Earth Hour – Reduce your Footprint and Impact on your Employee Wellbeing March 17th, 2011, by Ken Buckley

Earth Hour encourages every business and individual to take action when it comes to not only the physical environment but to the world as a whole. The recent tsunami, cyclones, and earthquakes in Queensland, Japan and New Zealand are tragic examples of disaster vulnerability and how communities can be left to extreme poverty and mismanagement within a few hours.

We may not think much about the environment as part of a corporate wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on our health, and ultimately our productivity.

Earth Hour starts at 8:30pm on Saturday 26th March with a flick of the switch, in a collective display of commitment to protect the one thing that unites us all – the planet. This large scale lights-out initiative started in Sydney in 2007 and has grown into one of the largest environmental campaigns in history involving not less than 4.000 cities worldwide.

Encourage your organisation to participate in Earth Hour this year and improve your staff’s environmental wellness. Here are a few ideas you can implement in your organisation in the week leading to Earth Hour:

1. Encourage your staff to leave their car at home this week.
Organise a competition around Earth Hour and reward the winner with free public transport tickets or vouchers for bike stores. If not possible, you can start a car pool or car sharing network to motivate your staff to think twice before taking their car, and help them reduce the costs involved in car travel.

2. Invite your staff to switch off computers monitors and screens, printers and light.
The simple action of turning off one computer at the end of day each day this week will save 15kg CO2/week. If you’ve got 50 staff, that’ll reduce your work’s carbon emissions by 39 tonnes per year. And if you’ve got 10 printers and switch them all off this week at the end of a workday, you’ll save a further 3.4 tonnes of CO2 this year.

3. Launch a print free week to reduce paper wastage.
Encourage your staff to think twice before printing any documents or emails. And if they absolutely need to use a printer, provide recycled paper only. We use around one million tonnes of paper each year around the world. Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 mature trees, 26,500 litres of water, 2 barrels of oil and 4,100 kilowatt/hour of electricity.

4. Co-brand Earth Hour with other marketing campaign.
By co-branding Earth Hour with other marketing campaign, it’s a great way for you to show your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

However, Earth Hour is not just about switching off the light for one hour, or implementing the above strategies for a week. It’s a time to commit to more environmental everyday changes to reduce your footprint and more importantly to improve your employees’ health.

For more information on Corporate Health and Corporate Environmental Wellness, contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888 ) and be sure to quote: “post998” for eligibility of Healthworks latest online offers and Corporate Health initiatives.

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