Sustainable Workplace-Office Applications
Sustainability Practices Will Save the World. Today, all nations around the world have come together to sign an international environmental struggle. Make it happen in your workplace.
Environmental sustainability is defined as "the principle of not being harmful to the environment or avoiding excessive consumption of natural resources and thus supporting the long-term ecological balance". Sustainable workplace practices basically refer to businesses that have succeeded in implementing the following two items:
To minimize the damage to the environment
To reduce the waste of resources
What are the Advantages of an Environmentally Sustainable Workplace?
Demand for environmental sustainability practices is increasing day by day. Businesses adopt environmentally sustainable workplace practices not only to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities, but also to reduce operating costs and operational costs, increase the health and well-being of their employees, and ultimately achieve a much more balanced profit and loss balance. Moreover, it is also possible for you to operate your business in a much more rational way. These environmentally sustainable workplaces; They aim to protect the environment, our extremely valuable natural resources, and to minimize the damage that may occur inside or outside the company.
In our previous articles, we discussed how beneficial it is to create green workspaces through sustainability practices, and even positively affect the final profit of the company.
In today's article, we will talk about what environmental sustainability applications can be for offices or businesses and the advantageous situations you will achieve as a result.
To summarize these advantages briefly;
1. Environmental Advantages
- Building buildings have the greatest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The emission saving potential is expected to be 84 billion tons by 2050.
- Buildings with an Energy and Environmental Design Leadership or “Green” certificate use 25% less energy and 11% less water than non-certified and non-green buildings.
2. Economic Advantages
- According to their owners, green buildings, whether new or old equipped, increase the asset value of the business by around 7%.
- A study by the European Commission in 2015 predicted that energy efficiency initiatives could save 280 to 410 billion Euros.
- The productivity rates of employees in environmentally friendly workplaces are, on average, 16% higher than others.
- The maintenance cost of buildings built according to sustainability principles is 20% lower than typical commercial buildings. The costs associated with green building improvements can reduce the operational costs of your business by 10% in just one year.
3. Social Benefits
- Employees with "green" workplaces perform much higher in cognitive tests.
- Significant improvement in indoor air quality due to low carbon dioxide amount and a more advanced ventilation system is closely related to an increase of at least 7% in the performance of employees.
- Studies show that employees prefer to work in companies with sustainability assurance.
We have listed our advantages.
Isn't it impressive?
It is precisely for these reasons that we advocate creating sustainable working areas and encouraging environmentally sustainable work practices. If you agree with us, you should constantly review the sustainability strategies for your business and refrain from fine-tuning when necessary. Remember, being an expert in creating a green office environment is not just a private business; It is a serious mission that each of us must undertake. Therefore, you should always be willing to share your experience and knowledge with others or seek ideas from others in order to contribute to raising environmental awareness.
What are Sustainable Workplace Practices?
Now it is time to talk about 7 practices we have prepared in order to create a greener, healthier, happier and more sustainable workplace for business owners and employees. The main purpose of preparing this list is to ensure that companies' claims to be more environmentally sustainable are no more verbose and put into practice. Some of our suggestions will include investments that you may have made long ago - such as replacing or upgrading plumbing fixtures and ventilation equipment. Others are much easier to implement and ensure the participation of employees in order to get results. It is imperative that you be ready for a much longer-term wait than it will require you to take initiatives, ie show your determination.
1- Sustainable Interior Design
This is the first and most important step in creating an environmentally sustainable workplace. Sustainable interior designs create fundamental conditions in terms of energy and resource consumption, lighting, air quality, thermal comfort and other factors. Thanks to such designs, an international standard is achieved for sustainable commercial interiors.
There are also many technological innovations that can contribute to making the interior more sustainable. Green designs enable the implementation of workplace practices that increase employee health and productivity while reducing operational costs. Experienced designers will use sustainable materials as much as possible, thus contributing to improved air quality by significantly reducing indoor pollution - using non-toxic paints and materials.
