Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model that helps companies be more conscious of their impact on the environment, economy, and society as a whole. Having a CSR program holds a company socially accountable. It can improve your community, your company’s brand image, workplace morale, and employee retention.
An excellent way to start a CSR program is by implementing environmentally friendly office practices, such as recycling. Get your employees involved, and see the improvements that can be made!
Environmentally Friendly Office Practices
There are plentiful opportunities for environmentally friendly office practices in your workspace. If you already have a CSR program in place, you might get ideas for new initiatives, and if you don’t have a CSR program yet, you might be inspired to start one in your company.
Recycling at Work
Recycling at work can be straightforward, even if the initial setup seems daunting. Make your employees aware of the available recycling options, and provide them with the proper bins so it’s easy to follow your recycling initiative goals. You can recycle aluminum, paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and more.
You should also research and replace disposable products with sustainable, reusable products wherever possible, as long as it’s actually sustainable. You can find sustainable suppliers for many products you regularly use in your office. It just requires a little research on your part.
Corporate Social Responsibility doesn’t just have an environmental focus, although that’s important. When you choose to implement your own CSR program, you should also look at the community around your company and the needs there. There’s a good chance there are ways that you and your employees can help in the community.
By planning a volunteer project, you can encourage your employees to get involved and use their time to support the community. As a company, you can do anything from a clean-up project to volunteering your time to a school or retirement home.
Many companies have had to go remote in the past couple of years. However, as things are slowly getting back to normal, people are making their way back to the office. Consider keeping your employees remote, or offer the chance of a hybrid office, where employees can work some days in the office and some days from home.
Some research shows that employees are happier and more productive when they have the option to work from home, which is what companies should want for their employees. Having employees work from home reduces emissions from commutes and cuts down on paper waste, electricity use, and disposable products in packed or purchased lunches. Avalaunch has been offering a hybrid option to our employees, and we’ve found that it increases productivity and employee retention.
At Avalaunch, we’ve gotten rid of most of our in-office printers and have primarily gone paperless. We find it easier to keep memos on emails and chats, and we print minimally these days.
Even if you have to keep some paper in circulation, examine how you might be able to reduce your paper use. For example, you can print on both sides of a sheet of paper for in-office memos. You can also use recycled paper for your printing needs and utilize your emails more for company communications.
Encourage your employees to use sustainable modes of transportation. If there is reliable and convenient public transportation, you could offer your employees monthly passes to use the buses and trains available to them.
You could also make your office bike-friendly by providing bike racks or other storage options for those who bike to the office. You could even host a “Green Day,” where everyone who can bikes, carpools, or takes public transportation to the office. There might be incentives such as a raffle or other prizes available to those who participate.
Recycling Tips and Ideas
If you’re not sure how to get started with a recycling program in your company, we have a few recycling tips and ideas to get you started. To begin with, it helps to make your recycling initiative a whole-company project. If your executives are participating in your recycling program, other employees are more likely to join as well.
Make it easy to recycle at work. Educate your employees on your recycling initiative, and maintain your recycling bins. Having clearly marked bins for any kind of waste makes it easy for your employees to recycle. To this end, it might be worth it to select a designated recycling supervisor. This individual can be in charge of educating employees about recycling at work and other sustainability initiatives in the workplace. They can also maintain the bins and make sure they’re emptied regularly.
How to Promote Recycling in the Workplace
Along with education and maintenance, there are other ways you can promote recycling in the workplace. Although it’s unrealistic to ask your employees to give up coffee or tea, you can help keep some of these disposable cups out of the trash by offering them company-branded reusable coffee mugs and water bottles. It’s good advertising for your company, and it’s easy and convenient for your employees to use and cut down on disposable cups.
You can also start going paperless. Rather than distributing your memos, meeting schedules, and more on paper, send them as emails. Your employees rarely need to hold onto those things past a specific time, so sending them as emails keeps unnecessary paper out of the trash.
We’re Doing Our Part
At Avalaunch, we’re working hard to make our office more sustainable and environmentally friendly through our new CSR initiatives. For one, we’ve begun to offer a hybrid work option, which keeps more cars off the road and reduces CO2 emissions while lowering in-office consumption of disposable dishware, AC, heat, and electricity. We also celebrate Earth Day every year and hold a company-wide activity to do something for the environment, such as planting native plants to promote indigenous wildlife.
In the upcoming year, we plan to reinvent our recycling program and do a larger CSR initiative every quarter, such as volunteering time and services and donating money — all with the help of our employees. We’re always looking for more CSR business ideas, and we’d love to know what your company has been doing. Let us know in the comments below!