Four R’s to Rejuvenate Your Environmental Impact

Sustainability in the workplace has gone far beyond being a ‘trend’, or a way to differentiate your business and build your brand – it’s become the norm. As millennials are moving into executive positions, and generation begins to enter the workforce, more and more high-quality employees are looking to work with and build organizations which are aligned with their personal ideologies. And to say that environmentally consciousness is top of mind for the next generations, is an understatement.

As your business continues to grow, and you seek out architecture, design and furniture solutions that speak to the direction in which you are moving, consider these four R’s as excellent routes for giving your sustainability efforts a refresh.

Traditional Recycling: If you’re looking to completely remove pieces from your office in efforts of updating your office stylistically or ergonomically (or both for that matter), you can dismantle pieces into their constituent parts (such as plastic, wood, metal, etc) and recycle them appropriately.

Repair: Breathe new life into tired furniture and fittings with new fabrics, textiles and paint. What was once an outdated workplace furniture solution can quickly become a trendy, one-of-a-kind statement piece that shows employees, clients and/or customers you are up to speed with current design trends! Polishers up can executive furniture to return it to its original brilliance, reupholster pieces in new fabrics, and opt for carpet and/or leather cleaning to remove stubborn stains that may be dating (and devaluing) your brand.

Resale: Do some research into whether there is a market for your second-hand furniture. If so, arrange for its resale to help recoup some of the cost – funds which can be put back into updating your workplace with new furniture solutions that better reflect the direction your business is moving in.

Reuse: Consider matching your old office furniture with need among charities. Many not-for-profit agencies and organizations could benefit from receiving furniture solutions that aren’t at the top of their priority list in terms of investment. In helping to drive charitable work forward – you become an organization that helps communities thrive. This goes far beyond being a ‘feel good’ measure as it establishes your brand as being community driven and socially responsible.

Oh – and don’t forget about IT.

Recycling IT: If your devices and IT equipment that have come to the end of their business lifecycle, and you are in need of an upgrade in order to ensure your technological capabilities are ahead of the curve in your industry, they can often be recycled. If you wipe your data and hard drives in order to protect your confidentiality, products can often be donated to charitable organizations, who will in turn pass them on to grateful end users. If your IT products or devices.

Workplace Design With the Environment in Mind

Workplace design is one of the most influential tools which can be used to help achieve business goals. The power of space to influence our energy, interaction, health, and drive is tremendous.

Not surprisingly, when we discuss the workplace of the future – sustainable design tools, products and services are quickly identified innovative solutions to help organize and implement a new way of working – with increasingly positive results to an organization’s bottom line.

How exactly do environmentally conscious choices affect your business? We’re glad you asked!

Socially. 

Now that employees (and executives alike) are logging more hours at the office than ever before, they have become more immediately linked to the company they work for. For this reason, employees are more likely to enjoy more job satisfaction when they are working with an organization aligned to their own personal belief systems. Workplace sustainability instills a pride in the workforce and demonstrates an organization’s commitment to “walk the walk”.

Economically. 

Sustainable workplaces help to improve productivity, reduce operational costs (through energy cost savings), and eliminate waste (using renewable and recyclable materials while also integrating actual recycling programs).

Environmentally. 

Sustainable workplaces respect the planet. To ensure you are choosing design solutions that truly take environmental impact seriously, consider the following:

  • Shop Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) Certified

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) runs Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector ecolabelling program. The organizations certification program has developed standards by which products and services are independently audited to ensure minimal environmental impact while also taking personal health and wellness, and social ramifications into consideration. By choosing GECA certified products, you are making socially and environmentally sustainable choices for your workplace that make a world of difference.

  • Do Good Business With ISO 14001 Certified Companies

ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) provide an integrated approach to environmental management. Put environmental management at the top of your sustainability goals in order to achieve success while reducing your environmental impact.

At the end of the day, sustainable design in the workplace – is just good business. It allows you to reduce costs, increase employee health and grow your business by building a reputation that positions you as a sustainability champion!

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Going Green is Good for Business

Integrating environmentally friendly initiatives into the workplace may seem like a simple and trendy public relations move. In truth, going green brings a wide variety of benefits for business owners. Applying green processes to the workplace positions participating businesses as leaders of social change while allowing for significant financial growth. Some benefits include:

Tax Advantages

Going green has many practical advantages. In some countries, tax credits and incentives are available. Many businesses are eligible for a sales tax exemption or corporate income tax credit for using solar energy systems, equipment, machinery and other renewable energy technologies.

Reduced Waste

Sustainable utilization can improve the overall efficiency of a business. For example, turning off lights in vacant offices can save energy, reduce utility costs and increase your bottom line. Printing less cuts down on paper usage and refilling ink cartridges instead of throwing them away can be another money-saving practice while also reducing the amount of plastic thrown away from the cartridge and packaging.

Improved Workplace

 Providing green options within a company can help employees who suffer from respiratory and other health-related conditions, because green products contain fewer chemicals that are connected to physical problems. A healthier workplace reduces sick days, in turn increasing productivity and overall output.

Environmental Standards to Increase Your Bottom Line

Businesses or organizations looking to stand apart, might want to consider attaining ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a comprehensive series of standards including a family of standards that provide practical tools for companies and organizations looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.

Australian consumers seeking out sustainable options will be especially interested in Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified products. Interior designers and project managers looking to introduce new design and furniture solutions into the workplace, would set themselves apart as sustainability champions.

 

With green initiatives increasing in popularity, economic studies have shown that companies utilizing green technology and selling green products are seeing an increase in profit. With environmentally building design and operation, success is assured as the workplace becomes both practical and profitable. The numbers are in and the Return on Investment (ROI) of prioritizing sustainability in the workplace – are sure to drive growth that’s very, very green!

 

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