Embrace Sustainability at Work: How to Make a Difference Through Small Changes

The concept of sustainability is no longer just a buzzword or a passing trend. It has become an integral part of the modern workplace. Businesses of all sizes have come to recognize the importance of reducing their environmental impact, and office sustainability is a crucial aspect of achieving this goal.

A survey conducted by Staples in 2017 found that 85 percent of employees believe it is essential for their employer to be environmentally responsible, and 70 percent would be more likely to work for a company with a robust environmental agenda. The same survey found that 68 percent of businesses have implemented sustainability programs, and 43 percent of companies plan to increase their sustainability efforts.

Whether you work in a small office or a large corporation, you can take various steps to make your workplace more sustainable. These steps help the environment and potentially save your business money in the long run. Here are some ways to make your office sustainable:

Energy Efficiency

Reducing energy consumption is one of the most effective ways to make your office sustainable. Implementing energy-efficient practices can save your business money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

One of the simplest ways to conserve energy is to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. These bulbs use less electricity, last longer, and emit less heat than conventional bulbs. You can also install motion sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms automatically. 

Another way to save energy is to ensure all electronic devices are turned off when not in use. Setting up a power management system can help ensure all devices are turned off when not in use. You can also use power strips at each desk to turn off multiple devices simultaneously. Finally, consider using laptops instead of desktop computers, as laptops consume less energy.

Sustainable Office Supplies

Switching to sustainable office supplies is an effective way to reduce your environmental impact. Start by using recycled paper for all printing and writing needs. You can also switch to eco-friendly printer cartridges and pens made from recycled materials.

When purchasing office furniture, look for pieces made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled materials. You can also consider purchasing secondhand furniture to reduce your environmental impact.

Reduce Waste

Reducing waste is another critical aspect of office sustainability. Implementing a recycling program is easy. Ensure designated bins are for paper, plastic, and other recyclable materials. Encourage employees to bring reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

In addition to recycling, you can also reduce waste by going paperless. Use digital communication tools like email and instant messaging instead of printing memos and other documents. Consider using cloud-based storage solutions to minimize the need for paper filing.


Transportation is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Encouraging employees to reduce their carbon footprint by using public transportation, biking, or carpooling is an effective way to make your office more sustainable.

Consider offering incentives like free parking or transit passes for employees who use sustainable transportation options. You can also set up a ride-sharing program to help employees connect and coordinate transportation.

Green Building

If you can change your office building, consider making it more environmentally friendly. You can install energy-efficient windows, insulation, and HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption. You can install solar panels or use renewable energy sources to power your office.

In addition to making physical changes to the building, you can implement sustainable building practices. For example, you can use low-VOC paint and other materials to improve indoor air quality. You can also use landscaping to reduce water consumption and improve outdoor air quality.

Making your office more sustainable is good for the environment and can save your business money in the long run. It is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. The United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, has over 12,000 signatories from over 160 countries. This demonstrates the widespread recognition of the importance of sustainability in the business world.

Overall, these studies and initiatives support the idea that sustainability has become a crucial aspect of the modern workplace and that businesses of all sizes have recognized the importance of reducing their environmental impact.

You can reduce your environmental impact and create a more sustainable workplace by implementing energy-efficient practices, using sustainable office supplies, reducing waste, encouraging sustainable transportation, and implementing green building practices.