We recently judged a school “Enterprise” competition where 23 teams of 12 teenagers over a week battled to win the opportunity to sell their own creations, products they had developed and made themselves, which they could then sell outside a local Waitrose store. We were so impressed by their ingenuity, in fact some had developed a website in that time, but most of all was impressed as the vast majority had an ECO message. The winning team in fact made carrier bags made from discarded material…..brilliant!
Inspired by this new generation, who are more environmentally aware than any that have gone before them, we wanted to create some thinking and debate on moving to a more environmental way of working.
How Green is your office?
Some businesses have really embraced an ECO philosophy and have developed their head offices with this in mind. Congratulations must go to Don Gao, founder of the Positec Group which owns brands such as Worx and Rockwell, Clive visited earlier this year in Suzhou China, they received the LEED-NC Platinum award, the highest level of distinction awarded to buildings around the world where only 5% have thus far achieved this rating. Their office was awarded this ECO award especially for low environmental impact during construction, operational sustainability and supporting occupant wellness. They even have a massive live wall of plants behind their reception which is really impressive. Obviously, this was a large investment but taking the time to look at your own office to see where adjustments can be made in what you consume and the way you consume it is a great start. Moving to LED lighting, automatic lights, green cleaning products and water conservation strategies to name a few all make a difference.
Reduce your carbon footprint…and increase employee loyalty
We believe, in this time of much better awareness, and especially with a new generation that are more eco aware than ever before in history, we need to show our businesses and teams that paying attention to our environment where we work every day is important. We would go as far to say that it can improve employee loyalty and that feel good factor in a business. There are many ECO levers that can be pulled to make adjustments in the ways that we work; Cycle to work, Shared car or carpools, recycling electrical equipment, plant trees or shrubs around your office, source goods from ECO friendly companies and …make sure you recycle not just in your home but in your office. Quite often when managing budgets we make decisions that put ones like ECO improvements to the bottom of the to-do list, but we encourage everyone to do a little bit every year, it all makes a difference
How do you like your coffee…not in a plastic cup?
Well although Eddie Izzard jokes that he likes his coffee in a plastic cup, or was it “covered in bees”, the anti-plastic, anti-disposable cup revolution is a hot topic, just look at Costa who now deduct 25p from their drinks if you bring your own cup. We have worked with businesses, such as ManoMano in Paris, where Clive worked last year, they give all of their team a reusable hot drink cup and water bottle. Sporting events are now under pressure to provide water stations rather than give out bottles of water at the end of a run for example. So look at your ways of working and see how something as simple as changing the way your water cooler dispenser is used can start changing the way people think and behave…people will come up with their own ideas of what you can do to be more green. Even if your business is one where it is really hard to make change, there are other areas you can help.
Find an ECO partner
In your local area there may be a charitable organisation that is doing their bit to help the environment where your business and team can either raise money to support it, or even better get actively involved to help out. If there isn’t a local one then there are many national or even global causes you can get involved with like beach clean-ups, litter picking. Getting your business interested and involved in your community and local causes is a win win situation.
What can you do today?
Thank you for reading Kerry and Clive Daley