Moving sustainability forwards

Empowering employees: Top 10 tips to support sustainability in your workplace

As proud members of the B Corp community, we are committed to using our business as a force for good. But our journey doesn’t end with being the first health insurer awarded B Corp status.

With the theme of B Corp Month 2024 being "This Way Forward", we're excited to join together with other B Corps, championing responsible business practices, always growing our impact and paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable and greener future. 

Don’t underestimate your role

Hand holding a resuable, glass water bottle

While businesses are often in the spotlight regarding sustainability, it's important not to underestimate your role in driving change from within. 

Sustainability is often referred to as meeting the needs of the present, without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Or in other words, balancing people, profit and the planet.

Simply by thinking globally, but acting locally, we all have the opportunity to take action and influence change to benefit us all. So, let’s dive into our ten tips to help your workplace become more sustainable. 

Top ten tips for a more sustainable workplace

Person litter picking on beach

1. Embrace a digital-first mindset

Say goodbye to paper trails and reduce paper usage by choosing digital whenever possible. Use digital platforms for meetings, file sharing, and collaboration to minimise paper's environmental footprint.

2. Back responsible suppliers

Be the advocate for environmentally and socially responsible suppliers. Research and recommend vendors with sustainable practices, such as those certified by recognised environmental and social standards. Be vigilant to those suppliers with big claims or big targets which anyone can make. Instead, try to find those who are transparently sharing their progress and action. Remember, you can vote with your wallet even when you’re at work. 

Ideas for green supplies:

Reusable water bottles

Recycled paper and loo roll

Bamboo pens

Compostable bin bags

3. Recycle like you mean it

Recycling isn't just about tossing stuff in bins. Firstly, it’s about deciding whether you need to purchase something in the first place. Remember, ‘reduce, reuse then recycle’. And when you do need to dispose of waste, it’s about doing the dirty work of washing out containers (we know, it's not glamorous) and separating the rubbish. Use designated recycling bins for paper, plastics, and other recyclable items. 


4. Volunteer

Use your skills to help others or get your hands dirty for a good cause. Organise or join company-supported volunteer programs focused on environmental conservation. Who wouldn’t want to swap office chairs, or warehouses, for beach cleanups and tree-planting adventures? If your team works remotely, volunteering can be a great way of bringing colleagues together in person for a bonded experience. 

5. Be energy-responsible and efficient

Increasingly, colleagues expect their employers to have renewable energy tariffs in place. There are also practical ways colleagues can get involved to reduce energy use too - dim those screens, power down electronics, and embrace energy-efficient appliances. Let's lighten our load on the planet while brightening our workspaces.

Man holding an electric bike and smiling

6. Review your commute

Ditch the solo rides and explore sustainable commute options. Carpool, cycle, electric vehicles, or hop on public transport to slash carbon emissions and enjoy a stress-free journey. The only downside is being unable to sing along to the radio at full volume. 


7. Become a Mental Health First Aider

Promote mental health awareness at your workplace, get mental health first aid training, and foster a supportive and resilient work environment. 

Volunteering advice

Check out this government resource for help on how to start volunteering with your work:

8. Fundraise for a cause

Support social and environmental causes that align with your company values. From charity walks to sustainable product sales, you can raise funds and awareness for a brighter, greener future.


9. Spread the word

Share your sustainability progress with your colleagues. Even in the midst of a busy workday, you can inspire others with your own actions or by sharing articles, resources, and success stories. Together, things might seem less daunting and you’ll be sure to find some passionate people who want to champion a way forward.


10. Harness your people power

Diversity of people, thoughts and experiences will equip your organisation with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to drive and sustain meaningful change. Consider advocating for new employee networks and communities to generate ideas and begin acting on your own sustainability movements to support the future of your organisation.

A group of people with their hands together in middle of circle

So, there you have it - ten tips to make your workplace more sustainable. Let's roll up our sleeves and change the world for the better. Reach out to your People team to find out what your company has in place, what they may be taking action on and see how you can support them.

If you’d like to learn more about Simplyhealth’s own purpose-led sustainability journey and progress, you can find out more here.