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Sustainability Practices Need to be Adopted Internally First

Posted on: August 4th, 2020


According to the EPA, “Sustainability practices are important to make sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials and resources to protect human health and our environment.”

In a recent post, we highlighted a survey conducted by Kearney Management Consultants in which 78 percent of consumers now believe that companies could be doing more to help them make decisions that improve environmental outcomes.

With information and education available to everyone and anyone with a smart phone in hand, today’s consumers are more sophisticated and demanding of the companies they choose to do business with. Regardless of the size of your organization, if you want to stay relevant in the minds of consumers, sustainability practices need to be adopted.

But sustainability needs to be more than just forward-facing in the market. First, you have to practice what you preach internally. So, here are some ideas to help your organization get started.

Partner with Employees
Training your employees to implement more sustainability practices (turning off lights, being aware of water usage, carpooling) is a great way to get started. But it’s also important to involve them in the process by asking for ideas on how the organization can conserve more environmental resources in their work areas. Maybe it’s removing styrofoam cups from the break room or changing vending machine lighting to only illuminate when a payment method is inserted into the machine. Listen to your employees as they often have some compelling ideas about sustainability.

Develop a Recycling Program
Go beyond just recycling paper and plastics generated by the organization. By partnering with your waste management vendor, you can create a program where employees can easily recycle products such as light bulbs, electronics, other paper products and supplies right at their job site. This convenience will not only encourage more recycling efforts but will show your organization is serious about sustainability practices.

Develop Sustainable Work Polices
Many times, the impetuous for change is spurred on by laws or policies requiring our adherence. Does your organization’s handbook have such policies related to sustainability practices? Some examples would be powering down your computer and other technologies at the end of a workday or enabling energy saving features when possible. You might also ban the use of styrofoam plates and plastic forks for lunches and office functions. Regardless of your policies, having them down in writing will guarantee an impact.

Sustainability practices can be challenging to implement, but it’s important to set a precedence internally first so they can be adopted down the line.

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