Going green: little steps to make big changes

Going green: little steps to make big changes

Going green: little steps to make big changes

There seems to be a perception that making your business eco-friendly is a monumental struggle.

Whether it's that employees will be reluctant to join the bandwagon or that the changes you implement won't really make that much of a difference, there's a fair bit of negativity encircling the whole idea.

A report by the Carbon Trust revealed that, while the overwhelming majority (92 per cent) of employees were concerned about saving energy at home, less than half (47 per cent) consider it a key issue to help their boss to do so in the workplace.

Part of the reason for this could be a lack of knowledge about how important it is to be eco-friendly or alternatively that employees don't feel a sense of ownership behind the drive.

It might be that you have some great ideas about how to be more environmentally friendly, but just don't know how to implement them so they not only work, but also aren't a flash in the pan.

Here are two simple ways that you can make big changes in the office you manage, for the good of the environment.

Create a green team

If it's just you banging your drum in the corner, there's not much chance you'll get people on your side. It's likely your work will have a social team that organises the Christmas party and office nights out - why not create a green team as well?

If you give people ownership of something, there's a greater chance things will actually happen as they value the fact you're entrusting them with responsibility. Not only will it hopefully create and strengthen friendships within the office, as these people will spend more time together, but it will also mean you'll get a variety of different ideas and be able to select the best few that will work in your office.

With a number of people encouraging employees to implement certain changes, such as a weekly clean-up or creating a kitchen rota, more reluctant staff will find it harder to ignore a growing band of greenies.

Make it a competition

Everybody loves a competition, particularly if it means they can get one over on the department that's a bit too noisy for someone's liking.

Competitive spirits can really help an idea to get off the ground and if you promise a prize of some description to the winning team, it will only increase the chances of success. Make sure you give it a title, so sub-teams or departments know what they're trying to achieve. Whether it's which department has used the least paper in a week or whose desk is the tidiest, it's worth giving it a shot.

Sometimes employees might be wanting to get involved in a scheme or initiative, but either don't know how to or just need a little push in the right direction. Essentially forcing them to get involved - through a friendly competition - can sometimes be just the impetus both you and they need.

This can be a really good way to build a sense of office community and camaraderie - especially if you pair up people who don't normally work together - and also do your bit for the environment.

Posted by Jamie Kendell

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