Many of us have made positive changes to reduce our environmental impact at home but applying the same steps in the office is just as important.
From adjusting the temperature to purchasing environmentally friendly office supplies, there are plenty of ways your company can make changes to go green – and save on the bottom line.
Think before you print:
We might be in a ‘digital age’ but we still use a huge amount of paper! Changing your processes and keeping everything digital is a great place to start when it comes to going green. Keep files on your computer instead of a filing cabinet and review documents onscreen rather than printing them off. The more you do online, the less you need paper. If you do need to print something however, look for recycled printer paper and set printers to print on both sides of the paper as default.
There are more than 26 million people working in the UK, with around 16.7 million commuting to work by car. That’s a lot of petrol. Encourage your employees to cycle to work using the Bike 2 Work Scheme, walk to work, use public transport such as the bus or train, or car-pool to reduce their carbon footprint. Another option is allowing employees to work from home from time to time to avoid the commute all together.
Save power – and money – by switching off non-essential equipment when it’s not in use. Turn off computer screens when you’re away from your desk and shut down completely overnight and at the weekend. Take advantage of natural lighting where you can, replace bulbs with LEDs and turn lights off when no one is in the office. Reducing the temperature in the office and powering down air-conditioning units at the weekend will also save on your energy consumption and costs.
Start by setting up clear signage for different bins – waste, recycling and compost – place them in a prominent location in your office and encourage employees to sort their rubbish correctly. Reduce waste in the kitchen by replacing disposable plates, cups and cutlery with reusable utensils. Stock reusable and refillable pens in the office, keep an eye on the stationary cupboard to make sure supplies are being used efficiently and purchase products that are made from post-consumer content. Eliminate paper towels in the bathroom and replace them with cloth or hand dryers, look for low-flush toilets and install low-flow aerators to reduce the flow of water from taps.
Set up a green team:
Establishing a green team for your company is a great way to get employees engaged in your sustainability initiatives. Organisations should facilitate the discussion surrounding environmentally friendly choices and the company’s carbon footprint. Consider setting aside a budget and providing sustainability training for employees or creating opportunities for staff to understand the company’s values by including them in job descriptions, training programmes and meetings.
Remember, when it comes to the impact your company has on the environment, small changes can make a big difference. Taking action can not only improve your workplace, but can even encourage other businesses to do the same.