Engaging employees in green initiatives is an important strategy as sustainability continues to be a growing concern for companies. The key to a green initiative is replacing any process that creates waste with one that creates less waste, or none where possible. A few operational changes can add up to a big impact, which will produce multiple benefits for employees and employers alike.
What is the difference between a green initiative and an environmental policy?
It’s very easy to confuse a green initiative with a company environmental policy. Broadly speaking, both may have very similar aims and be intrinsically linked but they are actually quite different. A green initiative is a way to involve and encourage everyone to make the workplace and surrounding area more eco-friendly. An environmental policy, however, is a formal written statement of an organisation’s commitment to reducing environmental impact, setting out how they seek to contribute to climate action goals.
What are the benefits of implementing a company green scheme?
Aside from the obvious benefits to the wider environment, going green can provide a host of shorter and longer term direct benefits for a business. To start with, saving energy is one of the easiest ways to reduce business costs and decrease future spend. It’s not just about the finances though. A green initiative can boost employee morale and attitudes by increasing motivation, job satisfaction and positive relationships between colleagues.
A clear and visible green scheme can also enhance your organisation’s reputation and provide an incentive for a potential customer to choose to buy from your company rather than from a competitor. People are now actively seeking to invest in companies with environmentally friendly policies and initiatives.
Like Technologies’ green scheme
At Like Technologies, as a leading provider of electronic design and repair services, control system support, software development and obsolescence management solutions for industry, we recognise our responsibilities for the wider environment, to the local community and in managing any environmental impacts of our operations. We put safety and quality first in everything that we do. Our commitment to high environmental standards and employee wellbeing is no exception.
With the goal of continual improvement in mind, we have achieved certification in ISO 14001, the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Its purpose is to help businesses and other organisations to reduce their environmental impact by setting up an EMS. This system helps to reduce waste and waste management costs and improves resource efficiency. You can view our certificate in the quality section of our website and read about our environmental policy here.
Our seven key environmental principles
- Prevention of pollution
- Minimisation of energy and material usage and the production of waste
- Effective and responsible waste management and disposal
- Promoting product reuse and recycling
- Maintaining high workforce awareness of environmental issues through education and training
- Involving suppliers, contractors and customers in environmental initiatives
- Continually Improving the company’s performance
How we engage our employees
At Like Technologies, we believe that environmental awareness and protection is the responsibility of all employees of the company. However, we understand that before our employees can benefit from a green scheme they must be engaged with it. To do this effectively we established both longer and shorter term strategies and involved the whole team, with everyone becoming a champion. We also found it was effective to introduce some healthy competition and offer a monthly prize for those who contribute to the initiative.
A positive consequence of our green initiative is the increase in our ability to raise money through re-cycling for charities such as Bay Search and Rescue. As well as doing good by raising vital funds, this also motivates our employees to take part.
It’s important to be clear with employees about why environmental changes need to be made, providing an emotional reason for people to engage. Tracking improvements and sharing success with the team also leads to greater employee satisfaction.
What are our green scheme activities?
- Our Green Miles Initiative has tracked green transport such as: car-sharing, walking, cycling and electric vehicle usage. More recently, we have been calculating mileage saved by home-working
- We provide secure bike store in the building to encourage cycling to work
- An e-car charging point has been installed in our car park
- A solar panel has been installed on the roof of our business premises
- We have installed newer, more energy-efficient equipment. All lighting is now LED and movement sensors have been fitted, automatically turning lights off when not in use
- When purchasing items, we try to opt for an eco-friendly option, for example, printing paper, toilet roll, kitchen roll
- We reduce plastic waste by reusing cleaning bottles and using biodegradable cleaning products where possible
- We are operating a paperless office system where employees only print if necessary
- We recycle as much waste as possible – batteries, ink cartridges, electrical waste, cardboard, glass, some plastics, cans and aerosols
- Donation of unwanted items is encouraged via office collection boxes for Morecambe Bay Foodbank and the Bay Search and Rescue charity shop
- We reuse packaging materials and boxes where possible
- Plants have pride of place in our offices, promoting a healthy workspace
- We donate our shredded paper to a local animal shelter for small animal bedding, keeping rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents cosy while reducing waste!
- Aluminium foil is collected to be recycled to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind
- We collect milk bottle tops for Lush’s recycled storm board project
- Used postage stamps are donated to charity
We are also introducing a green spaces ‘Wellbeing Walks’ photography competition with an eco-friendly monthly prize for the winner. Staff morale was boosted immensely by one of our lovely employees sharing snaps of her countryside walks. This inspired us to encourage the whole team to get involved by sharing their images of the beautiful places visited on daily exercise walks or cycle rides. Combining daily exercise with photo stories is a wonderful way to boost not only fitness but also creativity. Staying local, using a green form of transport, helps to reduce our carbon footprint.
Sally Walmsley, Administration Manager for Like Technologies, said:
“From November 2018, we have recorded the green miles employees have accumulated when travelling to and from work. We offered a prize each month to the employee who accrued the highest number of green miles, whether by walking, cycling, car-sharing or even using an electric car or public transport. We have experienced a continuous improvement year on year, despite the lockdowns of 2020 where our keyworker employees continued to provide an essential service.
I feel that it is crucial to encourage employees to participate in the planning and selection stage of green scheme initiatives. Therefore, employees are more likely to get on-board when rolling out a new strategy. We always ensure no one is excluded and make sure that everyone can participate.”
If you would like to learn more about the bespoke electronic engineering and software solutions we can offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact page. Alternatively, please feel free to call a member of our friendly team on 01524 811383.