Sustainability in the workplace: it’s time to go green

the brew

These days, ‘sustainability’ is more than just a buzzword or trending hashtag. It’s an issue that’s become a boardroom concern across various industries. 


As a result, many of today’s businesses are keen to find unique and innovative ways of boosting efficiency whilst reducing their carbon footprint. 


Sound familiar? Let’s look at the benefits of sustainability in the workplace — and where you can start making small changes that make a big difference…  


Why should your business prioritise sustainability?


More and more companies are encouraging sustainable work environments. So, what are the benefits? 


Broaden your customer base


In 2023, it benefits your company to be seen as an environmentally conscious brand. 


According to Nielson IQ’s ‘The Changing Climate of Sustainability’ report, 55% of UK consumers say living sustainably is important and try to make sustainable choices where possible. 


Customers are centring their spending around their environmental impact, with over half of UK adults influenced by a brand’s environmental credentials when shopping for products or services.  


Improve staff hiring and retention


Awareness of the environment doesn’t end with the customer. Employees are also attracted to companies focusing on sustainability. 


Around 34% of UK workers are likely to refuse a job offer if the company’s environmental values don’t match their own. So, if you’re in the market for new team members, you’ll need to make sure you have a clear sustainability policy — and the actions to back it up. 


Being open about sustainability in the workplace doesn’t just appeal to potential candidates, either.  


In the ‘Corporate Climate Crisis’ report from PLAY, 78% of employees agreed that companies should be more transparent about their environmental impact and how they could improve. And 56% of employees are likelier to stay at a company that puts sustainability on top of the agenda. 


Cut down on costs 


When budgets are stretched, becoming more sustainable may seem like a big investment. But reducing waste, recycling and focusing on being more energy efficient can help you save money in the long run. 


Plus, improving your bottom line and freeing up capital to invest in strengthening your company will undoubtedly lead to a more durable and profitable business. 


Where to start?


Ready to reap the rewards of a more sustainable business? Here are a few steps you can take to get started… 


Educate your staff


Some employees may not realise their work activities impact the environment, so providing training can help raise awareness. 


From hiring experts to give presentations and providing informative videos or webinars to updating your team on the company’s environmental goals, reinforcing the importance of sustainability in the workplace can get everyone on the same page. 


Cut down on unnecessary waste


Speaking of pages — have you considered going paperless?  


Cloud-based solutions allow your business to become more collaborative, streamlined and efficient — whilst reducing paper and ink usage. By switching to applications like Microsoft Teams and investing in digital HR and payroll software, you can seamlessly transition to a paper-free business. 


Sometimes the use of paper (and less eco-friendly materials like plastic) is unavoidable, so recycling is key to a sustainable approach. From paper and plastic to metal and electronic equipment, having the proper recycling practices in place for your waste can help your business save money on waste removal costs and boost your green credentials. 


Choosing sustainable suppliers when sourcing things like business stationery and materials can also positively contribute to the environment. Find out if your supplier uses a certified environmental management system and ask about their emissions, energy and waste management to make sure their values and goals align with yours. 


Encourage employees to change their commuting habits


The annual economic costs of commuting total £2.7 billion in England alone. That’s a pretty penny, isn’t it? 


Encouraging your staff to take public transport rather than drive could make a massive difference to your company’s sustainability ranking. A great way to do this is by offering your employees a season ticket loan scheme — an interest-free loan for employees that covers the cost of travelling to and from the workplace. 


Cycle-to-work schemes are also an extremely popular option for a greener commute. As an employer, you buy and own the bikes to hire out to your employees, who pay you back through salary sacrifice each month. Saving employees the upfront cost of a new bike can incentivise them to cycle to work instead of driving or taking public transport — reducing CO2 emissions.  


And if driving is unavoidable, why not consider implementing a salary sacrifice scheme that allows staff to exchange a portion of their salary for an electric vehicle?  


Utilise coworking spaces


With the rise of remote and hybrid working, not only is renting a traditional office space expensive, but it can also be highly inefficient when it’s not being utilised at maximum capacity… 


However, coworking spaces are shared with other businesses and professionals, so they’re always being used to their full potential. Resources and equipment — from the kitchen’s green cleaning supplies and hot water machines to meeting room equipment— are shared by everyone, conserving electricity and reducing waste.  


Many coworking spaces now also feature the latest energy-saving technology to improve energy efficiency further. Plus, many shared workspaces have on-site recycling facilities, making it even easier for employees to do their bit for the environment. 


The Brew’s Eagle House offices in central London, for example, saved an impressive 10 tonnes of CO2 and 74 trees in 2022. Sourcing sustainable products and encouraging members to use the appropriate facilities also helped to recycle 3,163 kilograms of waste. 


Coworking spaces are dotted all over major city centres, making ‘green’ commuting a little more accessible. Being conveniently located near bike paths and public transport means fewer employees driving to work, reducing individuals’ CO2 emissions. 


For businesses, enforcing strong sustainability practices and finding the most eco-friendly working spaces can create a culture of care and demonstrate to your employees that your business values the well-being of people and the planet — and not just when it affects the bottom line. 


So, the big question is: are you ready to go green? 


At The Brew, we like to practise what we preach. We’re constantly striving to honour our green commitment, and with the help of First Mile, we’re bettering ourselves every year! Take a look around our coworking spaces in Shoreditch and contact our team at +44 (0)20 7770 6283 for more information.