To say that we all need to do our bit for the environment is saying nothing new. At home, most of us recycle, or use energy-saving lightbulbs, or have perhaps reduced our meat consumption in the name of being more environmentally conscious. But in the workplace? Many workplaces seem to disregard the need to go green. Most offices leave on their lights, air-con, heating, and electronics all through the week.
A catalyst for change
The mood amongst workers is changing, however. 46 per cent of workers now expect their employers to provide them with green technology equipment, such as laptops, printers and other devices, according to new research from Epson. Businesses are now starting to take notice, 50 per cent of decision-makers say they are now focused more on green technology, compared to the start of 2020, and 84 per cent confirming green tech credentials are important.
So why is change such a slow process? Well, the main reason is beliefs around cost, but experts state this to be a myth. Daniel Quelch, sustainability manager at Epson, says, “There is a lot the business community can achieve collectively if they make a conscious effort to reduce energy consumption, reduce consumables, and consider the overall impact of their technology’s carbon footprint. They might just recognise that sustainable technology isn’t an alternative to cost and productivity savings, but rather is a cause of these benefits.”
So, what is ‘green tech’? It sounds like an oxymoron, how can any powered technology be good for the environment? Well, ‘Green tech’ refers to any form of technology that reduces harm done to the environment. Green technology focuses on maximising energy efficiency or reducing waste consumption of natural resources, like water and paper. The more complex, large-scale green tech or ‘top-down’ technology, include hydroelectric dams and offshore wind farms. The more low-level or ‘bottom-up’ examples of green tech include basic technologies like energy-saving lightbulbs and smart meters. A study from Business Green states that low-level green tech applied on a mass scale is more effective in reaching net-zero carbon than large scale projects, which shows how effective small changes can affect if done on a large scale.
Why go Green?
In short, green sells. Research suggests that a customer is 58% more likely to engage with a business if they are aware that that business is mindful of its environmental impact. Further research shows customers will spend up to 20% more on a product if they know it is environmentally friendly, and over 90% of consumers said they would choose one company over another if it demonstrated that they were environmentally conscious.
Businesses deal with their running costs daily, it’s essential to find ways to reduce outgoings. Low-level green technological practices can save money in the long-term, consider:
- Energy-efficient lighting to reduce energy consumption.
- Installing insulation to reduce heating bills.
- Renewable technology to generate self-sustained power.
Creating a green culture for a positive work environment
One of the most important factors in going green is getting everyone on board. When everyone in your workplace is being environmentally conscious, the change becomes ingrained within your culture. Furthermore, research suggests green workplaces improve employee health, morale, and productivity, Forbes examined the relationship between the workplace environment and its occupants, it concluded that people working in green-certified offices showed a 26% boost in cognition and 30% fewer absences.
Businesses have a corporate social responsibility to be the leaders of positive change. By setting an example, others will be encouraged to do the same.
By Will Davis