By Sarilaya Cada
Sustainability and eco-friendliness are increasingly important to consumers, so businesses need to be aware of their own environmental impact and do what they can to reduce it.
Managers in particular may need to take a leading role in encouraging a green-conscious attitude among the teams they are responsible for, so what are some of the best ways to go about this?
Rather than simply banning certain practices or passively encouraging employees to change their ways, it is far more effective to incentivize the adoption of good habits.
There are a few solutions for achieving this, and while you might immediately jump to the conclusion that money will be the best motivator, you should really consider attractive non-monetary incentives to get staff to go along with whatever is being proposed.
Another eco conundrum many businesses face is how to get access to the hardware they need to succeed without this being an overly carbon-intensive and wasteful process.
This is where an appreciation for the cycle of procurement comes into play. For example, selling plastic equipment rather than scrapping it or recycling it is the greenest route. If the gear is still functional, it will find a home elsewhere. Additionally it will allow your organization to recoup some of the upfront expense to put towards the upgrade.
If team members are having to commute over long distances to get into the office, then this is obviously an area in which the carbon footprint of the company as a whole is being increased significantly.
With remote working on the rise, you can reduce the emissions that are associated with your organization’s operations significantly.
Of course it is not enough to just tell team members that they can work from home for a set number of days; you must also give them the means to do so without compromising their productivity levels. If they need a faster laptop or a quicker network connection, covering the cost of this to empower them is important if they choose to work remotely.
The main barrier to a wider adoption of green attitudes, both in business and in wider society, comes down to a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach which many leaders exhibit.
The simple solution is for managers to recognize the role that they can play in improving employee habits by practicing what they preach and aiming to be at the forefront of initiatives that are put in place as a result.
Whether that means carpooling or using public transport to get to work, working remotely if at all possible, eliminating single use plastics from the office, or pursuing any other sustainability-related project with vigor, leading by example is always going to send the right message.
Individuals and organizations alike have to be aware of the responsibility they have to protect the planet’s delicate ecosystem, and business managers can spearhead this movement if they want to.
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