Even when business managers know they should be taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, putting best practices into effect could take time and commitment that they aren’t prepared for. To stay on course, it can help to have a concrete plan in place based on the objectives that will be easiest to achieve and have the greatest impact on reducing their bottom line.
The Harvard Business Review featured an article in 2008 about the need for a “green Hippocratic oath” that would require them to “do no harm” to the environment, the same way that doctors swear not to harm their patients. Although the broad focus of the piece seems to apply more to the external effects of business practices, companies can still make a difference by paying attention to their own choices within the office itself.
It’s important to note that reducing a carbon footprint is a comprehensive effort that requires focus, which is why businesses could build on the idea of a “pledge” to create a path to better performance. This could include certifications like LEED or simpler, self-installed benchmarks that are easy to regulate.
As an example, Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Steve Howard recently spoke to Fast Company about its plans for more energy-conscious practices, which include owning and operating wind and solar generating locations.
“This delivers a deep return on investment,” he said. “But it’s also the most enabling thing we can do to help grow renewable energy production worldwide at a time when we need to really rapidly decarbonize our energy systems. It’s a meaningful thing that we can do at scale.”
Businesses should consider green office solutions that involve materials reuse for less waste and a positive impact on the local community.