An environment can be defined as the summation of all surroundings of a living organism. It is living things and what is around them which include both non-living things and living things. Living organisms are in constant interaction with their environment. Sustainability is the capability to continue a defined activity or behavior indefinitely. Environmentally sustainable work practices are rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion in and around the workplace that can be continued indefinitely. They reduce harm on the environment and reduce wastage of resources (Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell 2010).Implementation involves making the decisions, plans, and agreements on environment sustainability to come into reality while monitoring requires the observing, checking, or keeping a continuous record of the process in which the environmentally sustainable work practices are put in place.To come up with efficient environmentally sustainable work practices, one needs to analyze the workplace in relation to sustainable work practices efficiently and to implement improvements and monitor their effectiveness.
For the purpose of the implementation and monitoring of environmentally sustainable work practices, I have chosen the manufacturing industry.
Brainstorming is a creativity technique for groups by which efforts are made to find a solution for a particular issue. It involves gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. Each of the fifteen employees should share their take on how the manufacturing company can ensure the effective and efficient use of resources.
It is important for the group to take into consideration that a business must not carry out an activity that contaminates, or might pollute, the environment unless all reasonable and practicable actions to avert or reduce any resulting environmental harm are taken. (Aspire Training & Consulting 2008). The group may also formulate a Workplace Environmental Policy to give directions on environmentally sustainable workplace policies. Employees need to acknowledge the benefits of environmental management and will take all prudent measures to prevent or minimize harm to the environment. In addition, the work group may change workplace procedures and practices to more environmentally conscious methods.
This involves impacting the workforce with the relevant knowledge and skills to be able actually to carry out environmentally sustainable work practices. This may be done through workshops, conferences and or training. Even written material such as booklets may be distributed to supplement the knowledge acquired. Group education assists the workforce in maintaining and monitoring positive environmental work practices.
Positive environmental work practices include:
Using energy and resources carefully like switching off the office lights when no one is in the room to conserve electricity.
Using alternative energy sources such as solar, bio-ethanol and wind power.
Reduce the volume of paper you use by training yourself and colleagues to send electronic versions of documents rather than hard printed copies. For example, send a message by email instead of a paper memo or fax to save paper.
Where possible utilize harvested rainwater, Conserve water use a dry technique such as a broom, vacuum cleaner or compressed air jet. Reuse wastewater where possible.
Promote the use of toner cartridges and or refilled ink in office equipment.
Use of proper waste handling and disposal techniques. Make sure employees know where every type of waste should go. Dispose of materials using a reputable and correctly licensed contractor.
Research and Development Activities
Research and development are the systematic inquiry into and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions. This may assist to identify resources used in your workplace. It is vital to determine the different resources used by one's workplace accurately. The group should develop a list of the business processes related to each product and or service. Such processes include receiving goods, storing goods, manufacturing process and Office administration. Additionally, they should think about the resources that are used to complete each process. For example, when receiving goods to the warehouse resources utilized may include electricity for lights, fuel in forklift and labor costs for the workers involved in the process. Employees may also come up with better means of conducting manufacturing services. The workers should be encouraged to seek opportunities to improve resource efficiency and environmental performance.
The process of monitoring the resource use and improvements made may be divided into the
following key processes:
Appropriately record resource consumption and efficiency issues
Appropriate records should be maintained in the workplace to measure the effectiveness of environmentally sustainable work practices effectively. These files are vital tools for use by management and workers for improved environmental planning. Through precise record management, the business can fulfill its legal requirements, identify areas where improvements can be made, enable management to observe the trade, apply control and make conscious choices related to conservational management and use information from the past to plan for the future.
Recognize and report environmental threats
The relevant personnel such as the occupational health and safety officer, the environmental officer or the supervisor should be informed in case one discovers an environmental hazard or risk in the workplace. The set procedure for reporting environmental hazards should be followed such as making a written report. It is vital to keep an exhaustive check on workplace practices to guarantee environmental performance is satisfactory. An environmental assessment can be a valuable tool in exposing areas of poor performance and help the business set goals for improvement. Key areas to monitor are energy, water, waste, and pollution when looking at areas of environmental impacts and inefficiency in the workplace (Adam Werbach 2009).
Comply with relevant environmental legislation and industry practices
Every workplace will have some legislative requirement related to the environment. Every worker should be aware of their responsibility as well as the overall liability of the business. One should report compliance breaches or potential breaches to appropriate people.
Environmentally sustainable work practices are vital in ensuring the continuity and safety of the organization, its employees, and its environment. Organizations should put in place efficient and effective measures to ensure the implementation and monitoring of environmental work practices for the conservation of life as a whole. If implemented, environmentally sustainable work practices have the potential of creating a mutually beneficial and respecting relationship between humans in the work area and their ever present environment. The work group should guarantee environmental managing is a fundamental part of every job finalized.
Adam Werbach (2009) Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto
Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell (2010) Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World
Aspire Training & Consulting (2008) Implement and Monitor Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
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