There are numerous ways for offices and their employees to go green. Whether by implementing environmentally-friendly policies, embracing renewable energies or eco-friendly commuting, small changes can make a big difference. Here are eight ways your office can become more sustainable.
8 Ways to Be More Sustainable in the Office
Thought about how you can encourage sustainability in the office but just don’t know where to start? Don’t fear – we’ve got several ways that can help your office become more environmentally-friendly. From finding a sustainability officer or team to simply switching off the lights to help cut both costs and wasted energy – there are so many ways, both big and small, that offices in the UK can now implement to become a part of positive change.
Keep reading to discover how your business, whether it be a large corporation or startup, can start making changes easily today.
1. Start a Sustainability Team
A sustainability team for your office can effectively raise awareness of greener practices and enact practical changes. A sustainability team can head projects such as:
- An improved recycling program
- Sourcing energy-efficient appliances
- Purchasing environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies
Though not all companies will have the resources to dedicate significant time to a sustainability team, creating internal goals is a great way to start the journey to becoming more eco-friendly.
2. Turn Everything Off at Night
One of the main ways both companies, and households, in the UK can start being more sustainable is by being more conscious of energy usage and bills. While some organisations may not even notice the difference in costs, turning things off where possible can go a long way.
For example, offices should ensure that all office electronics, lighting, and heating are turned off every evening. Ask employees to ensure that everything at their desks is switched off by the main plugs before leaving the office for the night. Keeping strictly to this rule will prevent unnecessary energy usage and keep your office on a more sustainable path.
3. Change to Renewable Energy
Switching over to renewable energy sources is a fantastic way to create an eco-friendly workplace. There are plenty of green power options available, including solar energy and wind power. These are now more accessible than ever, with rooftop solar panels and large-scale wind farms.
Whether your office is small or large, switching to renewable energy is a possible change that can make a big difference. Ask your energy supplier about green options you can switch to as an alternative to fossil fuels.
4. Make Eco-Conscious Office Purchases
While buying exclusively sustainable products is a great option, doing so can be costly. Instead, offices should use the resources they have left and then make the conscious effort to switch to more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
For example, why not switch the plastic water cups and cutlery to reusable or paper ones? Make the decision to buy more eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Or, if you’re a growing startup looking for a new office space why not consider more sustainable office designs? Lastly, when it comes to the office equipment itself why not opt for more energy-efficient electronics?
Doing all of this can have a tremendous impact on the planet.
5. Don’t Over Air Condition
Offices are known for being over-air-conditioned in the summer months. So, if you want to encourage more sustainability in the office then reduce the AC usage, this will definitely help curb energy use.
Lowering the thermostat by just two degrees can make the workplace significantly more sustainable, particularly for large offices. Not only this, but conserving energy will also save your company money.
6. Stop Using Paper!
Going paperless is an effective way to create a greener office. Paper is constantly being used in offices, and documents are endlessly printed. A large proportion of paper waste in an office is printed copies that are being revised and corrected. Switching to digital processors to share and edit documents will allow employees to review on-screen and print less. This discourages unnecessary and wasteful printing to save paper, use less energy and be cheaper!
You can also waste less paper by offering e-statements and invoices, asking vendors to do the same, and making online payments rather than printed checks. Overall, using technology can help an office to reduce its carbon footprint and improve efficiency.
And if you do use paper a lot in the office, make sure to recycle it afterwards!
7. Reconsider Lighting
You can make achievable changes to the lighting in your office space to make it more sustainable. Replacing the bulbs in your lighting fixtures with LEDs will reduce energy consumption. Fixing sensors and timers on lights around the building is a great way to ensure that they aren’t left on.
You could even consider installing larger windows and skylights to get more natural light into the workplace. This will save energy and money on your electricity bills.
8. Encourage Green Commuting
Your employees’ commute to work may not be the first consideration when it comes to making a sustainable office. However, commuting emissions considerably contribute to our carbon footprint. Companies can work to lower commuting emissions by encouraging employees to walk, cycle, carpool, or take public transport to the office.
What’s more, workplaces can even offer incentives to do so! Additionally, work-from-home options can reduce the business’s carbon footprint by allowing employees to avoid the commute altogether on days that don’t require in-office work. After all, a recent post-pandemic survey suggests that more than 80% of managers are keeping hybrid working models in place. So, if that’s the case, why not integrate some more sustainable office ideas into the mix?