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Sustainability at Work

Want to improve the sustainability of your business or workplace? Here are just a few steps you can take. For more information on how to reduce your water and energy use, and the amount of waste going to landfill, check out our Sustainable Business Resources section.

1. Create a sustainability team in your office

A 'Green Team' should be a group of people who are interested in and concerned about the environment. They can be the active voice in the office, promoting sustainability and leading by example. For instance they can hold various events such as movie nights, staff competitions, and picnics to reach out to other people within the business.

e-bikes-staffnews.jpg2. Start a bicycle fleet

Having a staff bike fleet is a great way to reduce emissions while also losing weight, making new friends, and having fun! A great place to start is the toolkit prepared by the Bicycle Federation of Australia. 
        pdfDownload 'How to set up a successful bike fleet' (PDF 2.7MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader.

3. Include sustainability and environment in the induction material for new staff

By introducing sustainable practices to staff immediately, practices become a normal routine and are more likely to be followed. Induction may be done by the aforementioned 'Green Team'.

4. Buy products that are local and sustainable

Making this your work policy means that other local businesses are supported and ensures that your products are coming from nearby, reducing the distance they need to travel. Using Fairtrade goods is even better. The same goes for using recycled toilet tissue, paper towels, and printer paper. If possible, use local businesses supplying local food whenever you need catering or kitchen supplies.

5. Avoid single-use items

Use crockery, glass, or other washable items for meetings. When buying takeaway coffee, get a paper cup or even better, take your own mug or KeepCup to be filled at the cafe of your choice. Likewise, say 'NO' to plastic bags - bring your own reusable bag with you.

6. Put timers on light switches and water heaters

Leaving the power on outside of working hours costs businesses a huge amount of money and is wasteful. Putting timers on all light switches, water heaters, air-conditioners and so forth ensures that no one ever forgets to 'switch off' when they leave. Likewise, encourage people to turn off their computers when they leave work and put computers (or at least the monitor) to sleep whenever possible, such as during lunch breaks, meetings, etc.

7. Save water

Report leaky taps and toilets. If you have a dishwasher at your work, make sure it is completely full before it's turned on.