How to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious in your STEM role
Author: IntaPeople | Date published: 13/04/22
49% of Gen Z workers and 44% of millennials consider climate change and the environment to be their top concern and they expect their workplaces and governments to do more to address these issues. They also want to work in roles that align more closely with their values. STEM careers are often the ideal for those who want to make a difference.
As individuals, we know that we must act more sustainably in our day-to-day lives. At home this can range from reducing food waste, recycling, using our car less often or conserving water. But it can be harder to incorporate environmentally conscious practices into our working lives.
What is sustainable work culture?
A sustainable work culture balances maximising profit with safeguarding people and protecting the planet to ensure the long-term viability of a business or company. As individuals we can express to our employers the importance of sustainability, ask for more sustainable practices at work and support any green initiatives they undertake.
But what can individuals, particularly those in STEM roles, do personally to be environmentally conscious at work?
5 ideas to be more sustainable at work
Here are five simple ways to be more sustainable and eco-conscious at work.
Digital communication means offices use less paper than ever before, but it is still possible to reduce even further. Digital notebooks, collaborative online workspaces, digital file sharing software, e-signing software are all great ways to reduce paper usage. If you must use paper, be mindful of your paper use. Use double sided printing, recycled ink and share documents rather than printing individual copies. And always be sure to recycle! Over 68% of the paper used in UK offices goes to landfill. Even sensitive documents can be shredded and disposed of consciously.
Look for eco-friendly office supplies
There are lots of little ways to make your office space more sustainable. Look for eco-friendly cleaning products, refillable pens, notebooks made from recycled paper and consider stocking your office kitchen with fairtrade tea and coffee, recyclable, or refillable coffee pods rather than creating more waste with one-use plastics.
Manage your electronics
Get into the habit of switching off electronics, especially computers or laptops when not in use rather than leaving them on stand-by, use natural lighting where possible and energy saving bulbs if not. Keeping your devices upgraded with the latest software and drivers can also help keep them running more efficiently. This is a particularly great tip for those who are working from home as it will help save on your personal energy bills as well!
Consider your commute
Car travel is by far the biggest source of emissions and greenhouse gases in developed nations and single-occupancy journeys are major contributors to that. Public transport is great for a more sustainable commute. A trip by train or tube emits around a sixth of the greenhouse gases of an equivalent car journey, and a local bus emits around half of a single-occupancy car journey of the same distance. If public transport is not available then walking, using a bicycle or e-bike, and even offering to carpool with co-workers are all great ways to develop a more sustainable commute.
Always think before you act!
Taking the extra time to consider the most sustainable and eco-friendly option whatever the situation is always good practice. Do you need to print that email? Is it possible to bring lunch from home or use a refillable water bottle? Can you save and recycle your empty printer or toner cartridges?
Are you looking for STEM roles that can allow you to be more environmentally conscious?
If you are looking for STEM roles where you can make a difference and work to be professionally sustainable and environmentally conscious, then IntaPeople can help.