Sustainability at the workplace – 20 ideas to make it happen: Part Four

January 23rd, 2013 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

At Zircon, Dr Amanda Potter and the team are constantly striving for sustainability in the workplace. We have been exploring new ways of making this a possibility and would like to share GAIA Active’s “20 ideas to make this happen” from their information booklet: “GAIA Making Sustainability happen; Sustainability at the workplace”

In the final part of the series, please find the last 5 points below to help in making sustainability in workplace a possibility.

16. Go for gradual change to sustain improvement: Setting ‘reduction’ goals are good motivators but be careful when setting unrealistic goals, as this will be backfire. Consider setting goals that are plausible and stretching, so if these goals are easily met, set another!

17. Your talent are your silver bullets: Fancy equipment that reduces energy without human interaction would be a preference to most organisations, but unfortunately this rarely works without engagement. Ultimately your staff are your silver bullets when striving to reduce energy consumption rather than relying on equipment.

18. It’s about us not them: Often people think of change programmes in terms of other peoples actions or responsibilities. For example ‘They should switch the lights off after……’ We must accept that it is about all of us starting to work in a more sustainable way, changing the way we work and encouraging others to do so too.

19. Discipline doesn’t work: From experience, disciplinary procedures can work in the short term but will be ineffective very soon afterwards. One example is that staff were ordered to turn off their PC’s at the end of their shifts, but this caused unforeseen reactions:
– The staff only concentrated on their PC and not the work environment around them
– They didn’t see the WIIFM so it was not a positive project and weren’t empowered
– After time the manager got tired of policing the diktat and gave up as it was not a core KPI

20. So that’s it? The reality is that you will have some doubts about how it can be implemented. For example, it is perfectly normal to have concerns about organisational commitment or employee engagement.

Adapted from source: GAIA Making Sustainability Happen, Sustainability at the workplace, 20 ideas to make it happen

If you could like more information, visit the GAIA website or call 0800 433 4040 or alternatively email

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