When everyone’s at the office, the leadership and office management can create a sustainable environment that inspires and nudges environmentally friendly behavior. However, once you have a distributed team, you can only set up a sustainability policy and offer support by providing your employees with supplies or give them a reasonable budget to ensure implementation.
The following points are essential to consider in your sustainability policy for remote workers:
Opting in for green energy is essential if you want to avoid burning fossil fuels. Not only will you and your employees cut their CO2 emissions, you’ll also support the building of new renewable energy facilities. Just consider that green energy is not always 100% green, and you and your employees should look out for labels and certificates. In Germany, the Grüner Strom and OK-Power labels ensure energy from 100% renewable sources.
Turning the heating just one degree lower decreases the costs by 6% per year. 21° Celsius is a reasonable level, yet it might feel colder for people who sit at their computers without moving much. You can give your employees warm house shoes and a hot bottle or encourage them to use a blanket to increase their personal comfort. And if your employees are forgetful, subsidize the purchase of remote-controlled thermostats.
Stand-by mode has become the new normal and if you want to encourage employees to switch completely, invest in a socket with a timer that they can use to switch off all devices simultaneously. That way there won’t be any chargers still left plugged in, unnecessarily sucking up energy.
Encourage the installation of LED lights, as they use 6 times less energy compared to conventional lightbulbs. Because LED lights don’t have any harmful substances, such as mercury, they can be disposed of in regular household waste.
When your employees move into their home office, they might need additional equipment to be able to work and deliver seamlessly. Encourage your employees to buy secondhand furniture and refurbished electronics.
Everyone works differently – while some need Post-its, others prefer notebooks and white boards. If you buy office supplies for your employees or ask them to buy them individually, please make sure to encourage purchasing from sustainable sources. In Germany, MEMO is a trustworthy supplier of office supplies.
Recycling works differently in every municipality, so make sure you train people on how to properly recycle or where to get the necessary information. Especially if you have international staff working for you, make sure you don’t underestimate proper training. Also, include in your info material where your employees can dispose of e-waste.
In case your employees need to print at home, ask them to print black and white and on both sides of the paper. For large documents, encourage them to reduce the size of the typeface.
If your company values humane working conditions, it’s important your values are reflected in your procurement standards and you encourage your employees (or buy them) Fairtrade-sourced tea, coffee, and sugar (if needed). We like the home office offer from Plastic2Beans, f.e.