News Blog - Commercial
20 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR OFFICE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
We all know green workplaces help the environment. But did you know that they also make good business sense? For instance, research shows that going green is a powerful recruitment and retention tool. It can also boost productivity by 15 per cent, increase rental value by 5 per cent and bump up sales by 12 per cent.
So, try these 20 simple ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint:
- Go paper free– reducing paper consumption is one of the simplest ways to reduce your footprint. So, set targets for minimising paper usage, encourage emailing, route faxes electronically and store manuals and other large documents online.
- Watch how you print – sometimes you can’t avoid printing. However, there are still ways to reduce the impact, like setting defaults to ‘double-sided’ and ‘greyscale.’
- Switch to recycled paper – opt for 100% recycled post-consumer waste paper.
- Recycle unwanted paper – use the back of printed paper for notes and drafts. Or shred it so it can be used as packaging.
- Save energy – switch computers to energy-saving settings and adopt a ‘switch-off’ policy that encourages your employees to turn off lights and equipment before they leave for the day.
- Use energy-efficient lighting – light fittings with a good energy star ratings use up to two-thirds less energy, not to mention having a much longer lifespan.
- Champion sustainable travel options – like carpooling, walking or cycling to work. End-of-trip facilities (such as a change room or shower) will help make this option more appealing.
- Unplug – switch off and unplug any office equipment that is not used regularly.
- Rethink uniforms – if you supply your employees with uniforms, source organic or recycled materials that do not require dry cleaning.
- Use green products – purchase sustainable soaps and detergents that do not damage the environment.
- Consider the facilities – install hand dryers instead of paper towels, and get running taps and toilets fixed as soon as you notice a problem.
- Buy some plants – one plant for every three employees can reduce CO2 levels by 50 per cent and help absorb airborne pollutants like dust, bacteria and mould. They’re also nice to look at and are thought to decrease stress and increase workplace productivity.
- Make the most of of natural lighting – research shows that natural light reduces energy consumption and boosts health and productivity. So, install windows or skylights, or, if you’re in an office with these already installed, ensure your fit-out makes the most of them.
- Buy energy-saving equipment – update old, clunky equipment and make sure any new equipment you buy is energy efficient.
- Encourage recycling – add recycling bins to the kitchen, paper recycling bins near photocopiers and recycle old electronic equipment (like computers and mobile phones).
- Think reusable, not disposable – purchase reusable office items (such as refillable pens, whiteboards and rechargeable batteries) and encourage staff to move away from disposable objects by supplying crockery, silverware and filtered water.
- Flexible work arrangements – decrease commuting and carbon emissions by introducing flexible workplace options like telecommuting (working from home).
- Get rid of screen savers – it’s a common misconception that screen savers protect your computer monitor. Nowadays, it’s just as effective to switch off.
- Source green suppliers – network with third-party businesses that share your eco-friendly mentality so that these practices become the standard across your industry.
- Open windows – where possible, open windows instead of using the air conditioning.