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As we step into 2024, the global consciousness surrounding environmental impact has intensified, prompting businesses across industries to reassess their operations and prioritize sustainable practices. In the article below, drawing from our own experiences, we will highlight some of the most important practices and initiatives every business should implement in 2024 to align with the global sustainability goals.
10 ideas for sustainable practices
Sharing the same goal of combating climate change and preserving the planet, allows us to work together and learn from each other. Thus, we wanted to share with you the practices we have implemented in order to raise awareness and make a change.
Create engagement among your team
In the pursuit of sustainable practices in 2024, fostering a culture of environmental consciousness and social responsibility within your organization is paramount. This approach ensures that sustainability becomes ingrained in the company’s ethos, promoting a shared commitment to ethical business practices. Furthermore, team members can serve as ambassadors, disseminating knowledge, and encouraging colleagues to embrace sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations. In doing so, your company not only leads by example but also empowers its workforce to contribute to a greener future.
With that in mind, we founded Accedia Green Community – an internal initiative aiming to make an impact on environmental conservation and lowering our carbon footprint as a company. Our goal is to create a sense of responsibility and commitment by setting an example, providing information and transparency in an engaging and relatable way, and making everyone a part of the journey through events and shared personal stories.
Promote learning and knowledge-sharing
Educate team members on the importance of sustainability and provide them with the tools and knowledge to integrate eco-friendly practices into their daily work routines. Empowering employees to make sustainable choices can create a collective long-lasting impact.
For example, we created Accedia Green Story – a series of knowledge-sharing events within our company, focused on sustainability topics. These interactive talks aim to raise awareness, educate our team, and foster a culture of responsibility. Our recent event explored the lifecycle of plastic, covering production, environmental impact, recycling, and alternatives. Such initiatives are crucial for companies to engage employees, promote informed decision-making, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Another initiative, which we carry out weekly is Green Fact Wednesday – dedicated to sharing intriguing sustainability facts. Every Wednesday, we present a thought-provoking question related to sustainability, encouraging employees to participate in guessing the answer. By the end of the day, the correct answer is revealed, accompanied by additional insights and relevant resources. This initiative serves as a simple yet effective way to keep sustainability at the forefront of employees’ minds, fostering a continuous learning environment, and inspiring conversations.
Extend your mission beyond your company
Extending your efforts beyond the confines of corporate responsibility embodies a profound commitment to global well-being. Businesses play a pivotal role in shaping the future, and by actively participating in initiatives like afforestation, they contribute to the broader mission of environmental sustainability. By leading the way in initiatives that go beyond the bottom line, companies become catalysts for positive change, inspiring others to embrace sustainable practices and fostering a collective sense of environmental consciousness that transcends industry boundaries.
Thus, in 2023 we started planting the Accedia Forest. To make our contribution and unite people around a sustainable and meaningful cause, we wanted to create a forest that would help combat deforestation and climate change. The Accedia Forest not only stands as a testament to our dedication to offsetting carbon emissions but also serves as a symbol of the collective responsibility we share in preserving the planet for future generations.
Take part in local campaigns
By actively supporting local campaigns, businesses contribute to environmental conservation and inspire positive change within their communities, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and encouraging others to follow suit in 2024 and beyond.
For example, recently, Accedia participated in a campaign focused on recycling aluminum cans and plastic bottles. The initiative emphasized the importance of waste reduction and also showcased the potential financial benefits of recycling, wherein participants received monetary incentives for their efforts. At the end of the campaign, Accedia doubled the money generated from the recycling campaign and redirected those funds toward purchasing food for stray dogs in the shelters we regularly visit.
In order to succeed in their environmental journey, companies should believe in harnessing the collective creativity of team members to drive innovation aiming to make a positive impact on the world. Their commitment to sustainability should extend beyond the traditional business boundaries.
