How to Start a Green Initiative at Work

If you make sustainability a priority at home, why not do the same at work? And you don’t need to go at it alone. Instead of feeling frustrated that you are the only person in the office that recycles or bikes to work, consider taking a leadership position and starting a green initiative at your workplace.

Credit: Unsplash

Being environmentally friendly can be a fun team-building exercise when introduced in the right way. Your co-workers might be interested in sustainability but not know where to start or how to bring people together to do a project.

With a few organizational skills, a little collaboration, and a few good and simple ideas, you can start a green initiative at work and make a positive impact on the planet along with your co-workers. Whether your project is large or small, promoting and organizing green efforts at work is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy.

How to Start an Initiative

It can be tempting to wait around for someone else to spearhead a project or idea you have been thinking about. However, whether you consider yourself a natural leader or not, you have the skills to take charge of a green initiative. It will be good for the environment and for fostering skills that you can put on your resume in the future.

According to Rider University, “A leader’s influence reverberates throughout an entire organization. Good leadership can powerfully foster camaraderie and teamwork, while poor leadership can encourage undercutting behavior that runs counter to the greater good of an organization’s bottom line and corporate culture.” In short, your personal goals cannot run countercurrent to broader organizational goals. By aligning these two, however, you’re sure to find support for your cause.

If you take a leadership role and encourage your co-workers in a positive way to get involved with sustainable efforts, you will better your organization as a whole in addition to the environment. Whether you decide to start a workplace recycling program or a bike-to-work month, the effects of your efforts will have a positive ripple effect outside your office environment.

Help People Understand Why “Green” Is Important

One big road block for people starting green initiatives at work is worrying about getting everyone in line with your eco-friendly values. One of the most effective ways to get your co-workers on board with your green initiative is to help them understand why going green is important for personal health and the health of the environment.

It can be helpful to start with the basics concerning energy consumption like turning off lights when you leave a room, installing LED light bulbs, and using power strips. If your co-workers understand why it is important to put in the effort to do these little things, everyone will be far more likely to be on the same page and contribute to the effort.

Ideas for Green Initiatives

Once you have your co-workers on board, it is time to think about where you want to start. It can be tempting to try to take on everything at once, but it is best to start with a single green initiative and build from there. There are a million ways to create a greener office, so you have to pick what is most important to you.

If alternative transportation is your thing, try encouraging your co-workers to drive less and commit to walking, biking, using buses, or ride-sharing as different ways to get to work. You could create a weekly or monthly challenge and provide incentives for those who use alternative transportation methods the most.

You could also encourage your office to go paperless. Instead of printing sheet after sheet of paper and posting memos all over the office, use paperless communication to reduce your paper usage and carbon footprint.

If you are at a loss for ideas, consider using one of the many apps that can help businesses go green. Technology today allows you to track and monitor all sorts of things, and can increase collaborative efforts in the workplace.

Villanova University states that, “Advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence and cloud storage, have accelerated digital transformation in companies of all kinds.” With each year, these advancements bring sweeping changes to a wide range of industries. They continue, “These changes bring both opportunities and challenges as leaders look for the best approach to adopting new technology and planning for growth over the years to come.”

When you utilize new technology to aid your green initiative at work, you prove that you are an innovative team player who is always looking for new opportunities and solutions. What’s good for the planet could also be good for your career.

Starting a green initiative at work takes a bit of organization, but it can be a fun and rewarding endeavor. By taking on a leadership role, helping people understand why sustainability is important, and choosing where to start with your initiative, you can help your office as a whole contribute to the well-being of the planet.