Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2014 Contents B2
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 31, 2014
Last week we delved into the con-
cept of greening your business oper-
ations and explained that it is one that
strives to have a positive impact on
the environment and community. We
also discussed the benefits to moving
towards adopting green or sustainable
practices within your operations.
Today we take a look at just how you
can adopt a more environmentally
responsible stance through the daily
operations of your business.
Do it with a green team
As environmental awareness and
impact to our environment become
more evident, many employees feel
that their employers could do even
more to promote environmentally-
friendly practices. Growing numbers
of businesses worldwide are now devel-
oping "green teams" to capture the
collective passion and expertise of a
group of employees.
In some cases having a sustainability
officer is now the norm---86 per cent
of large companies have at least one
person focused full time on sustain-
With upper management s support,
a diverse green team can build sustain-
ability initiatives based on individual,
group and company capabilities and
strengths. Green team initiatives can
start with a small group of people
focusing on cost-effective ways to
improve internal operations, to bigger,
more formalised programmes.
Here are a few options your organ-
isation could adopt in meeting the
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Although the concept is clichéd, the
essence of this renowned tri-word
phrase is effectively relevant in today s
world. Consider evaluating ways in
which your organisation could reduce
the material goods and/or services that
come into your business or organisation,
and determine if you can use less.
Telecommuting has come a long way,
especially in the age of Skype, iChat,
Viber and others. Set up a virtual private
network for your staff and enjoy the
enhanced productivity, reduced com-
mute times and pollution and gain extra
employee satisfaction. Teleconferencing
and video conferencing between offices
is also quite effective.
Have you ever wondered where your
office supplies come from? What body
of water was polluted to make that
Post-It Note, pen or paper? Here s your
opportunity to conduct an inventory
of where your office supplies come
from and support companies that select
only ethical, more sustainable solutions.
For instance, consider cleaning com-
panies that use green cleaning products;
paper stock and ink; and consider ener-
gy star appliances for your workspace.
Just say no to
incandescent light bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with
compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
According to the Energy Star pro-
gramme, the average rated life of a CFL
is between eight and 15 times that of
an incandescent; it will mean less time
on a ladder, smaller electricity bills,
and less cooling load, since the incan-
descent emits a lot of heat.
Save water, power
Consider adopting conservation poli-
cies within your organisation geared
towards informing and educating staff
about the benefits of water and elec-
tricity conservation habits. Monitor
utility bills and implement strategies
such as: regular maintenance on all
pipes, water fixtures and electrical units,
ensure electrical appliances are opti-
mally operational, do not open windows
in an air conditioned environment, lock
off taps when not in use and turn off
electricity in the building when the
work day is done. These habits reduce
waste and costs.
Good green governance
A green approach to people practices
is at the core of good green governance.
Adopting these and other sustainable
practices will contribute towards valuing
people for their contributions in
the work place. Many companies
consider green practices to be vital
to remaining competitive and
many affirm that these practices
are contributing to profits.
The sustainable approach to
business operations is therefore
mainly a win-win situation for the
organisation, its employees and
our environment. Through engag-
ing and involving communities
and villages into its environmen-
tally-related Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) initiatives,
they can not only practice green
living but encourage others to
adopt the same principles. Organ-
isations, businesses and enterprises
possess the power, influence and
the right mix of ingredients to
effectively implement sustainable
best practices into their operations
while becoming business role
models for others.
This is the inspirational type of
corporate leadership that our
nation requires to progress. Inter-
locking the corporate world with
the concept of conserving our
environment is the key to evolving
corporate success into success of
the human race.
PART TWO: INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES INTO YOUR BUSINESS
Greening your business operations
A green team in your office can help build ideas to make your office more sustainable.
Reduce, reuse, recycle: an excellent practice.
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