Making your office more environmentally friendly can not only reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but also increase profitability. By reducing waste, turning off equipment when not in use and using energy-saving lightbulbs, you can reduce your outgoings.
Introducing a green initiative into your organisation doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are a few ways you can implement an effective eco-plan.
How to go green in your office
Start by looking at the most common behaviours of your business you could improve on – from printing off emails unnecessarily to leaving computers on overnight. From here, you can look at how to bring in more environmentally friendly ways of working, while preparing for any challenges which may arise.
Changing your paper and the way you print
Whether it’s invoices, presentations or meeting notes, many businesses print reams of documents on a daily basis. And while it’s worth encouraging employees to print only when absolutely necessary, it’s still an important part of office life.
Try switching to Forest Stewardship Council certified paper goods which come from responsibly maintained and harvested forests that strive to preserve the ecosystem, while providing society’s needs for wood and fibre. You could also use recycled paper. Encourage people to print double-sided to help reduce waste and, in turn, the overall amount and cost of the paper you order.
Think about your ink cartridges
Encouraging the recycling of ink and toner cartridges is also a step towards being more eco-friendly. Staples has recycled over 450 million ink and toner cartridges. Some were repurposed into new cartridges, and those that didn’t meet the requirements were ground down to make other products like pens and storage boxes.
Turn it off
By simply turning off lights and appliances when not in use, your business could save more than 20% annually on its energy bills.
Try send emails around the office to encourage everyone to do their part in saving electricity. You could even switch to LED bulbs to reduce electricity usage (compared to a classic bulb). As they last longer, you’ll be able to reduce the cost of replacing them on a regular basis.
If your company sends out parcels and packages on a regular basis, be sure to pack smart. A big box with a tiny item in will cost you more in shipping costs, and the waste is unnecessary. Ensure you are using the right box size and packaging for an item in order to reduce waste and save on postage.
Going green in the office isn’t just about cutting down on waste. It’s also about keeping the environment in mind with everything your business does – including the cleaning products you use.
Green cleaning products clean just as well as standard products, but only use natural, non-toxic ingredients that won’t damage the environment.
Brian Wilson, Sustainable Products Director at Staples said: “Eco-friendly products can reduce wastage, save energy, reduce your exposure to hazardous chemicals and conserve raw materials. There’s no need to pay a premium or compromise on quality. These days it’s easy to find great value Energy Star-labelled electronics and lighting, stationery, toner, pens, tissue and cleaning supplies, coffee or tea, and much more.”
The Ecover range by Staples is designed to biodegrade quickly and completely. The products help protect washed surfaces, improve indoor air quality and won’t impact on aquatic life if they are flushed or poured away.
Introduce a recycling plan
Encouraging recycling among your office is essential in making your business more environmentally friendly. Before your staff put anything in the recycling bins you’ve provided, get them to check if it can be re-used – think draft paper for jotting down quick notes in a meeting.
It’s also essential to make sure you have bins for paper, plastic and cardboard as well as general waste, so you can keep recyclable materials separated. Use coloured lids to differentiate between materials, and encourage staff to recycle as much as they can.
If anyone is unsure of what they can recycle, running a workshop which outlines everything your employees need to know can be a great help.
Get everyone involved
Changing your company culture may seem like a challenge, but getting employees involved in the change can both boost their morale by making them feel included, and help you develop your business.
Using a simple ideas or suggestion box where staff can put their thoughts on improving the company’s sustainability, will bring a whole range of new ideas to fruition. Brainstorms will enable everyone to bounce ideas around with ways to improve the business’ eco-footprint.
Creating an environmentally friendly business doesn’t need to be difficult. With a few simple changes and a plan on how to implement them, your office can improve its eco-conscious ways.