Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Office
More and more companies around the world and across industries are changing their practices to reduce their environmental impact and are taking a serious initiative to implement eco-friendly policies and create an environmentally-conscious company culture.
Such a process starts on the ground level with the workforce as it’s essential for the employees to believe in the vision and adopt eco-friendly practices in the office, so your mission of sustainability can be achieved. From a business viewpoint, consumers are more likely to buy products and services and give their support to a company that is socially and environmentally responsible.
There are different and cost-effective ways you can implement to reduce your office carbon footprint and here are just several sustainable initiatives.
Conserve energy within the office
The easiest way to start your eco-friendly mission is to cut down on your energy consumption. Start by switching off your electronic equipment and turning off the lights during off-hours. This will greatly help in conserving your energy and significantly cut down your electric bill particularly if all employees abide by the same guidelines and make a personal effort to contribute to the energy conservation at their workplace.
Conserve human energy
The idea of conserving human energy may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking of green practices, but the wellbeing of your employees is essential for the healthy habits and successful sustainable operation of your company.
Sustaining a healthy and satisfied workforce is beneficial for the overall productivity of your business so make the effort to keep your employees healthy, happy and energized by ensuring they have a safe and non-toxic work environment. This can be achieved by providing nutritious meals and offering opportunities for them to take breaks and recharge.
Implement a recycling program
A common way of supporting office sustainability is by implementing a recycling program. From the lounge and kitchen area to the designated workstations, make sure you provide education on responsible waste disposal so employees can be sure about what goes into recycling, trash or for composting.
As offices always have old equipment that is no longer in use and just taking up space, find out about their safe removal through organizations that support the ethical recycling of electronics.
Green tips for office supplies and machines
When purchasing products and supplies for your office, look for green alternatives such as pens that can be refilled multiple times and staple-less staplers. Find products made from post-consumer materials and reduce or eliminate the use of products such as rubber bands that have no green alternatives.
Whenever possible, recycle used office supplies. Only buy and use recycled paper and print only when necessary. Save paper additionally by printing on both sides of a sheet of paper whenever you can. An excellent way of saving on paper is double-sided printing and it also aids in environmental conservation. The less paper you use, the more money you’ll save as well.
Printers with a convenient feature of dual-sided printing increase your efficiency as you don’t have to spend time turning pages over and you can focus on other tasks. In addition, by using the printer’s ink or toner saving mode and by refilling the used cartridges, you’ll cut your energy and supply consumption even more. Also, consider activating your equipment’s standby mode when not in use to further lower your energy consumption and environmental impact.
Support green practices and green vendors
Digital and cloud computing practices and solutions have allowed companies to become more efficient, collaborative and green. From using various desktop applications to coordinate work projects to investing in digital payroll and HR software to manage the workforce, ink and paper have given way to more eco-conserving practices.
Encourage your team members to consider and adopt alternative ways of commuting such as walking, cycling or carpooling and offer transit subsidies for those who pull it off. Also, if possible, allow employees to work from home a couple of days a week or month.
Get your employees engaged and involved in your environmental vision and gather their ideas of how the company can go greener and be even more environmentally conscious. This will give them a chance to both embrace and embody the new company goals and mission.
Finally, opt for eco-friendly companies and brands to cooperate and do business with. Research the vendors of interest to learn about their sustainability efforts and if they align with yours, include them into your projects.
From promoting your employees’ wellbeing through a healthy workspace to encouraging your workforce to see the bigger picture by adopting environmentally conscious practices, you will create a healthier work atmosphere and have your people feel more satisfied and motivated to thrive and advance at work. Moreover, the benefits of reducing your environmental impact will leave a lasting impression both for your organization and the generations to come.