At Accedia we actively encourage our team to contribute ideas for internal sustainable practices or develop products that address climate change and environmental challenges. One testament to this commitment is IDC, a skill-sharing initiative that serves as a platform for transforming team members’ innovative ideas into tangible software solutions. In our latest season, themed “Green Future,” teams tackled environmental sustainability issues. Notable solutions that emerged from this initiative include GORA, an AI and Computer Vision-powered tool designed to track illegal logging through real-time satellite images. Additionally, Kyub, an application facilitating responsible trash disposal and waste reduction, offers easy access to recycling stations, environmental campaigns, and more.
Implement electronic labor files
It almost sounds scary that the global demand for pulp and paper is expected to double by 2060 and around 93% of paper comes from trees. On average, it takes about 8 trees to produce 1,000 pounds of paper. The environmental impact of replacing paper with digital services could be great. The leading eSignature provider DocuSign estimated that its electronic signature service has saved approximately 837 tons of paper – or more than 14,000 trees.
Given these facts, Accedia has taken a step towards a paperless office. We are proud that every employee has their own e-Labour file – electronic storage that contains all signed documents between Employee and Employer in a digital format. These include labor contracts, annexes, agreements, declarations, etc.
Each employee uses a qualified electronic signature (QES) for signing all documents. The process is remote, easy, and most importantly – paperless, which significantly reduces the number of printed paper. Also, every team member has access to the documents they have signed electronically, whilst increasing security and productivity.
Make sure you are compliant with the environmental management system (EMS)
The EMS, ISO 14001:2015 provides a systematic framework for organizations to identify, monitor, and manage their environmental impact. By adhering to this standard, companies can minimize their ecological footprint, reduce waste, and optimize resource efficiency. This not only contributes to global environmental conservation but also enhances corporate reputation, attracts environmentally conscious clients, and ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
Being compliant with ISO 14001:2015 Accedia proves its commitment to reducing the negative impacts of our operations. Among the core principles of our environmental policy are pollution prevention, efficient resource usage, waste reduction, maintaining eco-friendly technical infrastructure, and constant improvement.
Implement recycling practices
Embracing recycling policies within your office is a pivotal move for sustainable business in 2024. By actively managing waste responsibly, companies contribute to environmental conservation, reduce their carbon footprint, and exemplify a commitment to corporate social responsibility. Beyond the environmental gains, a recycling program fosters a positive workplace culture, enhancing employee morale.
At Accedia we have separate containers for recycling on every floor of our office. The six types of materials that are being recycled are glass, plastic and metal, paper, plastic caps, batteries, and cans. The plastic bottle cups are being donated to the “Caps for Future” action program, which raises funds for newborn hospital equipment.
Reduce waste bins
Within most open spaces in the corporate environment, offices place a waste bin for every employee. However, reducing the number of bins is a pivotal aspect of this commitment, as it fosters a culture of waste reduction and resource efficiency. By encouraging employees to be mindful of their consumption and waste generation, companies can significantly decrease their environmental footprint, and minimize landfill contributions.
At Accedia, you may find one or a maximum of two waste bins per room, which encourages people to generate less waste in general. This works subconsciously on several levels. The person is urged to get up and go to the bin, instead of just leaning to the left or right to throw their waste out. So, on the one hand, movement is encouraged. On the other hand, it makes one think about the quality of waste they generate.
Embrace more sustainable logistics
Implementing green logistics has a great impact on carbon emissions reduction, offers cost savings and enhances brand reputation.
In this regard, eco-friendly delivery is one more sustainable practice we are truly proud of. The company we work with for our office supplies transports the goods by electrical vehicles. Another simple yet important step we have taken in this direction is to organize the orders in such a way that we only have one delivery per week.
Businesses should focus their efforts on reducing their environmental impact in various aspects. From energy efficiency and renewable energy sources through carbon emissions removal to introducing sustainable practices within the office spaces. Embracing environmental and social responsibility not only contributes to a healthier planet but also positions your company as a forward-thinking and conscientious partner.
Start 2024 in a more conscious way which will benefit not only your business but the future of our planet.