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Convince Your Boss To Go Green in 3 Easy Steps
We could all probably do a little more to really “go green.” Recycle more, stop using straws, bike to work… There’s always some area of our lives that we could improve upon. Ultimately, though, we are only one person and our ripple can only be so powerful. Convincing an organization to adopt greener policies, on the other hand, can be a lot more impactful.
Plus, heading that sort of organizational change is a great move for your career. Demonstrating employee involvement is a definite win in your favor. Engagement in your workplace puts you above the rest of the pack, who are just punching a clock. Furthermore, even suggesting some green alternatives to your employers shows initiative and confidence — always great traits for an employee.
However, if it were that easy to get ahead, everyone would have done it by now. The truth is that suggesting green alternatives can be a tricky situation. Most employers by this point have acknowledged that going green is the right thing to do, but many are reluctant to pull out the cash.
Even if your employers do recognize the financial and productivity benefits of going green, sometimes it’s an issue of lacking initiative. Managers often have to-do lists a mile long, and they might resist adding anything else to that list. So convincing them that this is important can be difficult, to say the least. How do you overcome these barriers?

Convince Your Boss To Go Green in 3 Easy Steps

1. Do! Your! Research!

Before you ever propose a new green initiative, make sure you’ve done your research. General statements like, “It’d be good for the environment” are unlikely to convince anyone to do anything. Depending on your role within the business, it might be difficult to get hard numbers on how much going green would initially cost or save long-term. However, do your best to estimate actual figures beforehand.
Next, choose the best way to propose your ideas. If you need help figuring out exactly who you should talk to, email HR first and ask. They’ll have the best idea of everyone’s job descriptions and therefore who can approve the measures you ask for. Just be sure that you adhere to rules of professional etiquette, whether it is in-person or over email. Every workplace is different but err on the side of professionalism.
This step also includes rehearsing for the meeting. How seriously you need to rehearse depends on the formality of your office setting, but a quick mental run through what you plan on talking about is always warranted. Do whatever you can to boost your confidence before the meeting, and you’ll stand a better chance of convincing your higher-ups.Focus on

2. Focus on Actionables

The way towards success is not necessarily to appeal to your managers’ ethical side. This is not to say that your employers don’t value the environment, just that they’re paid to put the priorities of the business first. So, appeal to those needs.
There have been many pieces detailing the general benefits of going green for business, but the more specific you are, the better. Consider the following:
  • What is your work environment? Do you work in a hypoallergenic glass building or does asbestos frequently fall from the ceiling? These sort of hazards aren’t only horrible for the environment, but it’s not good for your health either. Every employer should want to put the health of their employees first, so this can be an extremely strong point.
  • How close is your office to becoming paperless? Do you have to have hard copies for your work? Paper isn’t only an environmental concern; it’s a continuous expense that might not be necessary. Cut costs even further by reducing your printer ink consumption!How do most of the employees get to work? Average commute times are only getting longer, which means more solo-commuters will be driving more and more. Promoting carpooling or cycling could be a great way to encourage a green lifestyle. Alternatively, some employees might be able to work from home.
  • How do most of the employees get to work? Average commute times are only getting longer, which means more solo-commuters will be driving more and more. Promoting carpooling or cycling could be a great way to encourage a green lifestyle. Alternatively, some employees might be able to work from home.
  • Is your business rapidly expanding? If so, talk about how that process can be green too. Search for sustainable moving boxes if you’re moving to a larger office, prioritize properties with green energy already installed, and invest in cloud storage solutions. As you accumulate more and more important documents, it might be more prudent to have easy online access than scrounging around a file cabinet.
The key with these suggestions to make them specific to your business and to give your superiors actionable tasks instead of vague generalizations. “We should have a recycling program,” might not be effective, but presenting specific recycling programs in your area is much more helpful. You’re reducing the effort that your managers have to put into going green, and that’s always appreciated.
[RELATED: 6 Smart Ways To Go Green At Work]

3. Volunteer!

You can’t promote going green at work and not be willing to head the movement yourself. Actually, that probably goes for most projects at work. If you’re unwilling to fix the problem yourself, then don’t bring it up to your managers for consideration. Otherwise, you’ll just look like you’re willing to complain, but not to take action when it matters.
Employee engagement is crucial for any organization, and by volunteering to help with this initiative, you’re letting your bosses know that you care about the business as a whole. Companies spend a lot of resources attempting to raise their employee engagement, and if you’re volunteering to help out already, that really displays your commitment. Furthermore, it shows that you’re willing to put your ideas into action.
Convincing your employers to spend more money is not always an easy task, but when it comes to going green, we need to at least try. The efforts of a collective will always outweigh whatever contributions individuals can make towards a healthier Earth. Even if it’s only one mom and pop shop at a time, it’s worth it (plus, you know, it makes you look good too.)

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