How To Encourage Employees To Adopt Energy-Saving Habits

As the effects of climate change become increasingly concerning, it’s important for each of us to take responsibility for our environmental impact. One way companies can contribute to this effort is by encouraging their employees to adopt energy-saving habits. Here are some tips for achieving this goal.

Start with Management

Before approaching your employees, it’s crucial to get the buy-in and support of your management team. They should truly believe that energy efficiency and sustainability are important and should be actively modeled in their own behavior. Management can set the tone by:

  • Turning off equipment when not in use
  • Closing windows and blinds to reduce heating/cooling costs
  • Using natural light instead of artificial light
  • Encouraging remote work to save on commute-related energy usage

Communicate the Importance of Energy Efficiency

Often, employees simply aren’t aware of the larger environmental impact their actions have. Raising awareness is important, and potentially a lot of fun!

Host Environmental Awareness Events

Hold events (like Lunch and Learns) where you can discuss and educate employees on environmental issues, including details on the effect of their energy use. Consider inviting climate experts from your community to lead educational sessions.

Share Success Stories

Promote and celebrate individual employee success stories or department achievements. You can also update your employees on your company’s progress toward sustainability goals.

Implement Energy-Saving Habits

Motivation is key to changing habits. You’ll need to provide your employees with a reason to change, and educate them on how.

Set Goals and Targets

Create formalized energy-saving goals for various departments and teams within your organization. Provide monthly progress updates, and make breaking records or exceeding previous targets a celebratory event.

Offer Incentives

Consider offering rewards such as gift cards, team outings or meaningful recognition for teams or individuals that contribute the most.

Provide Tools and Resources for Employees

Where possible, provide energy-saving tools to your employees. For example, start a challenge to reduce print overhead by 20%, or purchase and implement occupancy sensors in the office. Make sure your employees understand what they can do, and why the equipment they use matters.

Improve the Energy-Efficiency of Your Workplace

Last but not least, sometimes the best way to encourage employees to adopt energy-saving measures is by providing them with tools to succeed.

Assess Your Workspace

Conduct an audit of your office or workplace to identify areas of unnecessary energy usage, and brainstorm ways to improve these areas.

Invest in Sustainable Equipment

When you’re upgrading equipment, prioritize products that are manufactured in an environmentally-friendly way, use minimal energy, and are durable enough to be updated infrequently.

Facilitate Sustainable Practices

Make it easy for your employees to participate in sustainable behavior by offering alternative forms of commuting to reduce fuel-based transportation options, or incentivize public transit options.

Final Thoughts

Making changes to your business to improve energy efficiency is a win-win situation for both your organization and the environment. Encourage employees to participate in sustainable behavior and provide support to make it easier for them to do so. Together, we can work to create a happier and healthier world.

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