The SDGs aim to target different stakeholders, including businesses and development cooperation agencies, into “doing more and better with less”. Of the 17 SDGs, one goal that companies are adopting at the workplace is SDG 12, which aims to promote responsible consumption and production, resource and energy efficiency, and development of sustainable infrastructure within the workplace, among others.
For instance, some companies are integrating green practices in day-to-day functions, especially dry waste management and recycling. Eco-actions include promoting the use of ceramic mugs or glass cups for beverages to save on paper products, recycling office supplies such as discarded paper, purchasing recycled paper, and using refillable pens.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an advocacy organization, says the private sector is increasingly adopting practices that aim at reducing and recycling waste produced within the office premises. “These are very important strategies to change practices within offices that can then have a cumulative impact at a citywide scale,” she notes.
E-commerce firm Flipkart, which has just moved into a new office building in Bengaluru this month, has replaced paper cups with ones made of ceramic and glass. Employees have been given stainless-steel water bottles that they can refill. “This one move is helping us save 4,000 litres of potable water every week, and not add 10,000 plastic bottles to landfills every year,” says Nagaraj Kulkarni, senior director, projects, at Flipkart.