Solar panels on your roof, a recycling bin in your kitchen and public transport to work – if you’re thinking tick, tick, tick then you’re well on your way to living a green lifestyle. If not, then now is a great time to start, and make a few changes to your office space while you’re at it.
A greener office inevitably means a low environmental footprint, and a more productive and efficient workplace. But how exactly are you going to get the entire office on board with this? The obvious answer is that you will be helping to create a sustainable future for your children. Couple that with the more immediate benefit of real savings (which could go towards that bonus everyone has been hoping for) and you’ll have a unanimous vote in no time.
The next step is to put your plan in to action. We have put together our top 10 tips to help you along the way:
- Create environmental awareness with your team – it’s amazing how simple pieces of information can change the way people behave. The perfect way to do this is to have sign boards in various ‘hot spot’ areas in your office space. For example on the back of the toilet doors explain how much water is used with every flush and at photocopy machines explain how much money you could save if you recycled paper or scanned documents instead.
- Make sure that all office computers have print management software installed on them. This will help the office understand how much paper and ink is being used so that it can be reduced the following month.
- If you are looking for new offices, prioritise space with plenty of windows, so that natural light and air flow can be used instead of costly lighting and air-conditioning. Nature is always abundant, and most importantly, free. If the space doesn’t have sufficient natural light, install windows in strategic places – it will still cost less than lighting and air-conditioning in the long run.
- The lighting that you do have in your office space should be replaced with LEDs. In store rooms and other rooms that are seldom used, research having occupancy sensors installed to prevent lights being left on by mistake.
- Whether it’s in the kitchen, next to the copy machine or underneath everyone’s desk – be sure to place recycling bins in strategic places. Make sure your office has signed up with a recycling contractor that will collect your rubbish weekly and drop it off at a recycling depot.
- Create a platform to facilitate car-pooling to and from work. Whether it’s a Whatsapp group, an email or your internal office communication tool – create a way in which you can communicate with your colleagues about lifts to the office to save on petrol and reduce carbon emissions.
- Don’t use water unnecessarily in your office. For example install low flow aerators on all your taps to minimise wasting water.
- Make sure that all your office computers have a PC power management technology installed on them, this will actively manage every PC’s power states. You waste energy by having your laptop plugged in the entire day, so rather fully charge your laptop and use it without a power source until the battery is almost flat.
- In the age of the Internet it has become redundant to fly and drive to meetings – rather set up Skype calls and phone interviews to save on travel costs. You might also need to tighten up existing business travel authorisation procedures.
- Have an energy monitoring system installed on your entire office building’s main electricity hub so that you can view your electricity usage during different hours of the day. This will also help determine if there are any energy ‘leak’ areas.
We hope these tips will be enough to kick-start your green office drive – and would love to know what else you’d add to the list or already do at work. Post a comment and let us know.