27 Apr 2022
10 ways to make your office greener
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” - Howard Zinn
As each day passes we understand the importance of sustainability and doing our part to reach a greener future more and more. The quote above sums it up nicely. We all need to do our bit as individuals and business leaders to make a big difference.
What’s your business doing to promote sustainability and how is your team building towards a better future?
Whether you’re already an organisation that takes sustainability seriously or your taking your first steps to being more environmentally friendly, we’ve got 10 tips for making your office greener.
It takes a lot of energy to run an office and with rising energy costs it’s more important for businesses to look at ways at cutting back usage. One great way of reducing your dependence on energy and making use of mother nature is to arrange your office furniture to maximise natural light and save on lighting costs.
Moving away from a reliance on paper is a concept that has been around for quite a while but we still need a reminder every now and again. A massive 80% of consumed office paper is completely wasted and only 9% ever makes it to recycling centres. We clearly have a long way to go to get to a paperless future. That said, there’s plenty of ways to cut down your office’s usage. Working digitally wherever possible, printing on both sides of paper and using mobile phones, tablets and laptops to take meeting notes are all great ways to reduce paper usage.
To lower the need for air filtration or air conditioning in your office, think about adding in some plant life around the office. Naturally cleaning the air and creating fresh, pure oxygen they’re a great addition to any office. The benefits don’t stop at oxygen - having plant life around the office can help reduce anxiety, stress and illness making it a worthy investment.
We’re all familiar with the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s something many of us have been doing at home for a long time. In 2008 the recycling rate in the UK was 17% and in the 10 years following it jumped to 39%.
Shockingly, some companies admit they use more paper now than they did five years ago, meaning that offices still have work to do when it comes to reducing waste.
Other ways you can embrace manage waste better in the office is by recycling cartridges for printer ink, use food waste for composting and recycling batteries.
If your company is willing to invest a little in the name of sustainability then a great way to go green is to get sustainable office furniture. Plastic tables, chairs and desks are all full of harmful chemicals and take years to decompose. These items often end up in landfills or as microplastics in our oceans. In general, the less plastic you can use in your office, the better.
There’s great options out there for alternatives to plastic, many companies offer bamboo desks as they can be made naturally without the need for harsh chemicals.
Keeping environmental consciousness on the agenda all year round helps it relevant and promotes interest from your employees. A great way to motivate your team to hit green targets is to run monthly incentives and competitions. Get everyone on the same page working for a greener future.
Renewable energy sources are becoming more accessible than ever and one way to go green is to make the switch. Many offices around the world are now turning to solar energy and there’s ongoing work being done by the government to make the cost of installation a little less expensive. You can learn more about government grants here.
Some businesses have found that having communal bikes that anyone in the business can use as and when they need them has been beneficial. You could also consider installing an electric vehicle charger onsite to allow EV users to charge their cars at work. Some companies now offer subscription services that covers the cost of installing the charger and any ongoing maintenance.
Another way to cut down on energy costs is with energy saving appliances. Low energy lightbulbs or motion detection lights can reduce the unnecessary use of energy in your office. Getting appliances with a ‘sleep mode’ feature or timers can help reduce usage. Ensuring you unplug appliances when they aren’t in use can also help save on energy bills.
Most offices will need things like coffe, tea bags, sugar and milk to keep employees refreshed throughout the working day. Consider buying items that are easily recycled and avoid plastic cups for drinks. You could even provide your people with a reusable branded mug or water bottle.
Small changes can make a big impact. We all have our bit to do if we want to create a sustainable future. We hope these tips will help you in your journey to making your office greener.
At Alexander Ash, we work hard to do our bit to protect the planet. Read more about or commitment to sustainability best practices.