Learn to run a sustainable office here.
Whether you’ve been an environmentalist for years or have recently been swayed by the increasing climate action, climate change is likely on your mind. You may have already started your journey at home, but what about your workplace? Is it environmentally friendly? If not, then new habits need to be adopted.
Adopting environmentally-friendly habits will not only affect the environment but will also benefit your business. You’ll notice a reduction in the overall company costs. Switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs means less power usage, which equals fewer utility bills. The cost of buying disposable items is eliminated by switching to reusable cups and containers. By recycling paper, you will reduce the amount of stationery required in the office.
While making the move is a big change, it all starts with the smallest and simple steps. From using reusable containers to switching to greener modes of commuting, every change counts. Read on to discover some of the ways you can make your office more environmentally friendly.
Cut Energy Usage
Considering the amount of energy we consume, you ought to be more energy conscious. Turning off lights and switching off computers and other electronic devices when leaving the office is a good habit to help reduce energy consumption. In short, if possible, power off any device not being used.
Switch to motion-activated lights and make use of power-saving modes instead of relying on employees to power down electronic devices and turn off lights. Motion-activated lights turn off when they don’t detect any movements, while power saver modes put electronic devices such as computers and printers into sleep mode or completely shuts them down.
Incentivize Greener Methods of Transport
With many employees using personal vehicles to get to the office, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. Encouraging the employees to carpool, ride bikes, walk, or use public transit to work will significantly impact the environment.
Reduce employee travel as much as you can by implementing the use of web and video conferencing at home. This will save the company transport costs and prevent carbon emissions.
Switch to Eco-friendly Supplies
In the world we are living in today, you’ll find many environmentally friendly products in the market. This is because people are becoming more informed of how some manufacturing chemicals affect our health and environment.
Your office can start looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives to items such as commercial cleaners. This can be done by making cleaners using bi-carbonate soda. Some stationery supplies are also made of recycled material. Remember, the more chances, the better for the environment.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to start your journey making the office more environmentally friendly. Separate your recyclables from the non-recyclables. You can start this incentive by setting up recycling points where staff members can easily access them. Important documents may require shredding or other disposal methods, but all other old papers should go to the recycle bin. The paper could then be used for printing again or something else instead of going to the trash.
Recycling doesn’t have to end with paper, as other items can also get recycled. Such include electronics that are no longer in use and cardboard boxes. Try having recycling containers all over the office, especially popular sports such as the kitchen. This way, employees can easily access them.
Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
The amount of energy your organization consumes contributes to the health of your surroundings. Offices that use a lot of energy require more power from sources that are responsible for releasing harmful fuels into the atmosphere.
To avoid this, switch to more energy-efficient office appliances alternatives. Start by using LED lights instead of regular lightbulbs. Research shows that LED lights are about 80 percent more efficient and lasts longer than incandescent bulbs. If there’s a more energy-efficient alternative to any of the office machines, opt to use them.
Opt for Reusable Containers
Having reusable kitchenware instead of using disposable cutlery and paper plates is also a more environmental-friendly option. You can also have coffee cups for employees or encourage them to bring their mugs and avoid using disposables for coffee every day. They can also carry their food and snacks in reusable containers instead of using plastic bags daily.
When going green in the office, every change counts, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Start a sustainability team in the office if possible. This way, you can raise awareness of the importance of having a more environmentally friendly space. Start projects to enable a more successful recycling program and aid in making informed purchasing decisions on green cleaning supplies and energy-efficient appliances.
Bring a plant to the office too. This will help improve both the décor and the air quality in the office. A lot of our time is spent indoors and in offices, so we also better our health by improving the air quality.
Continue to inform staff members of things you can do as an office to reduce energy consumption, carbon and fossil fuel emissions, and trash tossed out. Using incentives will help keep employees on their toes about going green and establishing a clean environment. Every change in the office will better and benefit the environment and help with the companies brand image.
Paul Towler is the Technical Operations Director at SmartOffice, an office automation provider such as accounts payable solutions. SmartOffice understands and implements environmentally friendly practices in the office.