The latest green trend isn’t about being politically correct. It’s about saving money and gaining efficiencies. The key word has shifted from “eco” to “sustainable.”
You probably know the basic tenets of sustainability—such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, turning off your computer when it’s not in use, and keeping the heat turned down.
But administrative professionals can be linchpins for a company that wants to be more efficient and sustainable. Admins are often the ones renegotiating contracts with vendors and helping spread communication about company strategy with others.
How to be a sustainability linchpin in your office:
√ Ask partners how they can help. For example, the vendor who already provides waste-or recycling services to your building may have ideas for saving money, even if it’s as simple as providing more recycling bins around the office. (Reducing waste usually translates to reducing costs.)
√ Buy with reusability in mind. In break rooms, for example, replace disposables with permanent ware—mugs, dishes, towels, etc. When you must buy disposable items, use paper (a renewable resource) instead of plastic or plastic foam (made of petroleum).
√ Request reusable dishes, silverware and napkins when organizing catered events or meetings. Provide pitchers of water instead of bottled water.
√ Create paperless meetings by sending agendas and meeting materials by e-mail ahead of time to attendees. Let them decide whether they need a hard copy. Odds are that when the meeting’s over, you’ll have fewer papers left behind on the conference table.