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5 ways to go green and celebrate World Environment Day

Culture | Posted on June 5, 2014 by Rebecca Lyon

Forty-two years ago on June 5, 1972, the United Nations launched its Environmental Program, UNEP, and the first World Environment Day was born.

Back then, laptops were simply a perch for small dogs, and all people ever got from a cloud was rain. What hasn’t changed is UNEP‘s mission to spread environmental awareness and everyone’s responsibility to mitigate the effects of consumption and waste on the environment around us.

Promoting sustainability in your office can be as simple as turning off your computer at the end of the day, or bringing your lunch in a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag. If you’re looking to make environmental action a corporate-wide initiative, check out these Softchoice practices to get inspiration for how to do it!

1. Conserve Energy by switching to energy efficient lighting and other technologies.

After Softchoice switched to LED lights in our head office, going from 100W to 5W, we saw $12,000 in energy savings. But LED lighting offers more than just cost savings. Efficient lighting can help reduce carbon emissions by up to 50%.

2. Manage Food Waste by implementing an office composting program.

This is already a natural part of home life for many people, so why not incorporate it into your work life as well! Softchoice put compost bins in all of the head office kitchenettes, giving employees an easy way to help divert waste from landfills to prevent pollution from greenhouse gases.

3. Manage Electronic Waste by organizing an electronic recycling program at your office.

Every 3 to 4 months, Softchoice collects old electronics to make sure these materials are being disposed of properly, and not fueling pollution in landfills.

4. Reduce Carbon Emissions by encouraging smarter commuting options for employees.

Softchoice’s Transit Subsidy Program provides an incentive for employees to take a mode of public transit to work by offering a subsidy to help offset some of the costs incurred for transit. According to a study by the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation produces 45% less carbon dioxide than private vehicles, making it a great option to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint. As of this year, there are 242 Softchoice employees from Canada and 86 from the U.S. taking part in our program!

5. Demonstrate a Commitment to the Environment by making sustainable practices part of your daily business process and corporate culture.

At Softchoice, our employee-volunteer office Green Team takes the lead on environmental sustainability. By creating and encouraging new green practices such as the ones listed above, our Green Team makes sure Softchoice maintains its commitment to the environment in the spirit of UNEP and World Environment Day.

Check out more of our Softchoice green initiatives and let us know how your organization is celebrating World Environment Day in the comments below!

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