9 tips for a sustainable workplace

A sustainable workplace is an essential part of a sustainable company. Find out how to prepare your own workplace for a green revolution. In this way, you radiate what you stand for to both your employees and customers who are visiting you. These nine tips will get you started.

1. Own mugs, cutlery and plates at the office

Disposable cups and cutlery do not fit into the sustainable picture. So replace these with a solid set of mugs, cutlery and plates. This is already a step in the right direction, so that nothing is thrown away unnecessarily. However, before you decide to order such a set new from a store, a visit to the local thrift store is recommended. You could also ask employees to bring a set from home; most people always have an unused set lying around somewhere. This way you have a cheerfully varying ensemble and you don’t buy any newly produced materials either.

2. Plants in the office

Add as many plants as possible to the workplace. Most plants purify the air and thus contribute to healthy clean air in the office. It is important that the plants have been created in a sustainable and organic way, but there is a large supply of sustainable and poison-free plants nowadays.

Besides providing clean air, plants also create a calming atmosphere and reduce employee stress, this has been scientifically researched. In addition, plants fit in nicely with the image of a sustainable company. Instead of filling up the workplace with accessories from home improvement stores that often contain plastic or wood, the plant is a much more sustainable mood enhancer.

3. Less printing, more online

Printing stacks of papers is unsustainable and often unnecessary. So make sure you have as much digital as possible as a company. This creates a win-win situation: The workplace becomes a lot more sustainable and you also save money. In some cases, printing is unavoidable. In that case, always try to save the cartridges and return them so that they can be reused. When buying or ordering cartridges, there is often an instruction manual on how this process works.

4. Healthy, organic and local food at work

It is of course nice to be able to offer food and drink at the workplace. However, to do this in a sustainable way there are a few important points. For example, it is very important that you go for organic food that is packaged as minimally as possible, and preferably only with biodegradable packaging. Biscuits from the factory that are individually wrapped in plastic are therefore immediately dropped. Consider purchasing Tupperwares to keep fresh produce as long as possible. Partnering with a sustainable and local restaurant or cafe may be an option. Especially in big cities, there are numerous sustainable organic eating places that could provide catering. This way you support the locals and don’t buy from big polluting chains. Of course, you don’t have to offer a whole day’s menu, but some healthy snacks would be a positive addition. Also, partnering with a sustainable café could mean employees receive a discount.

Offering organic and healthy food graces the company and makes it even more attractive for employees with the same passion for sustainability to join. In addition, it is very important that employees can easily make conscious eating choices so that they can also concentrate better during work.

5. Renewable energy

The energy supply to your workplace is crucial if you want to become more sustainable. For example, you can add solar panels to take control of the energy supply. In the long run, this also saves a lot of money. Companies can also benefit from subsidies for certain renewable energy sources. Click here to read more about it.

6. Lights out by means of light sensors

When the workday is done, it is very important that all lights and equipment are turned off. But even during the working day, there are often empty spaces that are illuminated for nothing. In addition to sticking notes on the wall, light sensors could offer a solution. In this way, the light is automatically switched off when there is no movement for a certain period of time. This means that the lights are only on in the rooms that are actually being used.

7. Separating waste

Separating waste cannot be missed. Separate paper, plastic, fruit and vegetable waste and glass easily by purchasing a functional waste bin. Such a wastebin clearly indicates with pictures in which compartment what has to go. Research shows that few offices separate waste, while it is a small effort and has a big impact. So take a critical look at your own workplace and see how you easily apply this.

8. Renovate and create a sustainable workplace down to the materials

If the workplace has yet to be built or a major renovation is planned, you can easily take sustainability to the next level. It is then of great importance to choose natural building materials and to disregard chemical substances. Sustainable materials also drastically improve the health and concentration of employees as no chemicals are released in the office. Nowadays there are many natural building materials on the market, think of paint based on linseed oil, geopolymer instead of cement and completely climate neutral marmoleum floors based on organic substances.

9. Plan a sustainable company outing to complete the sustainable workplace

Read about five sustainable company outings in this article. This strengthens your company’s overall position on sustainability and confirms and reinforces the feeling among colleagues that they are working for a truly green company.

Do you have a sustainable workplace?

After reading through these tips, you can easily evaluate how sustainable your own workplace is. Sustainability is the future, so it’s never a bad choice. So stay critical of the company and see what can be improved, with an eye to the future and the health of the employees!

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