2- Energy Management
Conduct an energy audit to find opportunities to avoid excessive consumption. The Department of Energy claims that simply sealing up leaks and cracks in the workplace can reduce heating and cooling costs by 20%.
Set up convenient systems for measuring smart consumption and monitoring energy consumption and increase the amount of employee liability for the results.
Set up an automatic on / off system and turn office lighting systems, air conditioning, equipment and all appliances on and off in this way.
Set the busy sensors.
Not only to reduce electricity consumption, but also biophilic-biolophic design is an approach that advocates the importance of integrating natural systems and processes into the design process in order to improve human health - use daylight to integrate elements into your designs and create a healthier work space.
Invest in LED and energy efficient office equipment or appliances.
Increase the air conditioning temperature by 2 degrees.
3- Water Efficiency and Saving
Water is a scarce resource, especially in arid climates. Some of the measures that can be taken to manage water consumption are:
Use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures, including ultra-low-flow toilets and shower heads, low-flow aerators suitable for sink taps, and water-saving dishwashers and washing machines
Measures for water recycling or reuse (Gray water and recycling systems)
Reducing water use in HVAC (Heating, cooling, ventilation) systems.
4- Waste Reduction
Due to the rapid growth in population and economic development, the rate of waste generation in our country is among the highest compared to the world. It is estimated that each citizen generates 1.9-2.5 kg of waste per day. However, currently only 10% of our residents recycle. For this reason, our country has set a very ambitious target to reduce the amount of waste reaching the landfill by 75% by 2021. Various measures are being taken to encourage residents and local businesses to raise awareness and recycle more. It is available in different methods applied in different countries. For example, in Dubai, municipal authorities have recently introduced a waste tax for commercial organizations in order to prevent waste generation and encourage recycling. In addition, it is planned to establish recycling stations throughout the country in order to reduce waste disposal costs. You see, having an efficient waste disposal system is not only good for the environment, it also saves businesses money.
So how do you do that?
Let's say right away.
Develop a clear waste disposal policy with pre-defined obligations and reduction targets.
Ensure recycling policies are in place - including reuse and sorting - in all workplaces.
Create a clear purchase option to use goods and materials that stop producing waste (For example, choosing a minimum amount of packaged items or using recycled or recyclable materials)
Find a safe method of disposal for waste that cannot be reused or recycled.
5- Step into the digital world.
There are many different ways to help your office / business become a much greener space. Your employees can use different types of software and devices to work more efficiently, use their time more efficiently and reduce waste. For some companies, this is a small change in the corporate culture, the establishment of clear policies that will require people to think and work differently, etc. It will bring along activities.
The most "green" paper is possible with no paper at all.
6- Employee Participation and Awareness
Offices are our living spaces. Employee involvement is also essential to ensure that a sustainable office stays that way. This requires motivation and involvement of employees in the implementation of sustainability measures. Implementing smart thermal indoor controls and recycling policies will have a positive impact, but much more can be done if employees are aware of being sustainable.
Increase awareness and employee engagement.
Every company has its own corporate culture. Involving employees in the process of creating an environmentally conscious company culture is essential to the success of sustainable workplace initiatives. Employees can participate in a variety of ways. For example, depending on the structure and size of the company, a group of employees can be formed to lead the employees' activities. Group members can motivate colleagues to recycle and reduce paper use more effectively than any office alert. More informed employees can force business owners to make a more sustainable purchase or equipment acquisition decision.
Be the biggest supporter of employees' environmentally friendly behavior.
7- Supply and Supply Chain
Another way to implement practices for environmental concerns in the workplace is to establish policies and procedures for sustainable procurement, as well as examine all stages of the supply chain to see if environmental improvements are possible.
Sustainable procurement means including environmental, non-cost elements in the procurement process. Purchasing decisions are made not only in terms of cost and quality, but also in terms of sustainability. This includes stages such as assessing whether the supplier is familiar with environmental practices, the existence of an environmental policy, or whether the supplied goods are environmentally sustainable. It can also mean connecting with suppliers to help them create greener policies.