Creating a Climate Conscious Culture Within the Workplace: Tips for SMEs

With COP26 (Conference of Parties) drawing to a close today, climate discussions have likely left employers questioning how sustainable and climate conscious their business and workforce really is, and wondering what they can do to take part in tackling the issues of global warming. 

What is COP26?

For the past two weeks, Glasgow has hosted world leaders from across the globe to join forces, working together to inspire action and encourage change in the way we live our lives, to commit to reducing emissions and fighting climate change for good.

What steps can employers take to creating a sustainable and climate conscious culture in the workplace?

  • Encourage conversations within the team to gather ideas on how to go green. Encouraging your team to discuss ideas on how to go greener and initiating conversations can increase employee engagement. It can inspire employees to take action and help them understand and value the importance of positive business ethics and responsibility for the climate. Consider starting up volunteer projects or thinking of ways to make going green fun!
  • Include your employees in your environmental and social goals. Tell employees how your business is doing their bit to be more climate conscious and advise them on what they can do to go greener in the workplace, such as recycling, using less energy and even changing how they travel to work by walking, carpooling, or making use of the government cycle to work scheme.
  • Be a role model for your employees. Make sure your workplace reflects your environmental and social commitments by switching to more sustainable energy, going paperless or swapping to recycled paper, reducing waste and eliminating single-use plastics from the workplace.
  • Join the UK Business Climate Hub! SMEs across the UK have been signing an SME Climate Commitment to do their bit in protecting the climate. By signing here, you will be committing to cutting your carbon emissions and striving to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050, which not only will help the planet but will also help your business save money and attract customers who care about sustainability and fighting climate change.

How does going green benefit your business?

  • Reducing your energy use by adjusting heating and air conditioning timings and temperatures, using energy saving lightbulbs and changing to sustainable energy can save your business money and help cut costs.
  • Make your business more attractive to customers who are climate conscious and attract new customers who value sustainability.
  • Your environmental values can help attract talent with similar values and make you stand out from other employers when recruiting.

Though it might seem like the pressure is solely on big businesses to make a change and take action, SMEs can and are still encouraged to play their part in making changes to their businesses and the workplace to protect our planet.

Changes no matter how big or small will make a difference and we must all start somewhere.