There are lots of ways to reduce waste, save energy, and do more for the planet even when you’re at work! Here are some simple and easy-to-implement ideas for making your office more eco-friendly…
You do what you can for the environment at home – conserving water, recycling, composting your waste when possible – but what about at the office? Many offices don’t even offer recycling bins, and if you’re in an older office building, there likely aren’t a lot of energy-saving features either. However, there are still things that you can do to make your office more eco-friendly and socially responsible. Depending on your role at work, you may not be able to implement all of these measures, but every little bit helps!
There are a number of options for making change in each area, so start off with the smaller, easiest changes, and try to ease your co-workers into new, more eco-friendly habits gradually. Over time, you can perhaps implement some larger and more impactful changes to your office environment.
1. Reduce energy consumption by being smarter
The costs associated with energy use are some of the easiest to manage across the office environment, and they often have the potential to be reduced the most. What’s great is that the following practical actions not only reduce energy use which saves your company money, but they also reduce CO2 emissions.
- Put up signs around the workplace to remind people to turn off devices when they are not using them, or better yet invest in a workplace device management system that can schedule the power on/off of all networked devices across a site.
- When procuring office technology and appliances make sure to invest in products that are more energy efficient, such as Energy Star appliances…
- Small behavioral changes such as printing fewer documents, or using the stairs instead of the elevator can also make a difference (and help you stay in good shape!).
2. Reduce your company’s carbon footprint
Being able to track your CO2 emissions is a key part of calculating your carbon footprint and measuring the environmental impact of your business. The challenge is getting clear data and finding out where your emissions are coming from.
Procurement and supply chain activity is often the major source of most of a company’s carbon emissions. For instance, the use of non-local suppliers, fuel-inefficient transport, cheap products, and more.
Try some of the steps below to help reduce your company’s carbon footprint.
- Start by finding out what your workplace’s footprint is and determine what contributes most towards it. There are easy to use websites where you can check your carbon footprint, such as the aptly named carbonfootprint.com.
- Consider powering your workplace by non-carbon means, like biomass plants that can be sourced locally and fueled organically, or renewable methods like solar panels.
- Adopt sustainable procurement processes. For instance, support local vendors and work with suppliers that have certifications representing their positive social impact.
- Support employees who ride bicycles. Put a bike rack in the VIP parking position or buy a few bicycles that employees can loan to commute with for a few days at a time. If there is space, consider adding an employee shower room and lockers as additional incentive for cyclists and acceptance by fellow office workers.
3. Reduce office waste
Improving the management of waste streams across your workplace is actually quite simple. Here are a few tactics that your company can implement which will help reduce the environmental impact of your business and make your office more eco-friendly.
- Reduce waste by putting in place recycling and reuse initiatives, such as clearly identifiable rubbish bins.
- Set your printers to print on both sides of paper as default. I remember when our office implemented this many years ago and it’s amazing to think about the cost it has saved us financially over the years – it automatically cut paper costs by 50%.
- Stop using disposable products such as plastic coffee cups or utensils. Get your office to invest in reusable items.
- Get your suppliers to provide products in less packaging, such as non-individually packaged tea bags for staff…