Green Office Tips - THE WORK PLACE
The workplace can be a very wasteful place and implementing changes may be hard if being eco-friendly is not valued at the top. However, with waste management a hot topic, and pressures on businesses to be more accountable, there are both structural and individual actions that can make a difference and may inspire change. Check these green office tips.
Systems & Strategies - Green Office Tips
Waste disposal and energy consumption can be managed in ways that are not only more sustainable but also more cost-effective.
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems - This international standard is increasingly expected of companies and suppliers. It provides practical tools for companies and organisations looking to identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve their overall environmental performance.
- Sustainability Consultants – There are numerous organisations which can come and review every aspect of a business and suggest strategies to reduce a company’s carbon footprint and provide cost savings.
- Online tools and training – These provide certification and a practical online toolkit to clean up a companies act and bills.
- Suppliers - Each month, pick an area of your supply chain and review if you have the most eco-friendly or sustainable options available to your company. Everything from couriers to marketing materials, coffee and tea can be up for review. By asking the question to existing suppliers it is encouraging them to become accountable and raise their environmental standards through consumer demand.
Reduce Energy and Paper Consumption - Green Office Tips
- Turn them off - Lights and computer screens at the end of the day
- Set-up energy saving modes – All computers and printers
- Investigate ‘green energy’ suppliers
- Change printing defaults – Set the office network to double-sided and black and white. This will save money and resources.
- Review your marketing and sales collateral - Check out Green Livvy’s Printing tips and Marketing ideas
Recycling & Composting - Green Office Tips
- Reduce first - This should be the first consideration, along with motivating fellow colleagues to do their bit with zero waste challenges. Education is the key.
- Recycle everything else - Everything from paper to print cartridges and lunch packaging should have a recycling bin to go in as part of the waste management system deployed. If there isn’t, check out the current waste management costs and compare with a recycling option to present the differences to your work colleagues and management.
- Remove waste paper bins - People are creatures of habit, so introduce a new recycling set-up so people have to think twice about chucking everything in the waste paper bin.
- Make it easy - Place recycling bins next to landfill bins so people can consider the options. Engage with the bins, making it easy.
- Donate unwanted supplies - Unwanted promotional items, stationery, furniture and more can all be donated for re-use, upcycling and scrapstore schemes that are accessed by charities and schools.
- Paper towels - If there are paper towels in the toilets, these can be collected for composting. They can’t be recycled and will produce methane if in landfill.
- Kitchen composting - Implement a kitchen composting scheme for teabags & lunch waste. This can be taken by a willing person to their home compost or collected with the recycling, if your waste management offer this service.
Green Commuting - Green Office Tips
- Cycling schemes – There are government and council cycling schemes with financial incentives to get people on to two wheels.
- Car share options – Apart from asking around the office, there is an array of free online sites that facilitate car sharing between different towns and cities (ensure car insurance covers this).
Waste Management Guides
Green your building - A comprehensive checklist from Julie's Bicycle
On course for zero waste - Practical online training course from Wrap, on resource efficiency and cost reduction in the workplace.
Energy saving advice - Tools and advice from the Carbon Trust on carbon foot calculations and reductions
Sustainable office supplies - The Rainforest Alliance's guide to sustainable office supplies.