Monthly Archives: April 2014

Top Sustainable Businesses Workplace Rules Against Cologne and Perfume

top sustainable businesses perfumeThere are several reasons to consider prohibiting perfume and cologne in the workplace. Firstly, such a rule may solve health issues, especially for employees who are sensitive to chemicals. Secondly, it may decrease potential poisons and carcinogens entering the environment, therefore improving air quality.

How Perfumes and Colognes Cause Health Problems

With the exception of checking the ingredients of every perfume or cologne used by employees, there is no way to ensure the workplace is untainted by chemicals that could cause health problems for employees. Even scents containing natural plant extracts can have adverse effects on health, and some fragrances contain chemicals that have the potential to cause cancer.

Exposure to a scent can cause symptoms ranging from mild, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, to severe, including respiratory problems, confusion, anxiety, and shortness of breath. Scents can be particularly problematic for those suffering from asthma, allergies and environmental sensitivities, and even the briefest exposure can trigger symptoms.

Why Scents Are Dangerous for Air Quality and the Environment

Often chemicals in a fragrance are unable to break down naturally and can bioaccumulate in animals and humans. However, even chemicals that do break down can contaminate indoor air and reduce air quality.

The Steps Necessary to Create a Scent-Free Workplace

Here are some of the steps taken by top sustainable businesses.

  • An initial assessment will help business owners discover their employees’ opinions and enable them to gather suggestions for implementing a policy that is relevant for their particular workplace.
  • Depending on the size of the company, a single employee or a committee should oversee the project and its development.
  • Before putting the policy into effect, the designated employee or committee must inform all staff and ensure everyone understands the implications. This is the chance to address any concerns and explain the reasons for any resulting rules
  • Partners, clients, and visitors to the workplace also need to be aware of the new rules, which the business can achieve by including a policy statement on all appointment cards, stationery and employment postings.

Making the commitment to create a perfume- and cologne-free workplace is just one way to start the transition toward becoming one of the top sustainable businesses. To go one step further, companies should consider extending their policy to include scented cleaning and personal care products.

Download Free White Paper: How to Track Sustainability Across Multiple Locations

Organizations around the world are increasingly looking for ways to track and manage their sustainability initiatives. This white paper talks about the needs and possible solutions in the context of an actual case study with Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania measures, tracks, improves and communicates the sustainability initiatives of 44 of their properties using Class-G. Class-G is an affordable, online system that allows organizations to track and certify their sustainability across multiple locations.

This white paper talks about the process used, and actual results being realized. This is a must-read for any sustainability manager.

How to Track Sustainability Across Multiple Locations

Power Saving Devices for the Workplace

Green certification power savingA company shouldn’t have to build a windmill to be recognized as a good corporate citizen and achieve green certification. Fact is, most businesses don’t have the means to erect a windmill. Even if they did, the payoff to their bottom line and the environment wouldn’t come for a while.

Most companies can conserve more energy by making use of some of the many power-saving devices that are affordable, readily available on the market and easy to use. Here’s a look at some of the most popular:

The Power Strip
In addition to having a cool name, the power strip is incredibly effective at helping companies conserve energy. The device regulates the flow of power to computers, printers and other electronic devices, which can use large amounts of power even when they’re turned off. By cutting down on the flow of electricity to the devices when they’re not in use, a company can save hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars a year.

Light Sensors
Sometimes it makes sense for businesses to have lights on at all hours of the day. But sometimes, having the lights on just wastes energy. Light sensors can tell if someone is in a room or not. When nobody is there, they turn the lights off. When someone enters the room, the lights turn on. They’re perfect for conference rooms, restrooms and hallways in areas of buildings that are not constantly used by employees.

Programmable Thermostats
Heating and cooling costs have been shooting through the roof lately. One surefire way to keep costs lower – and help achieve green certification – is to use less energy when employees are not present. Programmable thermostats allow companies to turn down the furnace or air conditioner system at night, when fewer employees are present and automatically fire them up in time for the environment to be comfortable when employees arrive on site.

LED Lights
When it comes to achieving green certification, LED lights are all the rage. And why not? They last longer – a lot longer – than standard lights. And the good news is that companies can use them for everything from outdoor signage to exit lights to overhead lights. They might cost a little more on the front end, but they use significantly less energy and last significantly longer.

Green certification should be the goal of every business. It’s the right thing to do for the environment and the bottom line. And the good news is that it doesn’t take a windmill to achieve it.