Friday, April 22, 2011, marks the 41st international Earth Day, the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. More than 6 million Canadians join 1 billion people in over 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues.
Over the last few years, many companies have begun to develop successful business strategies that are environmentally responsible and improve long-term performance. Recent research is showing how thinking green can improve company profitability, both directly and indirectly.
Take a recent study on telecommuting…
On Monday, April 17, 2011, Canada’s first major national white paper was released summarizing a study on telework and how it could positively impact the environment – and promote employee well being. The study found that twice-weekly telecommuting could save Canadian companies, employees and the community more than $53 billion a year by removing the equivalent of 385,000 cars from our roads and save about 390 million litres of gas. (Calgary Herald: Telecommuting could create savings worth more than $53B, April 19, 2011)
According to the study, the chief reason companies are reluctant to adopt telecommuting is because of “line of sight management.” Managers believe they have to see their employees working in the office – that it’s too easy to “goof off” when working from home. But the research indicates quite the opposite. Instead, telecommuting can improve corporate productivity, build employee morale, foster loyalty and lower attrition. And less attrition, the study reports, means Canadian companies could realize annual average savings equating to over $1.8 billion. The study also found that 77 per cent of participants expect a strong improvement in their work-life balance, and 64 per cent expect greater job satisfaction.
Environmental initiatives can have positive impacts in surprising ways.
Thinking green in small but no less important ways…
There are many small important energy-saving improvements that companies, including TEC members, are taking.
- Powering down and turning off all computers and lights when not in use.
- Reducing paper use by printing less or not at all and send as many documents electronically as possible.
- Using travel mugs for coffee and tea.
- Replacing old lights with LED bulbs.
- Recycling, recycling, recycling!
Here are some other initiatives to consider…
- Add an advisor to your Board that could assist in implementing a waste-eliminating corporate philosophy or appoint an employee to lead green initiatives within the office.
- Develop a company-wide initiative to become involved in community recycling programs.
- Identify three environmental goals on which to focus your efforts and share them on your website – this will make you accountable for following through on your chosen initiatives.
This Earth Day we encourage everyone to make a commitment to reducing their footprint in some way. If you would like to see what some of our TEC members are doing, we invite you to become inspired by Mike Gerbis, CEO of The Delphi Group, and his commitment to sustainable development.