How business leaders can achieve a net zero workplace

Reducing environmental impact means investing in the right technology, adopting effective initiatives, and ensuring employees are invested in the process.

Sustainability has become a major focus for businesses in recent years, with a significant goal being to achieve net zero emissions status. There are a number of ways organisations can achieve this, some more obvious than others. Key to all efforts, however, is a steadfast focus on the most energy-intensive activities – such as printing – and figuring out how to reduce their environmental impact. This is according to Kyocera Document Solutions UK.

Steve Pearce, Head of Marketing, at Kyocera Document Solutions UK commented: “In recent years the emphasis on sustainability in businesses has grown enormously, with organisational leaders being held more accountable than ever before. Companies are no longer judged purely on basic initiatives such as recycling, but on areas such as resource consumption and carbon neutrality, with greenwashing a common accusation for businesses that only half-heartedly commit to sustainable causes.”

 According to recent research, 77% of people are influenced by a company’s environmental record when deciding to buy from them. Steve Pearce outlines some key steps organisations must take to get their eco-credentials in order.

 Monitor energy consumption

Steve Pearce: “It is important organisations thoroughly understand their overall energy consumption, particularly the impact of their most energy-intensive activities. This should cover not just the energy you consume in the office, but emissions related to things like staff commuting.

“It’s very much a case of every little helps here. Engaging only with green vendors for office equipment such as printers is a good way to go, particularly if these vendors are fully carbon-neutral businesses themselves. This can be combined with other popular initiatives such as cycle-to-work schemes and carbon offsetting projects. The end goal should always be to reach carbon-neutral status, and to get there you have to make sure you’re sustainable in every part of the business.”

 Educate your employees

“Sustainability initiatives can only achieve lasting success if your employees are fully invested and on board. Consistent and transparent communication is key to this: for example, programmes educating employees on responsible energy usage, recycling and carbon neutrality should be carried out frequently.

“These can be linked to awareness days or weeks that promote sustainability, such as COP28, Recycle Week or World Sustainability Day. When staff understand the part they play in the push towards net zero, they’re much more likely to engage fully.”

 Enhance your print estate

 “There are countless ways organisations can build a net-zero workplace through technology, but perhaps a lesser known way to achieve this is by having the appropriate print devices and print management policies in place.

“Moreover, organisations can look to invest in printers that have sustainability at heart. The most environmentally friendly printers’ function with low energy, are made predominantly of recycled materials and can themselves be recycled at the end of their lifetime, and are built with durable materials which reduce the need to frequently replace parts. Combining all of this into a carbon-neutral managed print service – covering after-sales care, device maintenance, engineer mileage and device disposal – will make a major difference.

“The correct print management software not only increases document security but enables employees to significantly reduce how much they print. For example, quotas can be set for specific staff or departments based on needs, meaning energy isn’t wasted on unnecessary print jobs.

“Achieving a net zero workplace won’t happen overnight, but it is vital business leaders integrate a sustainable approach into company culture. Purchasing in the right technology and committing to new initiatives are crucial steps in reducing energy consumption, but the greatest success will come when employees are fully included in the process,” concluded Steve Pearce.