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How to Make Your Employees as Green as Your Brand

Green is in, and your company has developed a brand identity of caring about the environment and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. Unfortunately, even though your marketing strategy effectively communicates your company’s eco-friendly message, your employees aren’t exactly beacons of green light.

You can’t honestly tell your clients and customers that your business is eco-friendly without boasting a workforce that is devoted to sustainable practices in everything they do, so it is crucial that you reform your employees’ untenably wasteful ways.

Education

It is entirely possible that your employees welcome the idea of sustainability in their work and home life, but they lack the information and tools that will help them achieve such green goals. You can’t expect them to make changes without providing them the proper education and equipment to become environmentally friendly.

First, you must teach employees about the reasons eco-friendly initiatives are so important. There are dozens of ways to achieve this, including:

  • Assigning mandatory reading from books and magazines that illuminate the small ways humans destroy natural environments.
  • Hiring an expert speaker to explain the dangers of climate change.
  • Hosting lunches during which you play documentaries related to the various signs and symptoms of climate change.

Once your employees fully comprehend the issues at hand, you can furnish them with the supplies they’ll need to accomplish your eco-friendly initiative. For example, recycling bins should be as convenient as trash cans, and you should decrease paper storage areas to encourage organizing business files digitally.

Additionally, you should encourage your employees to extend their eco-attitude to every aspect of their lives. They should consider driving low-emission hybrid cars instead of diesel trucks. Additionally, donating large items, such as vehicles or boats to a charity can benefit the local community, as well as the environment. On top of helping out charity, it will help your employees too. It will clear up much-needed room in their garage if they decide to finally give up that unused boat or vehicle that’s just collecting dust — plus they could use the donation to get additional financial relief when tax season rolls around again.

Eventually, such a green mindset may make your workforce healthier and wealthier, as they opt for local produce instead of processed foods and save money by opting for cheaper energy sources like solar.

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Incentives

Then again, some of your employees may be obstinate and remain reluctant to change their wasteful ways even with the proper training and tools. To convince more stubborn members of your workforce, you may consider implementing small incentives to transform your office into a green space. For example, as your office gets greener, you will likely notice a decrease in your monthly costs; expenses like paper and electricity should go down as more sustainable options take their place. You can reward your employees with a percentage of the savings until their eco-friendly decisions become second-nature.

Of course, there are inexpensive ways to reward your employees as well. Many studies conclude that employees respond highly to the simplest forms of appreciation. By sponsoring lunch once a week or hosting a company party every month or so, you can show how much you respect and value your employees’ efforts toward an eco-friendly office environment. Additionally, employees most effective at employing green strategies can receive free, unique perks, like a certificate or a designated parking space. You can even inspire employees with simple statements of praise; daily recognition goes a long way to motivate employee behavior.

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Examples

Even corporations who have long been associated with environmental destruction are seeing the value of going green. Here are a few ways familiar companies are reducing their impact and becoming more eco-friendly to improve their reputations:

  • Bank of America boasts an internal recycling program that saves more than 200,000 trees from destruction every year, and employees are offered $3,000 rewards for choosing hybrid vehicles as their commuter cars.
  • Home Depot — once the world’s biggest harvester of old wood due to its strength and beauty — now refuses to sell old-growth wood products, which significantly diminishes the deforestation of old-growth rainforests around the world.
  • Wal-Mart is working toward powering all of its stores and offices with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which would mean more than 7 billion kilowatt-hours of energy would become completely sustainable by 2020; currently, the store is at 32 percent completion, with more than 335 renewable energy projects underway.
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car owns the world’s largest collection of fuel-efficient vehicles (440,000 in total), and the company is committed to reviving America’s forests with more than 50 million new trees planted in 50 years.

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