Reducing Environmental Impact and Improving Social Performance as an Organisation

Photo: protect the eviroment

Over the past few years, people and organisations are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental and social responsibilities. This is driving significant shifts in consumer habits, meaning organisations need to raise their game when it comes to environmental and social performance.

At Haptivate we’ve been on a journey to continuously improve in these areas and we thought why not share some of our learnings from along the way!

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Why does being a socially responsible organisation matter?

The average person spends 80,000 hours of their lives working. And how we spend that time has huge implications for individuals, groups and society at large. Irresponsible business activity tends to create negative externalities that diminish the collective resources that we as a society all benefit from and rely upon. But business also has the potential to preserve and add to them too.

And the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) go beyond positively influencing the world we live in and contributing to the welfare of our community. It can also be a key component of a business strategy to yield long-term and sustainable success. So ethical and socially responsible practices can be a huge win-win for both organisations and society.

As consumers become increasingly socially and environmentally conscious, CSR is becoming a fundamental aspect of building and differentiating successful brands. It’s also important to consider what CSR can mean to your staff. Providing the opportunity to engage in socially meaningful work is associated with increases in productivity, wellbeing and job satisfaction.

Other organisational benefits include; 

  • Happier, productive and engaged team members, which increases the ability to attract talent and retain staff
  • Operational cost savings – especially when considering things like single-use plastics and printing
  • Improvements in brand recognition and reputation
  • Potential to increase in sales, consumer loyalty and financial performance
  • Organisational growth

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How to improve environmental performance as an organisation

When it comes to improving and reducing our environmental impact as an organisation, the popular phrase “every little helps” comes to mind. The little things really do build up!

Think reusable

Almost anything you use and then throw away can end up spending centuries in a landfill. Here are some steps that can help avoid this:

  • Provide refillable water stations and encourage or provide team members with reusable water bottles. 
  • Go old school with a kettle and a working kitchen, instead of relying on vending machines and products in single-use plastic packaging. 
  • Look at your recycling. Are there local projects you can get involved with? For example, Scouts groups often collect bottle tops for recycling and fundraising.

Go paperless

Printed emails, abandoned photocopier sheets, and notebook scraps. Serial paper waste has long been a problem in offices. A whopping 75% of the paper used by UK office workers each year ends up in the bin. And while it sometimes makes sense to use paper (e.g. official documents and legal documents) – it’s often not necessary. 

Here are a few tips for reducing your paper consumption;

  • Print what is only necessary.
  • Store files using cloud-based software which is easier and cheaper to organise, sort, file, locate and manage than boxes of printed papers. 
  • Encourage team members to swap any books they no longer need or want.
Photo: screwed up paper

Turn off the taps

Did you know that the average person wastes over 1,000 litres of water a week? And, in a business environment, this adds up to a lot of wasted water! 

So what can you do to help?

  • Fit push button taps in your premises
  • Educate staff on reducing water consumption
  • Fix leaky taps
  • Harvest rainwater

You can find more water-reducing ideas here.

Switch to a green energy provider

Renewable energy is any form of energy derived from the natural environment that can be continuously replenished. Renewable energy comes in many forms such as;

  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Hydroelectric
  • Geothermal 
  • Biomass
  • Tidal
  • Hydrogen

If you’re in the UK, you can compare providers of green energy at Money Supermarket. Or, if you’d like to explore installing your own on-site renewable energy generation, check out the Energy Saving Trust for advice and resources.

Get on your bike

It’s estimated that just a moderate increase in bike use over a year can save between 6-14 million tons of CO2. It’s also a great way to keep fit and healthy – both of which positively impact your wellbeing. 

The Cycle to Work Scheme was introduced by the UK government in 1999 as a way to promote healthier travel to work and reduce environmental pollution. It allows employers to loan cycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees tax-free.

Support local businesses

Do a supplier audit and see if there are any local suppliers offering the service/goods that you need. By supporting local businesses, you are able to build links and connections with the local community. This, in turn, is great for the local economy and your organisation is able to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Ask your team

We are all looking at ways to be more environmentally and eco-friendly at home, and many of these factors can be moved into the workplace. Involving your team members can be great for morale, which can in turn provide a boost to motivation and productivity. In addition, giving your team ownership of the project demonstrates that their actions and opinions make a difference, spurring them on to maximise positive impacts.

Photo: team building

How to improve social performance as an organisation

There are so many ways in which organisations can work with diverse communities and reach underserved groups and individuals It might be smaller collaborations where there’s an alignment in ethos or perhaps much bigger community projects. Here are a few ideas:

  • Volunteering Days: Working within the local community in initiatives such as  volunteering at food banks or shelters, giving blood or helping at local schools.
  • Charitable Acts:  Donations of money to specific causes or initiatives.

  • Societal Issues: Examples include advocating for child labour laws to be changed, purchasing fair trade products and large-scale recycling projects.

  • Organisational Ethics: Projects that support and nurture an organisation’s values and ethos. 

How we’re doing our part at Haptivate…

Research shows that wellbeing is a life skill. We want more people to have the opportunity to learn it! 

Here are a few of the ways Haptivate is trying to make the world a better place:

  • We donate 1% of annual revenue to 1% for the planet to support environmental projects.
  • We donate donate 4% of annual revenue to supporting wellbeing initiatives for young people
  • We’re working with Carbon Footprint to offset 2X our annual carbon emissions so we’re a carbon negative organisation.

You can find some information about Our Mission and how our environmental and social performance plays a role.

Get free access to wellbeing resources, news and research

Get access to the exclusive Haptivate Wellbeing Resource Hub and stay up to date with all the latest wellbeing at work research, tools and tips by joining our monthly newsletter. We promise not to share your data or spam you with irrelevant information 🙂

Aysha Frost

Aysha Frost

Digital Marketing

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