Here’s How to Help Your Company Go Green
As we all face daily news about the worsening effects of climate change, many of us are left wondering what more can we do as individuals. But at this point, we know climate change cannot be stopped by individual action alone—not that any of us should stop trying!
That said, it's time for our employers and corporations to step up. Unfortunately, in some cases, the reverse is happening. A recent report found that 20 of the largest "climate positive" U.S. companies are obstructing efforts to pass the Build Back Better Act—a major infrastructure package and budget reconciliation that includes important climate provisions to ensure the U.S. meets its Paris Agreement goals.
If you read that and thought, "what the heck!"—we're right there with you. It's normal to feel frustrated after hearing news like that. But we believe that we can turn that frustration into positive action. As individuals, we might not immediately be able to stop giant corporations from lobbying against the planet's best interest. But we can influence our immediate communities by encouraging the companies we work for to become climate positive.
If you want to encourage your employer to make organized efforts to become more sustainable, keep reading.
The Green Company Checklist
There are so many efforts that companies can make to become more environmentally friendly and fight climate change. If you're wondering where your company is on its eco-friendly journey, here are a few starter questions you can ask. This list will help you gauge what your company is doing at a foundational level and reveal where there might be room for improvement.
Does your company...
Have a sustainability effort? If so, ask them what they are doing to reduce the company's carbon emissions and their employees. Depending on your industry, "going green" can be difficult because of required activities such as flying or even a lack of green options within the supply chain. Planting trees can be a great solution for companies that don't have green technologies available or need time to make their operations more sustainable. To learn more about CarbonForest's corporate programs, send us a note at email@example.com.
Raise awareness about climate change among employees and stakeholders? Talking about climate change—even in a professional setting—is an important part of fighting it. If your company has never mentioned it in an email or meeting, that might mean that sustainability isn't a priority. If that's the case, ask yourself how you can encourage company leadership to become more proactive?
Support a paperless office? Who needs paper when you've got the cloud!
Use environmentally friendly products? Whether it's snacks or dish detergent, there's a wealth of green options out there, so there are no excuses!
Encourage sustainable transportation? This can look like providing bus passes for employees, setting up a carpooling program, or even just letting people work remotely on occasion.
Have a recycling program? We'll be real: it's 2021 and if your company doesn't have a recycling program, we'd be shocked. It's a foundational component of an environmentally friendly office.
Have office plants? Beautiful and scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase oxygen, office plants are a simple (and literal) way to make a workplace greener.
Actively reduce energy usage? Installing motion sensor lights and switching off electronic equipment during off-hours are easy ways to reduce energy usage. Some companies do an entire energy audit of their practices to see where they can improve. Ask your company if this has ever been done or if there are plans for it in the future.
Have an ESG Program? ESG stands for "Environmental, Social, and Governance." Employees often start an ESG program to encourage their company to get more involved in important social, political, or environmental issues. Talk to your colleagues to see if anyone else is interested in starting one with you! Then reach out to your HR partners and figure out the next steps.
Use renewable energies? Or do they have a plan in place to make the switch? It's always worth asking about to see how long they plan on using fossil-fuel-based energy.
Work with sustainable suppliers? For a lot of industries, environmentally friendly suppliers are now a common option. In fact, they may have multiple suppliers with sustainable certifications to choose from.
If you want guidance in encouraging your company to go green, we can help. We're making it easy for companies of all sizes to offset their carbon footprint and be more proactive in fighting climate change. To learn more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.