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How to Establish a Corporate Culture That Values Sustainability



From an executive leadership perspective, it’s hard to totally transform your company culture. Once employees become accustomed to doing things certain ways, it’s difficult to alter these habits. However, when it comes to sustainability, something must be done.

5 Tips for Establishing a Green Corporate Culture

In 2016, it’s not only smart to have a green corporate culture – but it’s also necessary. A corporate culture that values sustainability will save your business money and make your brand more marketable to consumers and prospective employees.

Here are a few practical tips and suggestions to help you get there:

1. Go Paperless

“The greenest paper is no paper at all, so keep things digital and dematerialized whenever possible,” says Manon Verchot of TreeHugger. “The more you do online, the less you need paper.”

Going paperless in your office can seem like a major challenge, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. Paul Mah, an IT professional, points out 14 different ways you can create a paperless office. Many of them are as simple as altering one non-essential process.

2. Encourage Carpooling

In large companies and small local businesses, chances are pretty high that many of your employees live in the same neighborhoods and areas. It’s a shame, then, that everyone drives to work on their own each morning. By encouraging carpooling, you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint in a major way. Not to mention, your employees could save some serious money. Try plugging everyone’s address into Google Maps and suggesting some different groups.

3. Offer Incentives

“Employee recognition programs are shown to dramatically increase employee productivity and raise company profits,” according to Executive Gift Shoppe. “Research has shown that companies who have employee recognition programs in place have a 31% lower turnover from employees leaving to find other employment!”

Using this same logic, you can expect better results from a shift to sustainability if there’s some sort of incentivized program in place. Employees are much more apt to participate if they’re being recognized and appreciated. It doesn’t have to be anything big, either. Something as simple as a “Green Employee of the Month” award can be enough to conjure up some excitement.

4. Allow for Remote Working

With wireless internet, instant messaging, video conferencing, and powerful cloud-based software platforms, it’s possible for almost anyone to work remotely. Are you currently giving your employees the opportunity to work from home?

While it’s probably not practical to let employees work from home whenever they want, you should consider establishing a part-time work-from-home setup. Consider giving every employee one day per week where they can work remotely. In doing so, you can dramatically reduce your office’s energy consumption.

5. Use Sustainable Materials

It’s not possible to avoid all paper use. Even “paperless offices” have to use envelopes, stamps, and send the occasional letter. But did you know you can use recycled paper? Furthermore, you can use sustainable materials in other areas of the office. From refillable pens and ink cartridges to biodegradable soaps and cleaners, replacing standard materials with eco-friendly alternatives can make a big difference.

Helen Zhang of American Express’ OPEN Forum suggests starting out with these 10 eco-friendly office products. From there, you can expand to include other items that may require more of an investment.

It’s Time to Go Green!

While you may be a little behind the “green” curve, it’s not too late to participate. Establishing a corporate culture that values sustainability isn’t easy, but it is highly rewarding.

Meet with your leadership and management teams today to discuss actionable ways you can make “green” a priority.



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