The pressure is real and only some companies know where to start. Progressing on ESG doesn’t have to be tough or require tons of investment. In some cases, you will need to rethink the way your office is designed or the carbon footprint you produce. But before that, you can start smaller, with simple in-house moves.
However, allow us to start with the social and governance factors: sustainability and carbon footprint are the areas companies consider improving the most, but the quick wins can also hide in your company culture and ways of working:
S - Social
1. Promote social connection
Help your team members connect through motivations and interests beyond work. Introduce short ice-breaker questions at the beginning of each group call. Feature new hires, work anniversaries and personal initiatives, and allow casual interactions across in-office and hybrid teams. A little fun and bonding goes a long way!
2. Engage in team appreciation practices
Set up short weekly surveys asking how everyone is doing. End with a question where team members give shout-outs and kudos to colleagues for great collaboration, support and good vibes. Connect the answers to your Slack or Teams channels to celebrate wins together.
G - Governance
3. Champion transparency
Introduce informal suggestion boxes for concerns and ideas for improvements. Commit to presenting the latest highlights and goals during team meetings for an ongoing two-way dialogue.
4. Highlight common values
Together with your team, define the common values that everyone can feel connected to. Display these values in gathering areas like the kitchen and hallways for a simple daily reminder to connect individual actions to shared goals.
E - Environmental
5. Adopt responsible e-waste recycling
Recycle old electronics before they end up in landfills, where hazardous materials can leach. Provide clearly labeled in-office recycling bins covered under European WEEE directives to capture e-waste for responsible recycling.
6. Add plants to boost the team’s well-being
Use the easy win of adding more greenery to your office. Biophilic design can create beneficial contact between people and nature within your workspace. Plants and vegetation can increase team productivity, reduce stress levels, lower noise levels and give your team a creativity boost, among other benefits.
7. Launch a green team
Gather volunteers across departments to lead initiatives about environmental impact. They can guide policy changes, activate programs for reuse and recycling, coordinate earth events, support commuting options like carsharing or bike-to-work, and ensure sustainability gets discussed.
Beyond these initial easy wins lies a bigger journey toward purpose-led operations. But small changes today set the stage for more ambitious steps ahead.