Does Your Office Have A Green Policy? If Not, You Could Be Risking Your Profit Margins

Posted on Apr 3 2013 - 9:38am by Peter Millikin

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A survey by environmental group Envirowise found that one third of office workers took no action to reduce their resource use at work. Their workplaces either fail to introduce green policies successfully or do not encourage them at all.

Monitoring the environmental impacts

Global climate change, deforestation and pollution are very real issues and it is up to businesses, whatever their size, to take responsibility for their environmental impacts. However, what many companies do not realise is that by taking steps to help the planet, they can also create business benefits too; efficiency improvements will help to reduce costs, develop brand repuation and improve the bottom line. If you don’t already have a green policy for your office then it could be time to start.

Green policies cover any strategy which will make your organisation more environmentally sustainable and improve resource efficiency. These include energy efficiency, cycle-to-work schemes, recycling or green printing practises. By starting off small you can educate staff and encourage good habits immediately; then you can develop a wider sustainability strategy which will create long-term cost savings.

Cost-effective policies

Rising costs are clearly the biggest pressure on a firm’s profit and saving energy is therefore one of the most cost-effective of policies; a recent survey by Uswitch showed that average business energy costs as a percentage of turnover went up 70 per cent from 2010-2011.  With a fifth of total energy bills in offices derived from office equipment, strategies like turning off your equipment at weekends and evenings can reduce your energy bill by a massive 75%; by turning your heating down a degree you can also save another 8% per year. Utilising your office’s natural light and using energy saving bulbs can then also develop further savings.

Paper can account for as much as 50%-60% of the total printing costs and is therefore a large business expense; developing a green printing strategy will save paper costs and reduce your businesses’ carbon footprint. Encouraging staff to maximise technology usage by using display screens and document management software instead of handouts and files can help limit your office’s paper usage. Sourcing sustainable paper will also help to limit environmental issues like deforestation and associated damage to habitats; using recycled paper will additionally help to reduce costs and worldwide demand for wood.

Carbon footprint

Monitoring your office’s carbon footprint is an important step; this will allow you to develop a reduction target which can be measured against at quarterly intervals. Reducing your footprint will then allow you to develop your reputation with customers and investors. Winning a Carbon Trust Standard award is excellent marketing collateral, allowing you to win customers, attract government grants and new venture capital. If you are worried that the carbon impact of your business is high, offsetting can help to mitigate your footprint by investing in environmental projects in other areas.

All major multi-national firms now have a sustainability function which implements policy across all areas of the business; this ensures that environmental efficiency is at the heart of everything the business does. By developing a green policy for your office now, you will soon benefit from efficiency improvements, lower costs and higher profitability; you will also ensure your business’ environmental sustainability and help the globe in its fight against climate change.

This article has been created by Balreed who pride themselves on superior print technology. Do you want to know more about develop a green printing strategy for your office?

Read more from them on the following URL:   http://www.balreed.com/our-services/managed-print-services/green-your-print-function/ 

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Peter has received many accreditation’s including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment. You can contact Peter Millikin either through his Google+ account or via his websites.

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1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Peter Millikin April 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm -

    Great article from Balreed and lots of valuable points.

    I commend any organisation that embraces a real green policy or strategy to this level. Remember that smaller organisation can take the right steps as well and without massive cash input, minimal effort, and as long as they plan well. Some companies try doing too much too soon and end up not seeing things through. Keep everything relevant to your business and don’t get distracted.

    Look for other organisations who want to be greener and form collaborations or share facilities.

    Bites size changes will make a BIG difference in the end. Fight the urge to feel like you have to have a “badge” to prove your company’s ethics and green concerns. Instead, make a document show casing your changes, ideas and plans, no matter how small you may feel they may be. To most clients and suppliers this can carry more weight and credibility than aiming for a badge to show off on your website claiming you are “GREEN”.

    Some companies BUY green credentials rather than actually earn them (buy tree credits basically)

    Being a small, lean organisation, you could argue that you are naturally greener than some of your big competitors?!

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