In the guide below, we list some potential sustainability tips for employees.
We cover working at home, commuting to and from work, sustainable practices at work, and more.
1. Enquire With Your Employer If Working Remotely Is An Option
Some work roles may be more suited to working from home and working remotely than others.
With this in mind, some workplaces offer their employees the opportunity to work remotely, either full time, or part time (i.e. a few days a week).
One of the major sustainability benefits of working remotely is that it cuts out commuting/travelling to and from work.
2. Consider Your Commuting/Travel Footprint
For those that have to go to a workplace like an office or worksite, there will be a commuting/travel footprint.
Apart from the distance travelled to work (and at work), the type of transport impact the travel footprint.
Walking and riding to work might be some of the most sustainable ways to get to work.
Car pooling and catching efficient public transport might be some of the most sustainable options after that, as both of them might lower the per passenger footprint of things like fuel use and emissions.
Using single passenger cars might be more sustainable where the car is more fuel efficient, or the car is made to be more eco friendly in various ways.
Additionally, although not practical for everyone, living closer to your place of work cuts down on the distance that has to be travelled.
3. Consider Bringing Reusable Items To Work
If reusable items are used enough times, they may have a more sustainable footprint than single use items.
Examples might include:
– Reusuable water bottles, instead of single use water bottles
– Reusable and washable containers and utensils (like knives and forks, plates, straws, etc) for lunch, instead of single use cling wrap and other single use food packaging and utensils
4. Minimise Food Waste At Work
Some people pack food for work, and end up not eating it for various reasons (they get busy, are out the office, buying fast food/take out instead, the food isn’t stored properly and gets spoiled, and so on).
If packing food for work, make sure to eat it and not throw it out in order to minimize food waste.
5. Consider Engaging In Sustainable Workplace Practices Where Practical
Where practical and feasible, there might be a number of workplace practices that employees can engage in.
Some examples might include:
– Using both sides of notebook paper instead of just one
– Being sustainable with printing practices where possible (i.e. with printer settings, with printing paper, etc.)
– Properly turning off electronic devices at the end of the day, and using power saving devices and settings where possible
– Minimising work related waste where possible – this can apply to all types of work. For example, it can apply to those working in the office, in construction and on worksites, and in a number of other work settings
– Disposing of waste properly (i.e. into the right waste disposal bins and streams)
– Plus, other sustainable practices specific to individual workplaces and work activities
We put together a separate guide on sustainability tips for in the workplace, where we include links to guides that outline potentially sustainable practices across a range of workplaces.
6. Inform Yourself On Your Current Employer’s Sustainability Policies, Documents, & Guidelines
Some employers have sustainability policies, documents, and guidelines already in place.
Employees might take some time out to inform themselves of this information, and see if there is anything they can practically implement into their work days.
7. Consider The Sustainability Values & Practices Of Employers When Choosing Somewhere To Work
This is not practical for all employees.
However, some employees who have a choice of places to work may consider the sustainability values and practices of the employers they are weighing up working for.
Some employees may choose to go work for an employer that prioritises and takes action on certain aspects of sustainability, or incorporates it into their products, services and practices.
8. Consider Sustainability Related Professions, Careers & Jobs
Some of those roles may involve research and study on sustainability, consulting about sustainability, or working for a company that specifically offers ‘sustainable products and services’.
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