It doesn’t matter where you work, or whether you are the boss or a part-time employee, we could all benefit from a more environmentally-friendly workplace. Not just from a global environmental perspective, but also from a safer, cleaner and more appealing personal workspace.
The benefits go beyond those of the individual and can have very positive impact on the business also. Happier, healthier, fitter employees are more productive, take less time off work sick and value their job more.
Here are some simple steps anyone can take to improve their health, reduce their environmental impact and help to make their office more environmentally-friendly.
Petrol or diesel guzzling cars are bad for the environment so why not go green by walking to the office? Yes, you might need to get out of bed earlier, but you’ll get a lot of satisfaction from beating those traffic jams on foot – and you’ll be clocking up those 10,000 recommended daily steps in no time. Not to mention how much money you’ll save!
If it’s too far to walk, then how about cycling to the office? And, if it’s still too far to cycle, then, at the very very least, try to arrange a regular car share with colleagues who live nearby to you.
If your business runs a fleet of company cars or vans, look to swap for electric or hybrid vehicles. The fuel cost savings alone could make it a financially sound decision.
Similarly, if your office is not on the ground floor of a building then consider using the stairs instead of the lift – and try to persuade your colleagues about the benefits of doing this too.
You’ll be saving office energy by not using the lift and you’ll definitely be getting fitter and boosting your own energy levels too.
Unplug – or at the very least turn off – energy-hogging office equipment like PCs, air conditioning units, projectors and lights when you leave a meeting room or leave the office at night. Even standy modes use up valuable energy resources.
If you pay the electricity bills, you may want to consider upgrading the office lighting to LED and adding controls to automatically switch lights off when rooms are empty. These technologies have a payback period of only 2-3 years and can reduce lighting bills by 80%.
Always explore the provenance of your suppliers. Whether that’s office supplies, your energy supplier or sub-contractors. Do they offer environmentally friendly-sustainable, fair trade products and do they have environmental policies or accreditations, such as ISO 14000.
Try to cater for lunches or meetings with local, organic and sustainable food. And use proper cups, plates and cutlery rather than disposable ones at those meetings and lunches too. Also, pass up on that daily coffee takeaway. Not only will it save you about £800 a year, but will help to reduce the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups used in the UK each year.
If you aren’t in charge of selecting suppliers, speak to the people who are and try to explain the benefits of buying green.
Grow plants around the office
Turn your workplace literally green by adding plants around the office. Office plants add more healthy oxygen to the workplace and improve indoor air pollution by removing volatile organic compounds like Benzene, Formaldehyde and Trichloroethylene from the air.
As well as helping the office to become a healthier and greener place to work, numerous studies have shown that plants in the office lead to increased work productivity too.
Have A Recycling Centre
Make dedicated space in the office for a recycling centre and try to get all employees to use it for drinks cans, plastic water bottles and other recyclable items so that they don’t all end up in the bin.
A recycle centre is a great place to start a real office culture of saving energy, recycling items and living green. We can help you with your recycling and waste management needs.