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It's Not Easy Being Green
Can your office help solve climate change?
We have reached the tipping point in which even most skeptics now reluctantly see that climate change isn’t coming—climate change is HERE.
So, as leaders, we need to lead our teams to make responsible choices. And some of them will be popular and/or cost-effective, so they are actually good for the staff and the bottom line. For example:
Turn down the AC in the summer. Don’t keep the office at 65°. Offices are often traditionally kept at a cooler temperature so that men in wool suits won’t break a sweat. Instead, adopt a “summer casual” shirtsleeves policy. Most people are not wearing suits to the office anymore anyway—but wearing that company-logo polo shirt can be both comfortable and good for the planet. And many people in the office won’t need to wear a sweater at work when it’s 95° outside.
Look into window shades that reflect heat in summer and maximize heat in winter.
Reduce your plastic use—have washable coffee cups instead of disposable. Don’t provide plastic straws (people really seem to dislike paper straws, and the metal and glass ones are a pain to clean, but most people can drink directly from a cup without a straw). And purchase office supplies made from sustainable sources like bamboo—it’s a nicer looking inbox than that white plastic bin.
Consider installing electric vehicle charging stations in the parking area for your staffers and your clients.
When replacing appliances like the break room fridge, get an energy efficient model. Look into energy-efficient and sustainably-made options when redecorating (lightbulbs or fixtures, couch fabrics and carpet fibers, etc.).
Ask your people what THEY want to see the company do, and encourage them to find ways your team could implement that.
Don’t worry about doing everything all at once. If we can get everyone to take a few steps toward responsible greenhouse gas mitigation, it’s more impactful than waiting until we can do everything.