Making your office more environmentally friendly or “green” is about more than simply being politically correct or keeping up with the latest worldwide trends; it’s about contributing to the sustainability of your local community and environment, running a business that is more cost effective, and creating an increased sense of community in the working environment.
Ensuring your office is greener naturally involves putting in place systems and practices that lower your carbon footprint and that have a positive and sustainable knock-on effect on the environment; but to be effective and successful in this, it means changing perspective and mind-set.
The first step to a greener office is determining why you want to make your office green. What are your reasons for taking action that will have a positive impact on the world around you?
Identifying the specific reasons for the changes you plan to make, and making the goals very clear will help you to put in place a plan that will not only move you towards those goals, but that will also help you and your team stick to it. A strong reason for taking action is always more effective than simply a commitment to take the action.
In fact, in order to give your plans the highest chance of success, it is a good idea to discuss your goals and the reasons for them with your team – meaning every person who will be expected to stick to the new, greener way of working.
Once you and your team have compiled the list of goals and reasons for the changes and adjustments, it is time to make a list of actions that need to be taken in order to achieve these goals.
Employee Contributions are Pivotal
There are many adjustments that can be made in an office that can have a significant effect on the environment, and encouraging each individual in your team to contribute to these ideas will help them to feel more invested – which will result in a greater percentage of your team complying with the new policies.
What you can do
As management, you can take certain steps such as replacing existing ordinary light bulbs and strip lighting with CFL bulbs. These bulbs will last longer and use less power – making them more cost efficient as well as more environmentally friendly. As a team you can choose to set your laptops and desktops to hibernation mode in order to save power and reduce your carbon footprint.
Introducing a policy to use as little paper as possible will help to make your office greener – ask your team to think before they print. Double checking whether a document really needs to be printed or not will help you to reduce paper wastage and printer costs as well as conserving energy. Additionally, using greener cartridges or ink refills can help with this.
When your office it going to be closed for the weekend or holidays, make sure that every individual understands that all equipment such as air conditioners, microwaves, scanners, printers, and coffee vending machines should be switched off in addition to all lights.
Upgrading your old equipment to make sure that all of your devices are energy star quality will help you to not only reduce your effect on the environment, but will also lower your running costs.
When it comes to purchasing a new piece of equipment, make sure that you take into account the energy efficiency of that equipment in addition to the other criteria you would usually consider important.
Allowing people to engage in mobile working can also be a notable environmental benefit, not just to your office but also to a wider green cause. By doing so, you cut down on transport to and from the office as well as energy utilised when there. This is something that can be a great addition to a new greener office policy and also helps cut costs.
Encouraging your team to become aware of lights and equipment that are left on unnecessarily will help to improve the overall cost efficiency of your office as well as your carbon footprint. Additionally, finding temporary or permanent new heating or air-condition solutions that are greener also works suggests Pete Collins of Best at Hire.
Again, if each person is clear on the reasons for this practice – according to the original goals you set out, they will be more invested and more likely to comply.
These tips will help reduce the impact your office has on the environment and the world as a whole, making you feel better and also cutting bills and other costs.