Posts Tagged ‘green workplace’

Be Bold – Go green

Friday, May 15th, 2009

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.

“Green is the new value”

Monday, August 11th, 2008

There are many reasons for introducing green practices in your workplace. Environmental practices are being embraced in the personal lives of your employees, and they’re looking to align those personal values in the work environment. Their sense of what’s important will influence their commitment and motivation at work.

Values are at work in every organization. For example, they are reflected in what the company stands for; how they treat their employees and customers; how they want to be seen by the community; their stance on ethical behaviour; and how everyone at work treats each other. With the environment at the forefront today, progressive employers are taking steps to shift to a more sustainable workplace.

A major Canadian recruitment agency reports that over 80% of candidates ask them about an organization’s green practices when considering potential employers. Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, green practices will help set you apart from other employers–important for retention of your valued employees. And, our labour market is about to get tighter.

You’ll need executive buy-in, and a group of like-minded people in your office that want to make things happen. Start small and deal with the ‘low hanging fruit’. Find the financial benefits, measures, and most impactful steps that will work in your workplace. These meaningful actions will benefit your employees, customers, and your bottom line. Chart a path and start with small steps – those will lead to more wins.