At Exubrancy, we encourage companies to embrace all facets of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”). A strong commitment to employee wellness can be directly correlated to a company’s social image, and is considered a form of employee-focused CSR. Having a team of happy, healthy and less-stressed employees is key not only to a successful business, but also leads to employee job satisfaction, increased productivity, employee trust/loyalty and lower medical costs. However, it is also important to look outside the confines of your company walls and focus on the environment as a whole, so that both the planet and your employees can feel their best. Businesses are hugely responsible for a majority of the municipal waste generated each year, while large amounts of CO2 (a contributor to climate change) are emitted daily due to employees who have to commute to work via private-vehicle. Obviously, it takes a big commitment to implement environmentally sustainable practices within your business, but with Earth Day around the corner, we’ve thought of some creative ways to get your company in the “green” spirit. On April 22nd, encourage your team to commit to one of the following!
This is an obvious one, but the effects can be big for both you and the earth. If you live in a city that allows for it, give yourself some extra time to bike or walk to work. Lucky for you, Earth Day falls on “casual friday”, so it’s a perfect excuse to wear sneakers into the office. If the weather is nice, a dose of sunshine and fresh air early in the morning will energize you and get you ready for your day. If walking or biking isn’t possible, organize a group carpool with your colleagues to cut CO2 emissions and save gas money. Some company on your morning commute could also be an added bonus. Bring healthy snacks and a great music playlist and you have yourself a little pre-work social gathering!
2. Cater a Vegan Lunch
WAIT. Hear us out! More and more studies are being published on the adverse effects of animal agriculture on the environment. Livestock contributes to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the raising of cattle requires massive amounts of land, leading to deforestation and desertification. We know it might be unrealistic to convert the global population to a vegan diet, but trying to lessen your animal-product intake can reduce your personal ecological footprint. Vegan food is completely delicious, and there are so many restaurants now serving tasty meat/dairy free options. We promise, you won’t even notice a difference! If you’re in New York City, try out one of Exubrancy’s favorite spots such as By Chloe, Blossom du Jour, and Peacefood Cafe.
3. Organize a “Build Your Own Terrarium” Event
Ok, maybe the direct environmental impact of this activity will not be the most significant, but it will certainly get you into the “green spirit”. Furthermore, if you’re unable to get outside during your work day, surrounding yourself with greenery can have a lot of positive effects on your productivity. The presence of plants in the workplace can improve memory and increase your concentration. What’s more, this event can be a great corporate bonding activity and a more eco-friendly alternative to a happy hour event.
4. Host a Lunchtime Documentary Screening
Want to really motivate your team? Netflix and chillout with a documentary focused on the environment. There are plenty of nature documentaries available to stream online, plus, you and your colleagues might enjoy taking a little movie break! BBC series such as “Life” and “Planet Earth” have 45 min episodes, perfect for a quick mid-day educational session!
5. Have an Office Wide Clothing Swap
The fashion industry is a major environmental culprit, and has even been cited as “the second dirtiest industry next to oil”. Fast fashion (think brands like H&M or Zara) is particularly guilty, as their relatively inexpensive clothes and quickly evolving trends encourage consumers to turn over their wardrobes faster than normal, producing even more waste. If you’re considering spring cleaning, a clothing swap is a great way for your gently used clothes to be reused rather than thrown out. Even better, you can be the recipient of a new wardrobe without spending a dime!