A commitment to sustainability is something more businesses and residences orient toward as its environmental and economic benefits become clearer. More companies, buildings, and commercial spaces are now trying to find the best waste recycling practices, utilize liquid disposal bins, and generally commit to more thoughtful and sustainable practices. One aspect of a commitment to more environmentally-friendly practices that shouldn’t be overlooked is integrating accessibility.
Sustainability isn’t something that should be exclusive. Suppose your office or building implements a sustainable outdoor break room or metal recycling receptacles. In that case, it should be easily accessible to all your employees, visitors, or the people who frequent your business. Accessibility is about making sure the needs of all people are met, and when it comes to sustainability, the vast majority of your practices should have accommodations that make them as accessible as possible.
So how can businesses, residences, and other spaces that host large numbers of people go about integrating accessibility when planning their sustainability? Let’s dive into what needs to be done to ensure everyone can use eco-friendly solutions and why it is so important.
Why is Accessibility important to your Sustainability Planning?
Businesses that include accessibility in their planning offer an inclusive environment that improves productivity and success. It fosters a more inclusive workplace for all members of the team, improving relationships and ensuring that everyone is satisfied with management. In addition, it will improve employee retention and create a positive work culture where everyone feels seen and heard by the decision-makers in charge.
By supporting the unique individual needs of employees, management will show prospective clients that their workspace is an inclusive environment, show workers that they care, and create an overall more positive workspace.
Your business’s ability to fuse accessibility throughout its sustainability efforts is a cornerstone to success because it will ensure that waste and diversion tactic efforts are met and that your office is a more environmentally-friendly place. Sustainable outdoor areas where all employees and clients can relax and enjoy nature are great places for team meetings or employees to de-stress. Ensuring these are available to all staff is an important initiative that creates a better workplace.
When it comes down to it, accessibility can be implemented by having a plan that considers the unique needs of different individuals. For example, if you’re looking to purchase recycling containers for businesses or site furnishings, important things to consider are size and shape, location, and visibility.
The size and shape of sustainable solutions are vital considerations. If there are recycling bins where the slots for the recyclables are at shoulder height or eye height, that could pose a problem for some employees. As well, many businesses have tall bins with top deposit openings, which can pose problems with employees that can’t see the openings, making it harder for everyone in a workplace to use. Having recycling bins at a lowered height that is accessible for all will ensure that all employees can participate independently.
Location can similarly be something that restricts who can use sustainable features of a space. If there are recycling bins, wipe dispensers or sustainable storage on a site, they should be in areas that are easy to reach. Having these sustainable offerings above a flight of stairs or over a large curbed area may make it difficult for some employees to reach them.
Visibility is another factor. There are a large number of people that struggle with vision impairment. Making your sustainable solutions as visible as they can be will go a long way. Include large fonts and bright colors that make the sustainable solutions easily spottable. Adding braille to different sustainable products is another way to ensure vision-impaired workers can access sustainable solutions.
The decisions businesses make in their sustainability planning determine how accessible their offerings are, and flexibility in planning is extremely important in this regard.
By prioritizing accessibility in planning sustainable solutions, a business can meet the unique needs of its team, clients, and the public. Implementing accessible features provides a positive workplace atmosphere that supports the success of employees, participation, and engagement in the sustainability process.