Recent trends in sustainability have lead to companies rethinking how they operate, trying to hit emissions goals over the next several decades. This process is slow, to be sure, but the interest exists for corporations to establish their dedication to being smarter about energy and emissions.

Even in smaller businesses, there’s a lot to be learned from these goals. In fact, even at an officewide level, teams can audit their workspaces to be more sustainable. It’s surprisingly easy for businesses to create eco-friendly offices!

Talk about it.

In order for sustainability to work, it helps if an entire office is on board! Leaders should have frank discussions with their teams about commuting, eating, and work habits and outline areas of improvement for employees. Perhaps working remotely would reduce emissions from certain team members. Maybe overuse of the coffee machine is generating a large amount of waste. Whatever the case, it’s best to get everyone involved before taking action.

Manage energy.

The modern office is generally rife with computers, machines, and lights that consume a large amount of energy. Ensuring that all of these devices are turned off at night can make an office more sustainable—and save on electricity bills. Timer systems can set a schedule more efficient than asking workers to turn off the lights.

If you have kitchen appliances, unplug them when they aren’t in use, as they can consume a lot of energy even when sitting inert.

Consider materials.

Recycled paper and energy-efficient computers are just two examples of ways that an office can make its day-to-day operations more sustainable. The aforementioned coffee problem is also worth noting; using reusable cups and cutting down on the garbage generated from coffee machines can be a useful initiative. No matter the size of the budget, there are likely switches that can be made with minimal strain.

Improve waste disposal.

If an office doesn’t have a recycling bin, it really should! Same goes for single-stream recycling for materials such as paper, plastic, and glass. Compostable material can even be collected, particularly in the kitchen, for employees that maintain bins themselves. Something as simple as better organization helps a lot with proper disposal.

Incentivize Sustainability.

If a company gets the entire office involved, a little push goes a long way! Challenges such as properly disposing of waste, switching to silverware instead of plastic utensils, and minimizing paper and ink consumption can be a digestible way for employees to meet goals without feeling overwhelmed.