Considering the environmental impact of the workplace is one of the most pressing expectations placed upon companies. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can “greenify” your office space.
Encouraging your employees to recycle is perhaps one of the easiest and most sustainable ways to reduce office waste. Placing small waste bins around the office might make it more convenient for employees to bin their rubbish, however they are completely inefficient for recycling purposes. Instead, investing in specific paper, plastic, and food bins will encourage people to separate and recycle their waste.
Disposable cups can also make a large contribution to company waste, particularly in offices where drinks machines are commonplace. Consider swapping such machines for sustainable water fountains where employees can fill up their own water bottles, and supply reusable cups/mugs to reduce the need for polystyrene coffee cups.
In addition, don’t forget to recycle ink cartridges, old mobile phones, and any old computing equipment. Old laptops and monitors can usually be sold for parts or alternatively recycled through external companies, meaning there are fewer machines destined for landfill!
It’s inevitable that offices will rely on a substantial amount of energy, but there are a number of changes you can make to ensure you use as little as possible - changes which will make very little difference to your current workplace routine, but a huge difference to your office’s environmental footprint.
Going digital is perhaps one of the easiest changes to make. Substitute paper calendars, diaries, and meeting summaries for laptops, phones, and tablets, and set up interactive whiteboard areas for creative mind-mapping. Reducing the amount of paper your office uses will make a huge difference to your waste output and your company’s annual energy consumption. However, it’s not just about going digital - it’s all about being mindful. If possible, use laptops rather than desktop computers, and switch appliances off when you’re not using them!
“Daylighting” is another technique useful for energy optimisation. It is more effective as a technique when it has been considered during the office design process, however there are still a number of ways to make the most of natural light. For instance, during daylight hours keep blinds and curtains open, try not to obstruct windows with any furniture, and position desks and workspaces in the most well-lit areas.
Introducing plants to the workplace can have numerous benefits. Not only are they proven to reduce employee stress levels and increase productivity, but they are also an easy, low-maintenance way of making your office a little more eco-friendly. Most prominently, they help to regulate humidity levels and air temperature, reducing the need for air conditioning and heating.
Some of the best plants for the office include:
Implementing such changes where possible can make a huge difference to your office’s carbon footprint, and should also help to cut energy costs and increase workplace productivity