consultants providing HR Consultancy and HR Outsourced Services.  We provide clear, cost effective HR advice. For a free consultation, please contact us on:

0117 439 0119 or info@harwood-hr.co.uk

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