Tactical Green Management Techniques
With improved knowledge and supporting technology, there really is no reason why companies should not go green. So much of what concerns industries today – from cost cutting to improving their carbon footprints – can be resolved using readily available resources and standards set as company best practices.
As a project manager, you have the power to make the switch to a green work environment that much more effective. Here are steps you can use to bring some ingenuity to your management techniques without sacrificing cost and efficiency:
Make the Gradual Shift to Recycled Materials
Chances are, your office supplies are not entirely composed of 100% recycled materials. However, a good percentage of those supplies are recyclable and you should consider ways to reuse and recycle them.
Once you begin to replenish your supplies, consider buying from manufacturers and sellers who offer recycled paper and office supplies. You not only encourage the use of green materials, you could also help support local businesses.
Reuse and Recycle Paper
Old paper files, documents and extra copies of memos and notices may be cut and reused as inter-office memos and notepads, provided they do not contain confidential information. If your office or department uses paper, consider looking for third party businesses that recycle used materials. If you produce enough paper waste, recyclers will be glad to recycle them for you.
On the average, an office worker is likely to use as many as 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Given the kind of technology that almost makes paper unnecessary, this figure is quite alarming. Instead of using paper for simple communications, use e-mail or SMS. To assure confidentiality for attached files, consider encrypting and password-protecting electronic information, and limiting the number of recipients to whom the files are sent. Create printouts of documents only when and if necessary.
Go For Green Technology
Lighting, computers, small office appliances are usually rated based on their energy consumption. Consider using electronic equipment with a good Energy Star rating since these consume less energy. Use energy-saving light bulbs and install sensor lights or automatic timers in rooms and areas that are not used often, such as conference rooms, meeting rooms, pantry, closets and bathrooms.
If possible, try tapping solar or wind energy to power your office and/or production area. Renewable energy pays for itself over time and will be well worth the cost of investment in the long run.
Create a list of rules and desired behaviors to allow teammates and other members of the workplace to control how much and how often they consume energy. For example, have them unplug all electronic devices when not in use and to use energy-saving settings on their computers and printers.
Some work area designs might allow the use of natural lighting during the day. By turning off lights and utilizing daylight for work, you could save on the cost of power consumption in some areas of the building. Use green building materials for construction. Recycled and renewable materials are as aesthetically and functionally sound as other materials and may even cost less to purchase and install.
Lead by Example
Mentality in the work environment can be influenced and encouraged. By showing how well green project management techniques can be integrated into day-to-day work and proving how effective and efficient these steps can be for completing and achieving company goals, you will be able to create a work environment where people are aware and excited about their roles in building and maintaining corporate responsibility.
Through careful study of green techniques, as well as pursuing continued education such as ACU organizational development degree programs, you will be on you way to successful manage in an eco-friendly way. Make it a commitment and not just a nod to a trend. Going green does not only make for a solid PR buzz, it also helps produce the kind of impact that companies want and expect in their industry.