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9 Green Workplace Initiatives That Are Easy To Implement

The idea of introducing green initiatives into the workplace can feel a little daunting at first. And while it may feel overwhelming trying to figure out where to start to create a sustainable work environment, there are actually lots of ways to have an eco-friendly office without huge cost implications and with long-term benefits to your company, employee well-being and bottom line to boot. Implementing a few simple changes to make your office or workplace more sustainable can be really effective in reducing your business’ impact on the environment.

What is a green workplace initiative?

A green workplace initiative is a strategic approach adopted by businesses to reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainability within the workplace. This initiative typically involves implementing eco-friendly practices such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, encouraging recycling, using sustainable materials, and promoting a culture of environmental awareness among employees. By adopting green policies, you can reduce your carbon footprint, conserve resources, and create a healthier, more sustainable work environment. These efforts not only contribute to the preservation of the environment but also often result in cost savings, improved employee morale, and a positive corporate image. Sounds good doesn't it? Let's dive in!

9 Green workplace initiatives

In this post, we’ll tell you about our green workplace initiatives to for a more eco-friendly office. It might be replacing a manual task that uses physical products with a digital solution, switching off the lights when they aren’t in use or altering the way you buy your milk. But the key is replacing processes that create unnecessary waste with processes that create less to none. If you’re looking for ways to introduce more green workplace initiatives, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 9 ways you can start a green initiative for a more sustainable workplace.


1. Install and encourage the use of a recycling bin

This might sound like we're starting off as Captain Obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many workplaces either don't have a recycling bin or just don't use the ones they have. The US alone throws away $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging every year, which suggests that recycling bins are not being used correctly. Be sure to have a recycling bin in the office for maximum green points, or start a recycling initiative where everyone has a recycling box on their desk and only one rubbish bin placed in a communal area (as opposed to rubbish bins at every station) to encourage mindfulness around how we discard waste. 

2. Only boil as much hot water as you need

Boil the kettle enough for those who need it. After much research, it’s still unclear whether a hot water tap is actually more sustainable than a kettle so for now we'd suggest that, if you have a kettle, just boil what you need. Don't boil the maximum just in case someone else wants a cuppa - check first (and tick off improving team relations and communication while you're there along with green workplace initiatives!).

Green workplace initiatives: Only boil as much hot water as you need

Damian Gawlas

3. Switch off the lights or power when not in use

Green workplace initiatives: Switch off the lights or power when not in useThis one is an easy win for a more sustainable work environment. Every evening, turn off electric items including lighting, heating and air con - make sure the last one out of the building always does this. Perhaps this could be part of a green challenge at your workplace and staff that take part are rewarded to help get them into the habit of this green workplace initiative.

During the day, it might not be necessary to have all the lights switched on all the time. If you want to make your office more sustainable, be conscious of electricity usage and switch off lights in unused meeting rooms and corridors (where it is safe to do so). If budget allows, the most environmentally friendly solution would be sensor activated lights which will save power - and the planet along - and reduce power costs over time. Win-win!  

4. Invest in eco friendly bean bag fill

Bean bags are all the rage in break out areas of small and large workplaces alike. But they come at a huge environmental cost. These squishy relaxation stations are full of tiny pollutants - polystyrene balls. Ever tried filling a beanbag? Chances are, you'd swear to never fill one again... These little critters are thought to take over a million years to decompose. And unfortunately, we're only likely to discover this when it's too late. Let's help our planet make it to one million years from now to find out and use a compostable option, or choose an alternative eco-friendly option to go green. 

Green workplace initiatives: Invest in eco-friendly bean bag fill

Hello I'm Nik 🇬🇧

5. Introduce green challenges for employees

To help get everyone on board and motivated about green workplace initiatives, why not create monthly green challenges with your team? Think bike to work day, use less fuel day, wear recycled fibres day, bring your lunch in a wax wrap day, BYO keep cup or coffee cup day. You could even have a green challenges leaderboard and incentivise your staff and employees with a monthly winner of the 'greenest employee' award. The average office worker in the United States goes through roughly 500 disposable cups annually - think of the difference just one keep cup per staff member could make!

Green Workplace Initiatives: Introduce Green Challenges

Jack Alexander

6. Choose can instead of glass

Those Friday drinks are great for boosting employee satisfaction, but not always great for the environment. Opt for cans over glass for those eco-friendly workplace points. While glass is infinitely recyclable – without any loss in purity or quality - Aluminium is the #1 recycled material in the USA and makes up less than 1% waste because of this. So choose cans over glas to help reduce demand on glass production and build a more sustainable workplace.  

Green workplace initiatives: Can the glass

Camylla Battani

7. Swap to plastic-free milk

Can you get your office milk from a local dairy farm? In New Zealand we definitely can! Why not try refillable milk bottles that you can use over and over again and buy direct from the source.

If you do need to choose glass bottles, be sure to choose ones which are already made from recycled glass, and be sure to make these a forever use in your office (i.e whatever you do, don't throw out those glass bottles into the waste bin!).


Alberto Bogo

8. Go paperless

We live in an age where workplaces are becoming increasingly digitised. Is it really necessary to print single sided or have a paper visitor book? Reduce paper usage in the workplace and replace your paper visitor book with a digital solution (we can help with that 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️).

According to Rubicon making new paper from recycled materials uses less energy than producing paper from virgin tree products and leaves more trees to absorb excess carbon dioxide. Not only that, but for every 1 ton of paper that’s produced, roughly 390 gallons of oil is used to make it. If you're going to use paper in your workplace or print marketing material, make sure you choose recycled paper or card for the base. Reducing paper usage is a crucial part of implementing green initiatives in the workplace.

A workplace sign in system is a sustainable workplace solution which will help you reduce the physical products associated with manual tasks, and streamline all kinds of efficiencies in your workplace.


9. Introduce compostable options to replace plastic

If you have to go plastic for bin bags for safety purposes, opt for the compostable option for those eco-friendly office points. And if you have food waste or coffee grinds waste, chuck them into some recycled paper bags or tell your colleagues to BYO container to take them home for use in the garden compost. Sustainable workplace solutions don't get much better than that - everyone's a winner!

"To do good, you actually have to do something" — Yvon Chouinard

Did you know, SwipedOn plants a tree for every new customer? No greenwashing. Just good, old-fashioned tree planting. 🌳

Green looks good on you 💚 

SwipedOn continues to help numerous companies, businesses, industries and organisations throughout the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the world to better improve their front desk operations. Check out our interactive product tour, to see how it works.

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Photo credit: Feature image Dan Rogers

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Lou Burton

Lou is our Brand & Content Manager at SwipedOn.