Green initiatives are becoming an increasingly important part of the business world. As firms look to cut costs and contribute to the green agenda, they're increasingly looking at things like more recycling and reducing power use.

If you're looking to roll out a recycling scheme or encourage your staff to be that bit more green-aware, have a think about how promotional merchandise could help you do just that.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:

Being environmentally friendly is an increasingly important part of the business agenda.

Whether it's rolling out a company-wide recycling scheme or simply encouraging your staff to keep the lights turned off and power down their computers on the weekend, firms are increasingly doing their bit, no matter how large or small that bit is.

It all makes sense – it saves money and is good for the environment. But how to convince or inspire your workforce that it really is a good idea?

One way is to use some kind of tangible 'reward' – a really good way, we think, to encourage uptake of green practices.

It could be something like a monthly 'recycling champion' award – where the person judged to have done the most to help your green efforts is rewarded with a company prize – like a hamper or personalised pen.

You could ask colleagues to vote for the person they think has done the most that month.

You could even implement something like a 'champagne moment' – an ad-hoc, spontaneous prize for when someone comes up with a great new idea for a fantastic green initiative you think will really work.

In this way, promotional products can help inspire behavioural change and secure employee engagement with your green concept.

For something more long-term, promotional merchandise can also help you.

Let's say you're implementing an in-house recycling scheme, and you'll be asking staff to ensure waste – plastics, paper, cardboard etc– is deposited in the appropriate bins.

Depending on the size of your company, you'll want to approach this in different ways.

For a small firm, it could be as team 'huddle' in which you get together for a few minutes to go over the details of the scheme. For a larger company with a big workforce, you might want to dedicate a proper training workshop to educate staff about the new initiative.

However you choose to approach it, promotional items come in handy here again. It could be something like providing attendees with recycled notebooks branded with a green message or slogan. How about a quiz at the end of the training session in which staff are given printed pens to fill out their answers?

For other initiatives promotional products are really useful also. Let's say you're wanting to cut down on the amount of paper that gets printed in the office – how about some printed USB sticks or promotional mugs with a green message on them? You could distribute a few to each desk or team.

Most people want to take up green practices, doing their bit for the environment. But some people just need a little push. By giving your staff something they can use time after time – promotional products – you'll keep the idea at the forefront of their minds.

Posted by Carl Blackshaw