According to research from the World Health Organisation (WHO), nine out of ten people worldwide breathe polluted air. WHO also estimates that “around seven million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air.” Let that sink in for a bit.
These stats are a bold reminder that we can’t sit around and do nothing. And, given that we spend so much of our time at work, it’s a good a place to start thinking green.
To honour World Environment Day 2019, we surveyed 1,000 office workers on workplace sustainability. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they would refuse a job at an organisation with a poor sustainability record, and three quarters (73 percent) would like to see their workplace improve its sustainability record.
We consider ourselves an environmentally conscious business and now we’re really putting that into action by implementing our own sustainability policy. First, we spoke to our team to get an idea of their position on sustainability, and to see what ideas they had for us.
The people have spoken
Thank goodness for good staff. The majority of us at Definition (94 percent) are committed to protecting the environment and agree that we should have a sustainability policy in place.
The good news is that creating such a policy doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. The Definition team has identified the following practices they’d like to see implemented in our new sustainability policy.
Improve our office recycling practices and ban plastic from the office
Our team would like us to ban single use plastic in the office, and that’s something we’re going to act upon immediately. From now on, Definition will be a plastic-free zone. We’ll be providing reusable cups to prevent the lazy temptation of picking up plastic ones. If other businesses can’t afford to do this, then team members could be encouraged to bring a reusable cup from home.
Reduce energy usage with a switch off policy
Introducing a ‘switch off’ policy for everyone to turn off their computers and other devices at the end of every day is easy to implement but just as easy to forget. We’re going to put up visible reminders and hold everyone accountable to make sure we stick to it!
Initiate volunteer days
One idea that the Definition team came up with is to volunteer our time to environmental and sustainable activities. They’ll find eco-friendly initiatives they’d like to get involved with and the plan is to give them time away from the office to do just that. This could be anything from picking up litter to helping plant trees locally.
Commit to sharing more sustainability related content
Living a more sustainable lifestyle comes down to being more aware and making better decisions. So, we plan on sharing more sustainability related content on our social channels and in our internal Slack groups. This should help to keep sustainability top of mind.
Aim to work with sustainable partners and suppliers.
At Definition, we work with a lot of suppliers, so we’re going to ask our current ones what they’re doing about sustainability and if there’s anything we can do to help. If you work with a lot of suppliers, then you’re just one part of the chain, so it’s worth asking them what their position is on sustainability. This not only highlights your company’s commitment, but challenges them to start thinking about greener practices, if they haven’t already done so.
Our planet is precious, and it’s under threat. These are just a handful of the ideas that came from the team, so we have a lot to work with to implement a solid sustainability policy. We’re proud of the fact that our team is uniting in creating a more sustainable work environment and we’d like to challenge other businesses to do the same. You can start by implementing the above but more importantly, talk to your team about what they’re passionate about. It’s a great way to implement effective policies that they will want to follow.