Impact
How to be greener at the office?

How to be greener at the office?

Eléonore Obala
6 min4 Mar 2020

The environment is everyone's business, everywhere, every day. To find a new, greener balance in the office and promote sustainable development within the company, the impetus must come from the management team. More responsible investments, choice of environmentally friendly partners, internal communication... Deskeo helps you to reduce your company's ecological footprint with some concrete advice that you can put in place today.

1. Empowering employees to get involved

To encourage employees to be more environmentally friendly in the office, it is not enough to want to. You also have to give them the means to do so, by offering them sustainable and realistic alternatives.

Indeed, how can you sort and recycle your waste if there is no sorting bin available within the company?

The impetus must therefore come, first of all, from the company itself. Moreover, according to a study conducted by IFOP, 52% of French people would like companies to make a commitment to the environment and the climate as a priority!

Start at the beginning: selective sorting

In order to bring about a profound change in the environmental habits of your employees, you can start by taking action at your own level. To start with, investing in waste separation bins is quite simple. However, it is still common for office buildings not to sort waste... It is often discovered that all the waste bins are dumped in the same bins in the basement. If nothing is done, it is the responsibility of the occupying companies to raise the issue with the building owner or the managing agent in order to set up a global selective sorting.

To take it a step further, you can even invest in office composters! Coffee grounds, tea bags, apple cores, paper, cardboard... all organic waste that can easily be composted. If you want to deal with it directly, here are some tips. If not, Les alchimistes will accompany you in your efforts and compost your waste for you.

Common areas

In addition to waste sorting, environmental efforts should be more important in the workplace. The image of companies is positively impacted when they encourage ecological actions and employees are naturally more inclined to work for companies that aim to reduce their ecological footprint. Some reflexes can be adopted to reduce environmental impact, particularly in break rooms:

  • Replace plastic glasses with cups or tumblers that can be cleaned and reused,
  • Eliminate plastic stirrers at the coffee machine and invest in reusable spoons,
  • Provide your employees with reusable tableware (plates, bowls, cutlery, etc.), so that they do not have to resort to disposable alternatives,
  • Provide each employee with a glass bottle to avoid plastic bottles (take the opportunity to personalise them with your logo!),
  • Invest in a coffee machine with filters or beans, not pods.

Reducing energy consumption

You can also limit your company's energy consumption with simple initiatives:

  • Buy low-energy light bulbs to save energy,
  • Installing motion detectors instead of switches in common areas (kitchen, corridor, meeting rooms, storerooms, etc.),
  • Invest in reversible air conditioning. This equipment uses very little energy and produces more heat or cold than it consumes. In comparison, an electric radiator produces as much heat as it consumes in electricity
  • Install water fountains to eliminate all mineral bottles. At Deskeo, we trust Castalie to provide us with customised glass bottles.
  • Add a scrap bin next to the printer to reuse single-sided paper.
  • Install a recycling bin near the printers

These changes should really show your employees the small everyday gestures they should now adopt in the office to make their daily consumption more responsible.

2. Choose service providers who are aware of environmental issues

In addition to the arrangements to be made in your office, it is important to trust partners who are involved in this ecological transition.

The choice of partners begins with office stationery. Opt for recycled paper and reduce printing (by dematerialising certain tasks for example). You can also place a pile of "reusable" paper next to the printer, in case your employees forget the benefits of double-sided printing. For example, more and more companies are dematerialising their employees' payslips with Payfit, or their meal vouchers with Swile.

Energy suppliers should also be carefully chosen to reduce your carbon footprint. Today, many solutions are proposed around renewable energy to heat your business premises, think about it! This is the case for example with Enercoop, a 100% renewable electricity supplier.

Catering is a central point in the business world. Whether it's in your day-to-day work or when selecting a caterer for professional events, favour short circuits, organic food and transparent companies.

The latter must take care of the packaging of their products to avoid plastic and more generally waste. You can also negotiate directly with your local restaurant owners for a small discount code for your employees. Finally, encourage your employees to bring their own tupperware. Some companies, for example, have vegetables delivered to the premises for their employees.

Obviously, these eco-responsible changes do not necessarily have to be implemented all at once. The ecological transition can be gradual and communication with the teams is essential to make as many people as possible understand the challenges of tomorrow's world.

3. Inform employees by creating green initiatives

To succeed in the challenge of profoundly changing the habits of your employees at the office, it is necessary to go through the "information and communication" stage.

In addition to the "how", the "why" is also crucial to the success of such a challenge. Make sure you communicate with your teams beforehand, explaining to them why you are implementing these measures and their importance in everyday life. In this way, you will give more legitimacy to the changes you are implementing, and this will also create real trust between employees and managers.

To do this, information can be provided in different ways. It can be :

  • to organise "zero waste" workshops once a month within the company. The aim: to show employees simple gestures to adopt and to raise their awareness of the environmental cause!
  • Invite speakers specialising in the field to discuss and debate ecology in the professional world. For example, the Fresque du Climat creates fun workshops on the environment.
  • introduce "green" days to challenge employees. For example, reward employees who travel only by public transport.
  • inform your teams about unsuspected energy-consuming habits. For example, did you know that sending emails at work generates a staggering amount of greenhouse gas emissions each year: about 13 round trips from Paris to New York for every 100 employees. Not deleting emails also generates a lot of pollution, due to the energy consumed by the servers to store them.
  • to recommend using an eco-responsible search engine like Lilo

Finally, you will have really succeeded if your teams transfer their new habits from the office to their homes. By adopting good habits at the office and understanding their significance, your employees will be more likely to pass on these simple gestures in their personal sphere, which will multiply the positive consequences of your professional initiatives.

It's up to you!

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