Since the pre-industrial era, there has been a 1 degree Celsius increase in global surface temperatures, and while this number may seem small, it’s actually pretty alarming. The drastic change in temperature has caused ice caps to melt, habitats to be destroyed, and changes in seasonal temperatures all across the globe. And all this is in large part due to human activity. This means that it’s up to us to rectify the situation, or, at the very least, to keep it from escalating. As individuals, there is very little that we can do to make a significant decrease in the growing climate emergency. However, companies and organizations can still do a lot to mitigate the disastrous effects of global warming, protect the environment and save lives.
With World Environment Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time for companies to take crucial steps to protect the environment. You can do a lot as a company to become more environmentally friendly. In this blog post, we’ve highlighted 20 ways to protect the environment as a business, and how you can play a role in making the planet more liveable for current and future generations.
1. Recycle all your waste
When talking about ways to protect the environment, this is a pretty basic way to play your part. Start recycling your waste, and encourage your employees to do the same. You can do this by setting up recycling bins in different places around your workplace.
Make sure to have three separate bins placed next to each other – one for plastic waste, one for glass, and one for paper. At the end of each week, gather all the waste and take it to a recycling plant. Or call people in to take the trash away. This might require a little more effort on your part than usual, however, it will make a huge impact on environment conservation.
2. Switch to digital
In the 21st century, paper should be obsolete. And to protect the environment, it might just have to be. If you’re still using paper to create reports, send memos, or fill out forms, it’s time to stop and switch to digital. Keep electronic copies of everything in the office. Encourage people to bring their laptops and store all their important documents in digital form.
A good way to ensure this happens is to get rid of the office printer and copier. If employees don’t have access to paper, they’ll be less likely to use it. And remember that real change begins at the top. So set an example by cutting out paper usage entirely.
3. Run an awareness campaign on social media
While there are plenty of ways to protect the environment internally for a company, a big part of climate activism is to encourage it in other people. So use your social media platforms to send a green message.
You don’t have to run an elaborate and difficult campaign. You can use PosterMyWall to create environment posters and put them up on your Instagram and Facebook pages. Add a caption that highlights the need for climate action as soon as possible and encourages people to do their part. Most importantly, let people know about the efforts you’re making as a company to combat climate change. Who knows? You might inspire other businesses to take the same measures.
With World Environment Day coming up soon, now is the perfect time for a social media campaign that challenges everyone to take action.
4. Use sustainable packaging
If you’re a company that makes and sells products, you might want to look into switching to sustainable packaging. According to one study, 78 million tons of packaging waste are produced every year! That’s shocking, to say the least. You can make an effort to combat that by packing your products in biodegradable wrapping that won’t harm the environment.
- Switch to plantable packaging – packaging that contains seeds that you can bury in the soil
- Use biodegradable plastic packaging
- Use recycled paper to create packaging
5. Opt for renewable energy at the office
Renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it will also save the company money in the long term. For instance, consider installing solar panels on the roof of your workplace. While the initial cost for solar panels may be high, once they are installed, they will not only ensure a steady stream of electricity, they will also considerably bring down your energy costs.
6. Install LED light bulbs
There are also other ways to protect the environment through sustainable energy consumption. One option is to switch out your regular light bulbs and replace them with LED light bulbs. This is not only good for the environment, but it’ll also be good for your employees. Traditional light bulbs contain toxic chemicals that seep into the air and make it toxic as well. LED light bulbs, by comparison, do not contain any toxic chemicals and are therefore a much safer and environmentally friendly option.
7. Allow remote work
According to one study, carbon emissions were reduced by around 17% in April 2020 when people were working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the biggest drastic decrease in decades, and if companies keep the option of remote work open, we can ensure that this number doesn’t rise again.
Remote work has not only proven to be more convenient for employees, especially working mothers, but it has also proven to maintain the same levels of productivity as working from an office. It has helped people save on fuel costs and commute time, and given them the option to spend more time with family and friends. The fact that it’s good for the environment is simply the icing on the cake.
So consider partial, if not complete, remote work options for your employees for a more sustainable work environment.
8. Run CSR workshops for your employees
CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility, and it highlights the need for companies to make an urgent effort to combat the effects of climate change. You can do this by making your employees more aware of company goals and practices that are geared towards sustainability. To that end, you can run workshops that let employees know how they can do their part in making the company more environmentally friendly.
Freshen up the air inside your office by getting some indoor plants for your workspace. Not only will these add a pop of color to a dull office environment, but they will also make sure that the air stays fresh. This, in turn, will keep your employees healthy and productive.
Here are some plants you can get for the office. These are perfect because they don’t require a lot of sunlight and only have to be watered every once in a while:
- Snake Plant
- African Violet
- English Ivy
- ZZ Plant
- Lucky Bamboo
10. Reduce company travel
If the work you do requires your employees to travel frequently, consider this option. These days, most things, especially conferences and meetings, can be done online. So instead of sending someone across the country to meet with a potential partner or buyer, propose the option of an online meeting. Sure, a Zoom call may not feel as organic as a face to face meeting, but if it reduces travel and helps protect the environment, it just might be worth it.
