7 ways to make your workplace more sustainable
At Electrobac, the environment is at the heart of all our business decisions, and we are driven by the positive impact our work has on. As you already know, Electrobac is fighting one of the most important environmental challenges of our time, e-waste.
Lately, the Electrobac team took a good look in the mirror and thought about how we could further our positive impact beyond e-waste. A few team members got together to start an internal sustainability committee and came up with ideas to make Electrobac greener.
1- Responsible coffee breaks
Like in most workplaces, Electrobac employees enjoy a mid-afternoon coffee break. We looked into the environmental (and social) impact of coffee production, and we were shocked to see how terrible coffee can be for the environment and for the workers. After some thorough research, we chose to only stock fair trade and organic coffee in our cupboards. One of our colleagues suggested we try Lenoir Lacroix coffee and it feels great to drink delicious and healthy coffee. It’s hard to think about going back to our old coffee habits.
Not only does it taste better, but organic and fair trade coffee ensures producers respect regulations prohibiting harmful agrochemicals, reducing water usage, encouraging green energy fuels, and conserving wildlife.
Considering the average Canadian drinks 152 litres of coffee per year, every cup makes a difference!
2- Reusable everything — cutlery, cups, plates, containers and more
Although we are lucky to have great coffee at our disposal, it can happen that we can’t resist the urge to swing by a café and gulp down a cappuccino or hot chocolate on a cold day. Knowing the environmental impact of disposable cups, and knowing that between 1.6 and 2 billion are used by Canadians every year, we cannot accept to have them in the office.
We now have plenty of CANOtogo cups at our disposal! They’re stylish, useful AND sustainable! Find out more about the Montreal-based startup here.
In addition to our cups, we have a full-stocked kitchen. We have access to plates, forks, knives and everything we need to stay away from single-use kitchen items.
3- Waste management (compost, recycling, e-waste etc.)
Implementing composting and personal recycling bins was relatively easy around the office. Everyone was on board because we are all very protective of the environment. But waste management goes way beyond that scope. Ask your employer what happens to different items used in the office like ink cartridges and corporate mobile phones.
Electrobac offers a sustainable and secure buy-back service for companies. Visit www.buybac.ca for more information.
4- Collection events
Although we do an amazing job of managing other companies e-waste, we also have our own piling up around the office. Every few months, we organize an in-house collection day for everyone to recycle the e-waste accumulating in their drawers. We are always surprised to see the quantity of what we collect!
In order to have some credibility, it is important to practice what you preach!
5- Make your own furniture
As we moved into a beautiful new office space, we felt it was time to upgrade our old blue couch to something that matched with Electrobac’s new look. As we were shopping, we realized it made no sense to spend hundreds of dollars on a new couch when we could make a perfectly good one ourselves. In addition to being sustainable and inexpensive, building the couch ended up being a great team activity!
Now, Jackie has a cute and sustainable spot to relax.
6- Sustainable client gifts
As an environmental company, it bothered us to give out gifts that only produced unnecessary waste. We came across Sprout Pencils, and we immediately knew that it was the solution for us!
Sprout pencils are non-toxic and made from sustainable materials and techniques. Once the pencil becomes too short to use, simply turn it upside down, plant the stub and enjoy watching it grow into fragrant herbs, beautiful flowers or fresh vegetables.
7- Exchange knowledge
The last but most important point is having meaningful discussions and educating our peers about adopting sustainable habits. If you are sick of seeing your colleague use single-use polystyrene containers every day, don’t hesitate to (respectfully) speak up and suggest an alternative.
At Electrobac, it has been the best way to make sure we have the greatest positive impact on the environment. If everyone shares what they know about sustainability, we end up with a lot of knowledge!
The core of our company is about making sustainability a habit for everyone, and we are proud to be doing so beyond the scope of e-waste.