Be Bold – Go green

Green.  Did you just think of money. No, likely you thought planet sustainability. In a short few years, our awareness of climate change has grown and our values have shifted. Wikipedia confirms that yes, green is still a color, and has added new references to the “Green Movement” and “environmentally-friendly” products.

As a business, your bottom line is important and that’s the right focus. You’ve also needed to meet changing market demands to ensure your sustainability. That’s your business. With pressure from customers and competitors, multitudes of businesses are green-shifting products, services and delivery methods. Shades of green (not green washing!) will increase your ability to attract and retain employees.

Socially-conscious employees need to find meaning in their work, knowing their company is positively contributing to the world, and green practices is one way of putting values to action. In a previous tip “Green is the new value” I touched on the reasons for introducing green practices in your workplace. These are fundamental principles that are here to stay. Once we’re through this economic downturn, the war on talent will resume in full force, so these principle are critical to positioning your organization.

Start by reviewing your current workplace practices, vision what’s possible, and work with employees to prioritize changes. Some changes I’m seeing include: reusing office products; reducing energy use by turning off lights, printers, computers; transit passes or discounts; recycling; no plastic waterbottles, cutlery, plates, cups, or other kitchen/cafeteria items; having office cleaners use enviro-friendly cleaning products. A friend who works at ICBC said that the head office escalators are now turned off on Fridays as an energy saving measure–now that’s creative – and impactful. 

Tip: Be Bold

Explore going further, and shift people practices to include: telecommuting, flextime, carpooling, video conferencing to reduce air travel, provide transit passes rather than car allowances, or provide hybrids. Leaders that champion these initiatives and shift personal behaviors for green alignment will see returns from customers, and employees who truly are the greatest asset of any business.

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