They say one small step can be the catalyst toward lasting change. Over the past several years, the conversation about limiting our carbon footprint and taking serious steps towards reverting the damage on the planet has been at the forefront of family, geo-political, education, and corporate discussions.

Large and small businesses in a variety of industries have come under pressure to make their day-to-day operations more eco-friendly and their work environment more sustainable. Many raise their eyebrows in question, “What is sustainability?” The best answer is that sustainability has the sole aim of avoiding the depletion of natural resources in a bid to restore and maintain ecological balance.

The term “Green Workplaces” was coined to define this shift to a more environmentally-centric workspace in recent years. A quick Google search will give you a plethora of definitions, all focused on new or upgrading the exterior of your buildings.

The reality is, creating a sustainable workplace has more to do with policies and people than 21st-century architecture. While the first step may seem daunting, it is in no way impossible to shift toward sustainability in your company.

Below is a list of the top ten best tips to help you create a sustainable workplace:

1. Go Paperless

One of the initial and fundamental steps in crafting a sustainable business is going paperless. Try your best to limit and eventually eliminate printing in your office. The digital age has provided all the tools to make this a reality. Send more e-memos, make announcements via emails or in-office message workgroups, and transition all your physical files to digital using cloud-saving software. If you must print, opt for 100% recycled printing paper.

2. Say No to Plastic

Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide, with only 7 percent being recyclable. To say plastic is a nuisance would be the understatement of the century. Reducing and eventually eliminating single-use plastic in the workplace will be a significant step in sustainability. Make your business plastic accessible by having carton cups and reusable mugs. Have a safe, separate garbage disposal for plastics and encourage employees to utilize tumblers by starting a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) program.

3. Sustainably Sourced Coffees

Your office breakroom is just as vital as the boardroom. The breakroom is where your employees nourish themselves and regroup to tackle the day. So, outfitting your break room with coffee that has been sustainably sourced is a step in the right direction. Sustainably sourced coffee also has the added benefit of being organic and being sourced with limited damage to the environment and at a fair price from producers.

4. Unplug and Switch Off

Limiting your energy goes a far way in decreasing your carbon footprint. Unplugging electrical devices and appliances not in use or at the end of the day will not only aid in making your workspace green but also has the added benefit of saving you money on your energy bill. Another great tip is turning off lights when not in use. Utilizing electrical sensors and energy-efficient light bulbs will go a far way in limiting your energy consumption.

5. Clean Green

Most cleaning products are combinations of artificial fragrances and tongue twister chemicals harmful to the environment and humans. Swapping out your toxic cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives will be good for the environment and great for your staff.

6. Green Commuting

Carbon emissions are the biggest culprit in the depletion of our ozone layer, which leads to global warming. Especially in the case of macro corporations, encouraging your employees to favor green commuting is a significant step to being sustainable. Employees who live in close proximity can walk instead of driving. Those who live close but not enough to walk should be allowed to ride their bicycles. Introduce the idea of a corporate carpool and create the option to work remotely. These are just a few ways to limit your carbon footprint.

7. Go Solar

The sun is a powerful source of clean green energy electricity. Solar energy is renewable, safe, and inexhaustible. Making your business solar-powered sends a strong message that you are serious about limiting your impact on the environment.

8. Create A Green Team

Taking members of your staff and creating a “Green Committee” solidifies your sustainable efforts and allows you to include your team in this journey. This committee can focus on continuous sensitization of their peers and creating projects to maintain a sustainable workplace.

9. The 3 R’s

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The three r’s that were hammered into us at school tend to be forgotten at the office, but the same rules apply. Reduce your waste, invest in multiuse items, and recycle as much as you can. Try to outfit your office with separate trash cans for the different types of waste.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect, and it applies to sustainability too. If we intend to heal the earth, then the steps we take must become disciplined habits that turn into a way of life. Consistently taking these small steps in your workplace is a big help for the environment.

Create a More Sustainable Workplace with Corporate Coffee Systems

Making the necessary changes to ensure that the next generation will have rivers, ponds, and parks to frolic is a big deal. Some of these steps, though small, have a great impact.

At Corporate Coffee Systems, sustainability is the name of the game, which is why we partner with companies that successfully create amazing workplace products while protecting the environment. Whether it’s Reunion Island Coffee Roasters, whose business is cemented in uncompromising commitment to quality and sustainability, or Emerald, who has streamlined sustainability in everyday breakroom dining ware and cleaning products, our sustainability partners provide you with the best tools to fuel great work, while saving the planet one cup of coffee at a time.

Learn more about our eco-friendly breakroom products by visiting