Going Green in the Office part 1

Posted on Feb 11 2014 - 1:28pm by Peter Millikin

Fingers looking at heart shaped cloudEvery office should strive to be greener. From saving energy to putting more effort into recycling, there are always plenty of environmentally friendly improvements that can be made.

Here are six top tips to help you achieve a more environmentally friendly office – and they’re much easier than you think.

1) Go paperless

Think about the huge amount of paper waste your business throws away each week. Deforestation is a huge global issue and we can reduce this by reducing our paper usage.

Achieving a paperless office is not as hard as you think. For example, you can encourage your employees to read documents on screen and only print when absolutely necessary. And when you do need to print, use 100% recycled paper.

2) Encourage car sharing and working from home

Travelling to work by car is notorious for increasing our carbon footprints. Just think how much you’d reduce your CO2 emissions if all your employees worked at home once in a while. Because if you’re not driving, you’re not releasing CO2 and damaging the environment.

You could also encourage car sharing, cycling and the use of public transport. All of these commuting options do less damage to the environment than driving to work, can be cheaper, and reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

3) Introduce a casual dress code

You may think how you dress has no effect on the environment, but it does.

Think about it – if your employees are wearing suits and formal business wear in the heat of summer, they’re likely to get very hot. And when we’re hot, we’re more likely to turn on the air conditioning, which uses electricity and is bad for the environment.

By letting your employees wear their own lighter clothes, they’ll be able to keep cool without air con. And if they’re more comfortable in their own clothes, they’ll also be happier workers.

4) Buy environmentally friendly office products

Gone are the days when environmentally friendly stationery was the expensive option and you could only go green if you could afford it.

Nowadays environmentally friendly office products are affordable for businesses and can be a great starting point for cutting down on your pollution and waste.

Think refillable ink cartridges, 100% recycled paper and non-toxic highlighters – they’re a small effort but if every business used them, they could make a big impact.

5) Cut down on your electricity consumption

Most importantly, try and cut down on electricity. It may be hard to do so in an office full of computers but every office can learn how to use electricity more wisely.

For example, you can drastically cut your energy consumption by making sure everything is switched off at the end of the day. This means everything – computers, printers, photocopiers… everything.

Make use of natural light and only turn the lights on when necessary – and remember to switch them off whenever you leave the room.

6) Use sustainable materials

Next time you refurbish your office, make sure you buy office furniture that is made from sustainable materials . This will not only save you money by making sure your furnishings last a long time – they’ll also be stronger, more durable and better for the environment because they won’t need to be replaced as often. The same goes for a chair, it has to be right? Why not read a previous post What is the best type of office chair

Thank you to Planscape for the helpful advice on going green in the office – Want more business orientated tips to help cut down your emissions? Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days for “Going Green in the Office part two”……

What are your thoughts about “Going green in the office”?

Click HERE to jump to the comments section:

  • How green is your office?
  • Could you car share or do less travel at work?
  • Do you “switch off” at the end of the working day (not you personally) The business equipment!?
  • Would you like your company to be greener?
  • Do you source sustainable supplies?

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Read about the Author

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.

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