How Offices Can Do More to Improve Sustainability

by Guy Dixon
Apr 30, 2018 1:55 PM ET

Lowly recycling bins sit next to the office cubicles. At our desks, we drink from ceramic coffee mugs. No Styrofoam except for the foam casings inside our bike helmets, used when the weather improves, as a way we try to reduce carbon use by going without a car.

It all feels like such small measures.

Sometimes, the environmental impact of our working lives can seem so outside our personal control. It’s easy to get complacent, even self-congratulatory (“we’ve gone paperless!” – even if the power and ventilation to keep those office computers running is hardly environmentally friendly).

For Frances Edmonds, head of sustainability at computer maker HP Canada, it comes down to finding ways for employees to feel engaged in the process. “An engaged employee is a more profitable employee,” she said, “so the opportunity is to engage your employees on sustainability practices that they, for the most part, will love … It will also save you money in the long run.”

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