You have put in place your environmental policy and recycling across the organisation is going well, it is monitored and staff have bought into the procedures. This first step in greening your workplace has been met with enthusiasm and the policy in now refreshed to increase the scope so that low energy light bulbs are becoming commonplace as replacements are needed. Old equipment and office furniture no longer finds it ways to a skip and then landfill; it is passed on to others to reuse or to remake into something funky and new.
Now staff are getting creative about greening the workplace and thinking of the office as not just somewhere to spend a large chunk of their time but a place that can be put to good use beyond the function it was designed for. In the kitchen food waste is recycled, herbs are grown in pots and plants have appeared in various locations throughout the building. A small group of staff have organised to litter pick the area around the building and car parks and a local reuse centre has provided picnic benches that are proving very popular. So popular that the office opposite has ordered some too and has planted up a few small areas with wild flowers to soften the hard lines of the building’s entrance.
Next the factory on the corner has installed a sedum roof and a bee keeper has been invited to keep a hive so that honey can be collected. A small group has been set up to look at ways to improve the whole space and work with the local community to improve the area. Tree planting, vegetable plots, picnic areas and walking trails start to appear. In time the whole area is transformed and looks and feels friendlier and safer, there is a renewed energy and community spirit – going to work is not the drag it used to be.
All sound like a pipe dream or an idealised view of reality? Well it may be a story but as with the best stories there is always a fundamental truth behind it. More and more people and organisations are realising that the workplace has a huge impact on the environment and that making small changes can, over time have a positive and cumulative impact. If each organisation made a few simple changes we would all benefit and of course we would be helping to achieve global goals for a better world.
The National Green Standard is designed to recognise the efforts that organisations are making in achieving positive impacts of the environment, society and long term sustainability. If you have started that journey and want to gain the prestigious recognition for your efforts then take the online free survey or drop us an email and we will arrange for a visit. firstname.lastname@example.org