Monday, April 27, 2009

Sustainable training: The new way to go green at work

Over the past few years, businesses across the country have been doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint in the earth by going green at work. Whether the motivating factors involve cutting costs or getting an edge on the competition, more are discovering the benefits of sustainability in business.

As part of their overall corporate green strategy, businesses may change the way they manufacture products or start buying recycled printing paper, but they may be overlooking one key area that could have a major impact on their green strategy -- the training department.

By not only training employees to learn new, greener ways to work, training departments can become leaders within any organization through the use of environmentally friendly training methods.

The definition of sustainable training will differ from business to business. A manufacturing company may be focused on reducing emissions, while a software development company is more focused on reducing waste in the office and finding eco-friendly ways to dispose of computer equipment.

Whatever the end goal is, the training department plays a key role in improving any organization’s impact on the environment. By shifting learning from the classroom to online platforms, training departments can lead by example.

Enrolling employees in online training and making learning resources available online or on the company Intranet are both great ways to start improving the sustainability of your organization’s training program.

Why choose sustainable employee training? Moving training and reference materials online can help businesses conserve natural resources in the following ways:

  • Reduced fuel consumption. Since the material is online, employees use less fuel traveling to attend training classes.
  • Reduced energy consumption. By reducing the amount of time spent in a traditional classroom, businesses save energy that would be used to light and air condition physical rooms.
  • Less physical waste. When courses and materials are online, less paper is used to create training materials and reduces the amount of physical waste businesses create.
  • Reduced costs. With sustainable training, businesses save money by reducing costs for printing, paper, travel costs and energy use.

When it’s necessary to send people to a physical location for training, find facilities that are accessible from public transportation or encourage employees to travel together in a carpool.

As you start to improve the sustainability of your training department, keep the three Rs in mind - reduce, reuse and recycle. Throughout the process, be thinking of new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle every day at work and in your employee training programs.

Every little green step can add up to big green changes for your organization. Discover more green business ideas and everyday ways businesses can reduce, reuse and recycle here.

1 comment:

Phil LaViolette said...

Sustainability is a brilliant way for Training/Trainers to ensure a company can deliver on green issues, rather than simply buy themselves out by carbon off-setting, as well as add back to the bottom line of the business.

I think behavioural training/coaching is also required to assist in changing mindset and attitudes.

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