11. Reuse as much as you can
Don’t throw things away if you don’t have to. Reuse them instead. A good way to ensure this is to limit the use of plastic in the office and switch to other options. For instance, if you’re still using plastic cups or plates for your office parties, switch to china or glassware. Similarly, don’t throw away party decorations. Keep them in a box and reuse them for your next office party.
12. Engage with your community
Working with the community you’re a part of to help the environment is extremely important. After all, you can make a much bigger impact if everyone works together. As a company, you should take the lead in sustainability efforts and give people guidance on the steps they can take on an individual level.
So this World Environment Day, gather a team of volunteers from your office and send them to schools, colleges, and community centers. They can talk to other willing climate enthusiasts and work with them on joint sustainability efforts. Together, they can aim to clean up their neighborhood, encourage carpooling among local residents, or come up with any other ways that the community can help mitigate climate change effects.
Make sure to advertise your intentions to get the community involved in your efforts online. This way, people who are interested can reach out directly to you as well. You can make some custom environment posters using PosterMyWall and spread your message effectively.
Recently, a collection of small businesses from a neighborhood in Maine sent their volunteers to collaborate on an Earth Day project – more than 400 volunteers did a roadside clean-up overseen by a local non-profit organization called Friends of Acadia. This is a great example of a community coming together and making a positive impact on the environment.
13. Encourage employees to do community service for a bonus
If you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can set fixed environmental action-based bonuses for employees who are the most environmentally conscious.
For instance, if one of your employees does some community service such as cleaning up the local park on a weekend, they can be entitled to a bonus in the coming month. While this may be slightly costly, it will give your employees the extra push they need to be more active in their sustainability efforts.
14. Participate in carbon offsetting
Carbon offsetting basically involves you, as a business, calculating the size of your carbon footprint and then either donating to organizations that make the same level of carbon reduction efforts on your behalf or making carbon reduction efforts yourself. This way you can ensure that your carbon emissions cancel out and go to zero.
This is perhaps one of the most important ways businesses can protect the environment. And it’s a practice that’s becoming increasingly important as carbon footprints on a global scale keep increasing.
15. Work with other environmentally responsible companies
We’ve all heard the saying: you are the company that you keep! And in this case, it’s very true. To become a sustainable business, you need to associate yourself solely with other sustainable businesses. So make a list of such businesses and reach out to them if what they do is relevant to what you do. Together, you can engage in sustainable business practices or run joint awareness campaigns.
16. Get company stakeholders on board
There’s a very limited amount of impact you can make as a business if efforts aren’t made from the very top. This is why you need to ensure that all your company stakeholders are involved in sustainability efforts. This way you can also ensure that you can set aside a sizable budget to protect the environment.
So make a policy proposal for being more sustainable and present it to the stakeholders. Let them know how sustainability efforts will be beneficial for them as well.
17. Place relevant signs around the office
It doesn’t hurt to remind your employees to turn the lights off when they leave a room, or to separate the trash based on plastic and paper. So put up signs around the office that remind employees to be environmentally conscious. This is a small step to take but it can have a big impact because it will ensure that people are following through on your sustainability policies.
18. Offer filtered water to employees
A lot of people tend to bring bottled water to the office in the absence of any alternatives. Not only is that bad for the environment, but it is also more costly. You can mitigate this by offering filtered water at the office. Like the point above, this is also a small step that can have a big impact on your employees’ habits and on the environment.
19. Support local charities working towards sustainability
Set aside a fixed budget every year to give to charities and local organizations working to protect the environment. This is important because while you, as a business, can do a lot to be more environmentally friendly, institutions that are designed specifically for this purpose will still be able to do more. And so it’s important that you support them in these efforts.
To make sure your money is going to the right places, start by making a list of all the organizations that are geared towards sustainability and whose goals and values align with your business’s. Then, allocate a fixed amount to each place based on what they need and start your partnership.
It’s also a good idea to let your clients and partners know that you’re supporting such charities. This will be good for your brand image and it will encourage others to get on board as well. You can create custom social media graphics to advertise your deals with these charities and put them up on your socials.
20. Install green windows and appliances
Like we’ve said before, a big part of going green is reducing your energy consumption. One way to do this is to install green or energy-efficient windows. These are special windows that stabilize the internal temperature of the office and keep it from getting too heated or too cold. This means that you can save up on air conditioning.
Similarly, you can go green with your appliances by getting energy-efficient refrigerators, for instance.
Start prepping for World Environment Day today!
With World Environment Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to implement the strategies mentioned above and take the first steps towards becoming a more environmentally conscious company.
And we know exactly how you can start! By fleshing out a plan for a social media awareness campaign. Choose one of PosterMyWall’s environment posters, customize it and brand it according to your style, and put it up on your social media to make people aware of the urgency of climate change action.
As the planet continues to get hotter every year, it is our duty to find ways to protect the environment and make the planet liveable again. To do this, some drastic steps need to be taken on an individual and collective level. It’s never too soon to start your climate activism and inspire positive change, so start working towards and make an impact today.
New to PosterMyWall? Browse through our range of environment posters and do your part to protect the environment.
Senior editor at PosterMyWall.