Sustainability in everyday work – seven practical tips

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Is it important to you to live sustainably and conserve resources? You are not alone: ​​According to a study by the Federal Environment Agency, 65 percent of Germans consider environmental and climate protection to be a very important issue – even during the corona pandemic. To a large extent, it is up to the companies whether and how the ecological footprint at the workplace is minimized. Nevertheless, each individual can also contribute to more sustainability in everyday work. We have put together a few tips for you.

Tip 1: Avoid printing & copying

That should already be clear to everyone in our digitized everyday work. However, it is still worth thinking about where you can also save paper and which printouts you can do without. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the printer settings and always print double-sided. Incidentally, old paperwork does not have to go straight into the paper bin but can be converted into sticky notes.

Tip 2: cook lunch together

It’s easy and uncomplicated to grab or even order a meal to go during your lunch break. However, a lot of unnecessary garbage remains. This can be avoided if everyone cooks together in the office. In addition, cooking together is known to put you in a good mood and it is also healthier. A bit of planning is necessary but well worth it. And if you take turns cooking, the effort is also moderate. If it has to be quick and you’re on your way to the take-away, take your own reusable containers with you and do without napkins and cutlery.

“If the kitchen were bigger, you could cook together and avoid a lot of takeaway waste. I also find plastic cups superfluous at meetings.”

Tip 3: Drink tap water

According to the consumer advice center, tap water is of good quality everywhere in Germany. So there’s really no reason to drink bottled still water, even if your employer provides it for free. The climate impact of mineral water in Germany is almost 600 times higher than that of tap water. So: Simply tap water from the tap into a bottle and put it in the fridge – making a small contribution to climate protection and more sustainability in everyday work can be that simple.

Tip 4: Save electricity

The light is on in the meeting room even when nobody is in it? The computers also run during the lunch break? Small steps can save a lot of electricity and energy for a company and are a further step towards more sustainability in everyday work. But not only in the office: Anyone who works from home or at least spends part of their working hours there will certainly have thought about the additional power consumption and the associated costs. Saving electricity in the home office not only protects the climate but also our wallet – you can find out more about how you can save electricity in the home office in our guide on this topic.

Tip 5: Bike or public transport instead of car

Similar to saving paper, we should all have been aware of this for a long time: We shouldn’t choose the most convenient option for the way to work, but the most sustainable one. Nevertheless, it makes sense to remind yourself of this from time to time. Anyone who comes to the office by bike, public transport, or on foot not only makes their everyday work more sustainable but also moves a lot more and at the same time does something good for themselves.

Tip 6: If you’re on a business trip, then do it sustainably

Many business trips can be avoided – the lockdowns during the corona pandemic have shown us this. However, sometimes face-to-face meetings and business trips are necessary. You can find out how you can make your trips sustainable in our guide on this topic.

Inspire others for sustainability in everyday work

Whether and how sustainably a company operates is largely in the hands of management. Nevertheless, the exchange among each other helps to become better in terms of sustainability in everyday work. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how more sustainability can be established in your team or in the company? Share and live them, because when it comes to sustainability, every little contribution counts. If the employees signal that the topic is important to them, this is an additional reason for companies to deal with the topic.

last update: August 16, 2022

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