Happy Earth Day!  Since it’s humble beginning over 20 years ago, people are now taking the time to consider how their daily actions affect our planet.  More and more organizations are looking at simple steps to become environmentally sustainable.  Some have scheduled special events during this week to encourage employees to consider their actions carefully and work toward building practices that help the environment.  Consider the following simple steps to incorporate into your office practice:

1) Provide your staff with two containers for every workspace. One for trash and one for recycling. If you want to take it a step further, provide multiple bins so that employees can separate recycled items based on type.
2) Review your policies that require paper and look at ways to convert these to online practices. For example, do you use paper purchase orders and paper invoices when working with vendors and clients? Is there a way to implement a system to use PDF forms as a way to reduce the paperwork?
3) Encourage employees to carpool to work and provide incentives for those who do. At the Environmental Protection Agency, special parking places are available for workers who carpool to the office. The government has provided a tax incentive for people purchasing hybrid vehicles, consider whether providing special parking places for hybrid vehicles as an option to encourage reducing our carbon footprint.
4) Provide easy links on your website to organizations that offset carbon usage. One example is the nonprofit, LiveNeutral.org.
5) Provide refillable water bottles to your employees and encourage them to use water coolers to refill them. If you are providing bottled water in a refrigerator, consider changing this policy to this more environmentally friendly way to support your employees.

Environmental Sustainability can be easily encouraged through these simple steps. Consider choosing one of the above suggestions to start. You’ll be surprised at how your employees react to simple suggestion for a better working environment.

What steps are you taking now at your organization to encourage environmental sustainability?

Would you consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle for yourself or your company if there were incentives to do so?

What guidelines do you currently provide your employees to consider environmental impacts of their actions?