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How to go green in the office

An eco-friendly office describes a working space that aims to reduce its impact on the environment – with staff being aware of their social responsibility. 

Not only is encouraging people to work and live more sustainably a positive move for the planet, but research suggests that customers are more likely to buy from one company over another (if products and services are equally priced), if the business:

  • Demonstrates environmentally friendly practices (90%)
  • Promotes health and safety (88%)
  • Supports fair labour and trade practices (87%)

Below we have put together some eco-friendly office ideas that can help drive forward your plans for sustainability in the office and start making a difference.

1. Get staff onboard & encourage a positive attitude 

Getting staff on board with your initiatives can be the determining factor when it comes to the success of your eco-friendly office. Even the smallest of positive changes can have a huge impact if you’ve got staff on your side. 

Some of the steps you can take to encourage eco-friendliness within your office include the following:

Encourage reusing and recycling

In order to commit to a new recycling initiative, your company will require both adequate bins and collection services.

You should begin by conducting a waste audit, as this helps to determine the type of rubbish you generate the most of and therefore the best plan of action when it comes to correctly disposing of the waste.

Ensuring that staff are educated on what can and can’t be recycled will be paramount here – for example, using images of items that are often wrongly recycled (i.e. cellophane wrapping) and making it clear which products should and shouldn’t be put in each bin can help with getting your staff to recycle effectively.

Create a sustainability team

A sustainability team can help to raise awareness of sustainability issues within a business, while also encouraging greater results from your eco-friendly office initiative. 

Championing a more effective recycling programme, as well as assisting with the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and green cleaning products, are examples of possible projects for the group.

four assorted-color trash bins beside gray wall

2. Reduce your energy usage

Reducing your energy consumption is one of the most important elements to consider when creating a more eco-friendly office environment.

Boil less

Boiling the kettle is one of the most energy consuming things you can do in an office environment. You’ll save a lot of energy over the course of the year if you only boil the kettle once to make five or six hot drinks instead of six times individually.

Consider putting together a rota for each team. Not only will you save energy, but you may also find that your staff are more productive because they won’t have to leave their work station as much for breaks.

Turn off all equipment

Unplugging laptop chargers and computer monitors from the socket at the end of the day helps to prevent latent energy consumption. 

If your staff will be away from their desks for more than ten minutes, encourage them to turn off their monitors, too.

You should also switch off all printers and photocopiers at the end of the day and avoid unnecessary printing.

Although it is hard to measure just how much energy leaving things on standby actually uses, the Energy Savings Trust states that up to £80 a year is wasted in the average home due to appliances left on standby – translate this to an office setting and that’s a lot of extra energy being used, plus needless business costs.

3. Go paperless

Going paperless essentially means eliminating the use of paper documents. This usually involves trading those papers and receipts for digital files and receipts. 

Going paperless helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Turning a single tree into 17 reams of paper results in around 110 lbs of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. 

Some of the ways you can go paperless include;

Switching to electronic payroll and accounting

Reduce the number of paper invoices and checks your business sends out by taking your payroll and accounting needs online. 

There are a large number of electronic payroll and accounting systems – from services such as Quickbooks that are easily scalable, to software that is designed for larger companies with busy HR departments. 

These services also have options to send electronic payslips to staff, which removes the need for paper copies. 

Move your marketing efforts online

Not only is email marketing less expensive and time consuming than direct mail marketing, it’s also much more environmentally friendly. 

According to a Harvard Business Review article, the response rates for direct mail and email marketing are very similar, which reflects that a digital marketing plan doesn’t harm the environment but also has just as much impact as traditional marketing. 

man in black crew-neck top using smartphone

4. Use Coworking Office Space

Using coworking office space removes the need for having your own office whether that be permanent or temporary, which drastically reduces any environmental impact that your business has.

At Pure Offices, we offer serviced and coworking office spaces, and have taken a number of steps to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and we’re ready to do more.

In an effort to drive down our Scope 2 emissions even further, we are looking to expand our investment in green energy solutions, such as solar panels, putting them in place on the remaining properties in our portfolio.

Contact us

We provide dynamic office space that caters to all types of businesses and ways of working so that your business can ensure employees are happy, engaged and productive, all whilst helping to promote a sustainable way of doing business.

Check out our coworking and serviced office spaces in your location here and contact us with any specific requirements or questions you may have.