Categorised recycling bins

Tips for Environmental Wellness in the Workplace

08 February 2022

Concerns about global warming, holes in the earth’s ozone layer and climate change have been around since the 1980’s. There has been a youth-led movement to protect our planet for many years. But, it is only in the last decade that many politicians and mainstream society have begun to take the consequences of environmental pollution seriously. 

Parts of the world are already impacted by melting ice-caps, rising water levels and drought as a result of increasing temperatures linked to climate change. We are now in a race against time to stave off even more damaging effects of historically high levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. 


Collective change is needed to make a real and lasting positive impact on our environment. Everyone, including businesses of all sizes and across all industries must play a part which is where environmental wellness comes in.   


In recent years there has rightly been increased focus on the importance of employee wellbeing in the workplace but the world in which we all live must also be well. 

Environmental wellness in the workplace is where everyone involved in a commercial organisation learn about and contribute to the health of the planet. 
At one time all business activities may have taken place in one site or multiple commercial sites but if, like many businesses since the pandemic, you are implementing hybrid working suddenly you are faced with a multitude of work locations. How do you help leadership and employees to embrace environmental wellness no matter where they are working? 

Like any initiative in a business, environmental wellness must have leadership support to receive the focus and drive required to initiate change. Harvard business review shows there is a comprehensive business case for implementing environmental wellness. The specifics are going to vary by industry but may include:

  • Improving financial performance due to better operational efficiency, better management of natural resources and limiting waste.
  • Fostering innovation through the redesign of products or services to meet environmental need. 
  • Manage risk by working with your business supply chain to improve sustainability with the goal of limiting exposure to climate change.

Work with the leadership team to establish a holistic set of SMART environmental goals focused on:

  • Resource conservation
  • Waste reduction
  • Pollution prevention
  • Discharge elimination
  • Zero emissions

These goals need to be agreed between the leadership team and an environmental wellness committee.

Once environmental wellness becomes a focus it is important to establish a group committed to embedding sustainability into the business. Ideally group members are volunteers representing all levels of the business, including at least one senior leader. 


Global businesses may have ‘green teams’ or environmental committees at a local level with representatives joining a global team to ensure alignment on policy and procedure. 


Clear and frequent communication from the environmental committee is going to be central to achieving buy-in from the rest of the business.

There is scope in almost every office to do more for the environment. Getting started can be tricky but following these steps might help:

1.    Conduct an audit to identify opportunities for improvement. Look at every element of the business including:

  • Light and heat
  • Energy use
  • Office supplies
  • Waste savings
  • Water conservation
  • Business activities 

2.    Create action plans including date for completion and who is responsible

3.    Develop a communications plan to run in tandem 

4.    Implement the action plan, for best results get employees outside of the committee involved too. 

5.    Review improvements against annual goals and optimise accordingly.

As a large percentage of the office based world transitions to hybrid working, there is also a need to get employees to think more environmentally when working remotely. Global work from home orders during the pandemic reduced carbon emissions because less people were commuting to work and the airline industry came to a virtual standstill.


There are many ways to encourage employees to be more environmentally friendly while working from home or remotely. It is even better if your business is in a position to incentivise them to make changes that will not only help the planet but save them money in the long run:

  • Switch to energy efficient lighting
  • Lower heating
  • Use an additional screen to cut down or eliminate paper usage
  • Turn off devices when not in use
  • Make the most of natural light
  • Add plants to their environment
There are many environmental accreditations available around the world that assist in the improvement of your business and show it meets a standard when it comes to environmental wellness. 
Embracing environmental wellness is not only important to preserve our environment, it is increasingly important to consumers, clients and prospective employees too.