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Communicating your office sustainability culture to employees

Communicating your corporate culture during interviews and employee onboarding is key to attracting the best talent and retaining new hires. When someone joins your company, it’s important for you to invest in making new employees feel welcome. This can be done by sending a first day schedule in advance and having a buddy system where current employees spending scheduled time with new hires.

In addition to a well-planned first day, company swag is another way to make new hires feel welcome and at home with their new company. At Eco Promotional Products, new hires receive a branded reusable water bottle, insulated lunch bag, reusable utensil and straw sets and a reusable shopping bag.  We hope these eco-friendly items get employees excited about working here and help communicate our company’s zero waste lunch goals.

During the onboarding process, it’s important for new hires to become familiarized with office sustainability initiatives. How does the paperless office/cloud based system work? Where can items be recycled? What electric items are shut down at the end of the day to conserve energy? What are telecommuting policies? Are there incentives for biking to work, carpooling or taking public transportation?

In addition to a well thought out onboarding process, on an ongoing basis, communication is key to keeping all employees engaged in your culture of sustainability. Ellen Weinreb, managing director of Weinreb Group, offers 10 communication strategies to engage employees in sustainability.

Employee perks and incentives have long been key to employee retention, especially in the technology field. For sustainability minded-companies, free lunches, lavish dinners or sales incentive trips aren’t eco-friendly employee perks, considering the high carbon footprint of travel and eating meat. Last year, WeWork banned meat for employees expensing meals and at company events in an effort to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.  Greener employee incentives can include extra work from home days, giving employees bicycles for commuting or reimbursement for buying a hybrid vehicle or installing solar panels at home.

If you are looking to improve your company sustainability culture, one of the easiest ways to do this is give employees the tools to improve. Reusable coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, reusable utensils and reusable bags all send a clear message to employees to choose reusables over single use products. Buy a water cooler and ask employees to bring their own reusable water bottles. Stock kitchens and breakrooms with alternatives to commonly found single use products in offices like coffee creamer, sugar packets, coffee stirrers, utensils, straws and more.