Have you ever heard of “women’s winter”? It’s a term coined by comedy site College Humor that laughs at company’s tendency to crank the AC in the summer months, leaving employees, typically women, cold, and sweater bound in the warm summer months. This practice, if left unchecked, can lead to serious costs incurred from cooling an office that doesn’t need to be that cold.
Consider the money you are spending on electricity that no one is using. That light that’s left on while employees are on lunch, the office space heater that used in the summer months when the AC is too high, that inefficient microwave that everyone is afraid to use and makes that weird noise sometimes… All these items are costing you what you consider to be “just business expenses”. But what if you could save money, influence your profits, retain employees and boost their moral – all with a switch of thinking and the use of ISO 14001.
Your consultant will give you tangible ways to implement new processes and revise existing ones, but there are a few simple ways you can get your employees on board with changes, and rooting for the success of ISO 14001 in your organization. For example, did you know employee productivity can increase by 15 per cent in an office that has potted plants? The study suggests that a “green office” tells employees that their employer cares about them. Plants also lower indoor contaminants, helping employees feel healthier. Consider the chemicals and compounds emitted by the printers, copiers, adhesives, and other office hazards that can be reduced by the mere presence of potted plants.
Circling back to cold offices, did you know that “people who are unhappy with temperature, water quality, lighting and noise conditions in their offices are more likely to say that this affects their concentration at work” Adrian Leaman, (1995) “Dissatisfaction and office productivity”, Facilities, Vol. 13 Iss: 2, pp.13 – 19. Switching your HVAC, heating and/or appliances could result in a more productive staff.
Employee autonomy is a massive morale booster, too. Leaders who employ a style known as “autonomously supportive”, rather than a controlling, “micro-management” style, are more likely to encourage greater workplace wellbeing and flourishing employees, according to the meta-analysis published in Springer’s Motivation and Emotion journal. Give your employees opportunities to make their own choices to better the environment they are in. Try creating a green team of volunteer employees, use compostable cups in the break room, and gain new perspectives from your employees and their experiences.
Don’t just rely on employees for their job, rely on them for their talents and problem-solving.
Implementing ISO 14001 will help your organization remove inefficient processes, help the environment, and boost your bottom line through CSR activities. Including your employees in these processes provide them with autonomy, morale boost and a healthy working environment for reduced downtime and increased productivity.
ISO 14001 exists to help organizations identify and control environmental impact, minimize negative effects that operations may have on the environment, and manage compliance with applicable laws and regulations. ISO 14001, like ISO 9001, pertains to the process; the methods by which a product or service is produced; rather than to the product or service itself.
ISO 14001 is maintained by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and is administered by accredited management systems certification bodies like The Registrar Company.