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With companies beginning to determine the structure of their employees returning to the office after a long period of working from home due to COVID-19, corporate sustainability plans will once again need to be top of mind. While such policies have likely not been the focus over the past year, both consumers and employees will begin to hold companies accountable for what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. As we’ve discussed in the previous articles in this series, a report by Refinitiv released just prior to the global pandemic noted a significant rise in water efficiency policies as part of comprehensive corporate sustainability plans – and this trend is likely to continue as climate change and global warming have significantly increased the chances of drought.
But while many companies may be working to create or update their water efficiency policies and are starting to determine how they can update their facilities with water-efficient technologies, it is also essential to consider how you can implement office protocols that reduce water usage. Both basic and advanced water efficiency technologies such as low-flow fixtures and ENERGY STAR® appliances will greatly reduce your water consumption, but you must also stop to think about how office products and employee behavior contribute to water usage.
Once these basic protocols are in place, your company should also work to create a workplace culture that is rooted in sustainability. Your water conservation plan should include an employee education component that highlights ways they can reduce their personal usage.
While these suggestions are targeted at employees that are working in the office, many people are still working from home. Corporations are also implementing policies that allow employees to remain remote or are establishing hybrid models with rotating days. With that in mind educating your employees on how to take similar steps at home is important. You can also consider providing incentives for employees who upgrade their appliances and set goals to reduce their usage at home and hit those goals.
Remember, in order to create lasting change among employees it starts at the top. Corporate sustainability is likely important to your employees, but they haven’t thought about what they can do to help, so management must lead by example. Employees in the office will also likely implement these best practices in their personal lives – further contributing to the impact your company has on reducing water consumption in your community.
For more ideas check out Water Use it Wisely 100+ Ways to Conserve Water.
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