These days, consumers have higher standards. Not only are they looking for the best product at the best price, but they’re also demanding that companies embrace sustainability and green practices.
The sustainability trend is sweeping the office space. As more companies change to more efficient building designs and smart technology, energy can be effectively saved, and pollution reduced. Cutting back on office energy can be easy, especially with a hands-on approach that engages employees.
There are many benefits of the green office concept. For starters, it's great for employee morale. A lot of people want to work at a company that is determined to deal with environmental issues. This can make someone feel proud and create a sense of community amongst colleagues.
Green tips to boost your office sustainability
The typical office provides plenty of opportunities to help reduce your carbon footprint. From adjusting the lighting system to the types of supplies you use, there are several things you can do to make your office more environmentally friendly.
Finding ways to reduce carbon footprint can truly make a difference. We’ve compiled 7 common and easy-to-implement tips on how to go green in the office.
1. Make the most of natural light and adjust indoor lighting
Use natural light as often as possible as an alternative by moving desks and workstations next to windows, for instance. Employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. Plus, relying more on natural light when possible also saves energy.
Additionally, switch out all the lights with LEDs, install a smart power strip at every workstation, make people turn off the lights when they leave the room and incorporate sensors and timers for office lighting.
2. Monitor the HVAC system
Finding the perfect office temperature setting to satisfy all employees may seem impossible. Still, you can establish some rules such as turning the thermostat off overnight and instituting a casual dress code in the summer months.
Ensure that your Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning system is in top condition and is checked regularly. This will also help you use as little energy as possible.
3. Get digital to go paperless
Keep digital files on your computers and mobile devices instead of paper files in cabinets. Make it a habit of reviewing digital documents on-screen, rather than printing them out. In addition to this, send all memos/announcements by email and use cloud storage for file sharing.
Other ways to go paperless are printing less and asking vendors to offer digital statements and invoices instead of paper documents.
4. Turn your office green, literally
Plants produce more oxygen, creating a cleaner, happier space for people to work in. Apart from that, indoor plants make your office much more attractive, and it boosts the mood of everyone around it.
A study has found that people who work in settings with biophilic elements are more productive and creative while those who are surrounded by sterile elements would be more stressed and anxious.
5. Make it easy to be plastic-free
Provide reusable cutlery, cups, and plates for everybody. Encourage your workers to bring their own items from home and keep them in the office kitchen. However, you should ensure there’s a proper place for washing and cleaning.
Additionally, you can install a water cooler so employees can fill reusable bottles and drinking glasses with cool water, instead of bringing plastic bottles of water to work.
6. Remind everyone to reduce, reuse, and recycle
Label recycling bins clearly and make them easy to find. Push your employees to reuse things like folders and notebooks or take notes on the backside of used pages. You should find alternatives to office supplies that are very hard or even impossible to be composted, reused, or recycled. For instance, Bi-Office's Earth Kyoto Easel is an eco-friendly option: its recycled components are detachable, so you can easily replace or fix them if they get damaged.
Whenever possible, extend the office furniture’s lifespan with regular maintenance and repair. If you really need to replace it, then consider buying second-hand.
7. Don’t forget to unplug
Remembering to switch off the main plug computers, printers, and other electronics that do not need to be left on can reduce energy usage. Establish an “everything-off-at-night” rule: this type of equipment must be unplugged before leaving the office.
On top of that, you can also turn on the computers’ energy-efficient settings with monitors that shut off after periods of no use.
The benefits of eco-friendly policies on a company level are huge. Not only can they help cut costs, but they also encourage a healthy and responsible mindset among employees, clients, suppliers, and potentially, the whole industry.
Put these tips into practice and make your office as green and zero-waste as possible.