Earth Day, established on April 22, 1970, recognizes the environmental movement’s accomplishments and serves as a reminder to protect the planet’s natural resources for generations to come.

Although acknowledging Earth Day at work is significant, embracing eco-friendly practices year-round is crucial to making a meaningful impact. This article covers the benefits of workplace sustainability and ways to support an environmentally-conscious workplace on Earth Day and beyond.

Earth Day

Pressed for time? Here’s a quick summary:

  • Sustainable companies not only drive social and economic change but are also more profitable in the long term.
  • Sustainable business practices attract and retain employees, reduce costs, and promote a healthier and more productive workforce.
  • There are creative ways to promote sustainability on Earth Day and beyond, from organizing a recycling program and implementing remote work to offering a carbon savings account and initiating a sustainability challenge.

Exploring Workplace Sustainability Benefits

Sustainable business strategies aim to positively impact the environment or society as a whole, addressing a range of issues that include climate change, depletion of natural resources, income inequality, and racial injustice. Sustainability initiatives not only drive social and environmental change but also contribute to a company’s overall success.

Studies reveal that the most sustainable companies are the most profitable in the medium- and long- term. Despite requiring short-term investments, sustainable business practices can have a meaningful impact on a company’s bottom line.

Turn Company Purpose Into A Competitive Advantage

Turn Company Purpose Into A Competitive Advantage

There is a clear connection between company purpose and employee retention, with 72% of employees believing it is very important to work for an organization with goals that align with personal values. Companies observe a 52% lower turnover rate among new employees who are involved or connected with their company’s purpose (“new” refers to employees who have been with the company for 2.5 years or less). Purpose-driven organizations that do good for the world attract and retain skilled and engaged employees.

Increases Productivity

Increases Productivity

Reducing waste can improve office air quality and limit noise pollution, creating a healthier and more productive work environment. When exposed to increased levels of carbon dioxide, people’s energy and attention spans are negatively affected, resulting in more typographical errors, difficulty proofreading, and reduced cognitive performance. Excessive noise levels in an office create distractions and interruptions that make it difficult for employees to focus on their work, decreasing productivity.

Reduces Operational Costs

Reduces Operational Costs

Companies that implement sustainable business practices can save money and improve their environmental impact. For example, installing solar panels, wind turbines, or energy-efficient lighting limits energy consumption while lowering long-term expenses. Additionally, reducing waste output can save money on disposal fees and transportation costs while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Captures Market Share

Captures Market Share

One study found that 73% of global consumers are willing to modify their consumption habits to reduce their carbon footprint. Particularly, millennials are more inclined to buy products containing sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims, even if they are more expensive. Organizations that commit to producing sustainable products and practices could gain market share by attracting and converting environmentally-conscious consumers.

Boosts Company Image

Boosts Company Image

When a company conserves energy, water, and other resources, it simultaneously promotes ethical behavior and encourages the innovation necessary to reduce its carbon footprint. This not only helps the environment but also helps build a positive company image.  Encouraging employees to do the same can lead to favorable public relations and increased sales. Additionally, fostering a sustainable workplace demonstrates social responsibility to their employees, acknowledging the moral obligation to improve the well-being of others. 

10 Ways To Promote Sustainability On Earth Day & Beyond

While Earth Day is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about sustainability, limiting eco-friendly practices to this day may suggest a surface-level effort to promote sustainability, similar to well-being washing. There are many creative ways to support an environmentally-friendly workplace on Earth Day and beyond.

1. Start A Recycling Or Composting Program

Start A Recycling Or Composting Program

Implementing a recycling program in the office is an effective way to promote mindfulness around sustainability while reducing a company’s carbon footprint. This should involve educating employees on responsible waste disposal and distinguishing between recyclable, compostable, and non-recyclable items. Consider partnering with local organizations that practice ethical recycling of electronics and safely remove old computer parts and other items taking up space in the workplace. Take it a step further with a composting program, which reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills while producing nutrient-rich soil for gardening and agriculture.

2. Support Green Vendors

Support Green Vendors

Consider gifting employees goodie bags with eco-friendly products from green vendors to celebrate Earth Day. Take this beyond the observance by regularly researching potential vendors and suppliers to determine if their sustainability efforts align with the company’s environmental values. Resources such as Ethical Consumer Magazine evaluate a company’s “ethiscore,” which assesses its policies and actions towards issues such as workers’ rights, fossil fuel investment, and pollution.

3. Add Office Plants

Add Office Plants

Some greenery is the perfect Earth Day gift to liven up the workplace! Introducing plants to an office space is both aesthetically pleasing and can decrease employees’ stress levels. Adding a touch of nature indoors reduces up to 87% of air pollutants in 24 hours while boosting oxygen levels, resulting in a happier, healthier workforce.

4. Reduce By Reusing

Reduce by Reusing

Replace the paper coffee cups and plastic forks with reusable coffee mugs and silverware. Encourage employees to make the switch beyond work hours by offering company merchandise like stainless steel water bottles. This can be incentivized by initiating a gift card draw for team members who use their reusable water bottles for the whole month.

5. Implement Remote Work

Work-life balance - flexible working arrangements

Flexible work arrangements have become normalized and even demanded by many employees. Not only is hybrid and remote work desirable, but it also improves local air quality and reduces a company’s environmental impact by reducing commuting times. Implement remote work when possible and hold virtual conferences instead of in-person gatherings.

6. Volunteer


Celebrate Earth Day by organizing a volunteering activity such as a local park or beach clean-up, planting trees, or participating in a neighborhood recycling program. Volunteering contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment while fostering team-building and boosting morale. Giving back to the community positively impacts the environment and inspires employees to act toward a sustainable future.

7. Go Digital

Go Digital

In today’s digitally-driven world, going paperless and using desktop applications like Microsoft Office and Google Drive is both practical and eco-friendly. In cases where paper must be used, make the switch to 100% recycled paper, and consider gifting employees deforestation-free stationery.

8. Be Mindful Of Food

Be Mindful Of Food

Food is responsible for 70% of global biodiversity loss and a third of global emissions. Treat employees to a catered lunch for Earth Day while aiming to serve 50% vegan options and high-quality, ethically sourced meat. Though some may be hesitant to try vegan food, today’s plant-based alternatives are so convincing that it’s hard to tell the difference!

9. Offer A Carbon Savings Account

Offer A Carbon Savings Account

At the intersection between employee benefits and corporate sustainability strategy lies a new savings account option: The carbon savings account (CSA). With CSAs, employers can help their team members save money while transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle by contributing funds toward energy-efficient homes and vehicle upgrades. This is an impactful addition to any benefits package that employees will appreciate.

10. Run A Sustainability Challenge

Sustainability challenge

Organizing a workplace sustainability challenge is a fun way to support individual well-being and long-term ecological balance. Through a sustainability challenge, employees can learn about the environmental impact of their choices, develop sustainable habits, and even be rewarded for their efforts!

Get our latest articles delivered straight to your inbox!

Other Articles In Holistic Workplace Wellness