Let’s make our companies more ecofriendly!

While people might try to be ecofriendly at home, why should they be in their companies too? Here are some reasons and tips

If you too are sensitive to the environment; you are surely already acting on a daily basis to reduce your environmental impact by adapting your personal lifestyle and perhaps even that of your household. The notions of reuse, waste reduction and selective sorting are now familiar to you; but in your professional life, things are moving more slowly. However, as you have adapted your personal life; you can also adapt your professional life to make it more responsible. The easiest way to do this is to involve companies in making it greener. This is our conviction at Cleanfox and I would like to give you, through this article; the key elements to succeed in significantly reducing the environmental impact of your professional life and your company.

The Constraints Inherent To A Company

The first trap to avoid is to believe that all the initiatives carried out at the personal level are identical to those carried out at the company level. This is not the case because the constraints of an office are much less flexible than those of our own home. Do-it-yourself and clutter, even for environmentally friendly purposes, are therefore not really feasible. Moreover, potential customers, investors and applicants should not be disturbed by these initiatives. The physical space required is also limited; in most cases as is the time available to perform each action.

Let’s face it, reducing one’s environmental impact often takes space and time: scarce resources in a company. It is therefore necessary to find actions that are not time-consuming; require a reasonable amount of physical space and are not harmful to the image of the office (smell, noise, etc.). These actions must also be adapted to the growth of your company. The question to ask yourself is: will my action still make sense in one year?

person sitting beside table

Another constraint to take into account is the need to involve all employees in each action. If an employee is not aware of your initiative or does not know how he or she can fully contribute; your action clearly loses its interest at the company level. It is by taking into account all these constraints that we can identify; the initiatives to be undertaken to reduce our professional environmental impact and at the same time that of our company.

Identify the Levers of Action

The state of mind to adopt in order to identify these levers is the following: let’s reduce our production of waste; let’s sort the generated recyclable waste and let’s revalorize the generated non-recyclable waste. Keeping in mind the previous constraints; I think it is interesting to draw inspiration from our personal actions.

“Reduce, Sort and Reclaim!”

blue and white letter m

At Greenfox, in order to reduce our waste production and therefore our impact on the environment; we first said no to aluminum water bottles and coffee capsules. We now drink water stored in water bottles which; once empty, are refilled with water by our supplier. For coffee, we have invested in a machine that uses directly roasted coffee beans. Faced with the amount of packaging generated each lunchtime, we also reacted by investing in tote bags made in France from organic cotton. Every day, the Foxes (Greenfox employees) use these bags to buy their lunch! But everything is not perfect and we still use; for example, paper towels (without a washing machine in the office, it is difficult to consider the use of dish towels and a hand dryer would be too noisy).

Waste sorting in companies

Regarding the sorting of the waste we produce, it was far from being a winning game, but we are on the right track! Selective sorting has been put in place: household and “yellow” garbage cans in large numbers; and a garbage can for glass. The sorting is sometimes badly done and it is therefore necessary to communicate well on this aspect because if we were never taught, sorting is not obvious for anyone! Once the Foxes are sorting their waste correctly; it is also necessary to ensure that the sorting is maintained all the way to the containers in the building. Again, it’s a matter of communication: we have explained our approach to our cleaning lady and answer her questions when she has them.

From a recycling point of view, we are quite satisfied! We are experimenting a mushroom culture with the coffee grounds and the cardboard we generate. The final goal is to eat these mushrooms (yellow oyster mushrooms). We are composting the excess coffee grounds in a condominium compost in a building located 10 minutes walk from our office.

Taking Action And Involving All Employees in companies

Of course, in a company, to make a project move forward, you often need the agreement of the “management”. At Greenfox, we were lucky: in addition to having the agreement of Edouard, our CEO, he supported the project and made resources available to make the company even more responsible. Then, we had to structure the project: for that, I gathered the most committed Foxes available in their daily life to find ideas and set up an action plan. This made it easier and more efficient to raise awareness among all the Foxes.

This small group of Foxes also has the role of being the driving force and pilot for all projects. For example, to make the other Foxes aware of the selective sorting and to make sure that it is well done but also to demonstrate that alternatives work. One attempt was to bring our own containers when we went to buy lunch at the local shops (the idea didn’t really catch on because it was too restrictive).

person holding green flower bud

Make it fun

These cross-functional projects also create a natural cohesion within the company by mixing teams and involving them in common, fun projects. Mushroom cultivation was surely the most unifying project because everyone wanted to know what stage the culture was at! In addition to this cohesion, which has a real value for the company, this state of mind also serves the company in another way by improving its public image and increasing its attractiveness for possible new recruits. These elements are to be put forward, if necessary, to convince the “management” of the benefits of this change of behavior more respectful of the environment

In addition to strong internal communication, we wanted to communicate outside the company about our actions. First of all, because Greenfox is committed both with its users against digital pollution and with its employees against physical pollution in its offices. We also want to demonstrate that ecological commitment is possible simply in the daily professional life of everyone. With this article, I would like our initiatives to inspire others. The ball is in your court now, keep in mind these words: Reduce, Sort and Recycle!

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