Profound transformations rarely depend on a single social agent. Companies have the responsibility to make decisions that reduce energy consumption in their offices, reduce their carbon footprint and, ultimately, increase their sustainability, through the installation of solar panels, the use of natural materials, the implementation of efficient water management systems or the use of environmentally friendly aerothermal equipment. But all these efforts must be accompanied by the conscientious work of workers so that the goal of sustainability is sufficiently achieved. The good news is that they have plenty of room for maneuver:
Using the elevator less
The elevator is a tool that makes life much easier. However, it has two major disadvantages: it consumes a lot of energy and deprives people of a little physical activity, which is so important in a sedentary society. Hence this recommendation: take the elevator only when strictly necessary. Going up one or two floors of the building is not a major challenge when the physical and health conditions are adequate. It is just a question of attitude and responsibility.
Working in the office sometimes requires an extra point of speed in actions. In that sense, many workers purchase and consume products made to be consumed on the spot, most of which have plastic as a packaging material. Salads and ready-made meals, supermarket coffees, water bottles... Better planning of meals at work allows food and beverages to be prepared in advance to avoid the need to resort to use and throw products that are harmful to the environment and the planet.
Suspend computer equipment
Most office workers don't sit in the same chair all day. After all, breaks and commuting to other workers to cooperate are common features of these environments. The sustainable thing to do here is to suspend computer equipment when you are going to be away from the work corner for longer than necessary. This will avoid unnecessary energy consumption, which has an impact on carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. And the same with lights.
Exploit digital resources
For most of human history, paper has been people's main ally when it comes to writing down information. And it is still essential in very few circumstances. However, the reality is that its continuous and massive use no longer makes sense and can be replaced by digital annotation. The use of computers, laptops, tablets or even cell phones makes it very easy to abandon paper, which requires both the felling of trees and the use of energy to produce.
Recycle everything that can be recycled
Not all materials can be recycled. However, the most common ones around us, such as paper, cardboard, glass and plastics, can be recycled and we should take advantage of this to reduce the impact of consumption on the planet. Ideally, all offices should have a recycling area with different containers. But the world is not always ideal and not all companies are up to date in terms of sustainability. In cases like this, employees can store the waste and deposit it in the appropriate container on the way out.
Raising awareness among other employees
The transformation of society into a greener society, as we pointed out at the beginning of this article, is a collective task. That is why it is not enough to carry out all of the above actions: it is also necessary to convey the reasons and values that drive these actions so that more people adopt them. Ultimately, it is not only about having a clear conscience, but also and above all about ensuring that the environment does not suffer the consequences of human activity. And communicating and inspiring is key to this.