Offices are beginning to fill up again with people coming back into work, albeit on a more flexible basis. Now is a good time to consider some new eco-friendlier working practices. Many large companies are setting ambitious net zero targets with roadmaps to achieve these, we have a look at some ideas to get you started thinking about improving your sustainability credentials.
Old supply contracts are likely to have come to an end or are up for a review after the covid period. Considering an eco-friendlier office supplier is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment as a business. Some supplies to consider switching include:
- Recycled notebooks or where possible encouraging employees to take digital notes
- Refillable or recycled pens
- Recycled paper or where possible encouraging employees not to print and to email documents or store them online instead
- Recycled or second-hand office chairs and tables
Energy bills can be a huge expense for companies with offices or showrooms. Keeping the lights on and heat on is not only expensive but can have a detrimental impact on the environment. Switching energy supplier can help save a business money and reduce the carbon footprint. Reviewing your current energy supplier is a starting point. Try to select a provider that offers 100% renewable energy, there are several comparison sites that can help your business find a supplier that is both reasonable and renewable.
Whilst switching provider will help with the energy you do use there are other ways to reduce your office energy usage. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Make use of natural light – turn off the lights in the day and position desk near windows and sky lights
- Turn off the heat, lights, and electrical equipment in any areas of the business that are not being used
- Consider motion sensor lights in areas that do not need to be lit all the time
- Energy saving bulbs can make a huge difference in a large office spaces
- Unplug – remind employees to unplug any office equipment when it is not being used or laptops when they are fully charged
Many of these ideas are dependent on employees taking an active role in reducing the energy consumption of an organisation. Creating an eco-friendly office culture takes time but when successful these things become second nature and employees take on the role and responsibility themselves. Find an individual or a team of people within your company who are passionate about the environment. Provide them with the resources, funding, and recognition to improve your green credentials, you might be surprised.
The kitchen is often the hub of an office, constant coffee rounds, full of delicious snacks and a huge energy consumer if it’s not set up right. Kettles use a large amount of energy, consider a hot water tap which can be more energy efficient and quicker to make a brew. Microwaves can also be a high energy item, look at replacing any old electricals with newer more energy efficient versions.
Gone are the days of working in the office five days a week, many employers are changing the way things work. Working from home during the pandemic has proved that it can be done and provides a benefit for both employer and employees. The reduction in energy and C02 emissions is one of these benefits, employees working from home do not need to drive or catch public transport, reducing their emissions significantly. In addition to this, lights and heating can be turned off and in some cases the building can be reduced in size or maybe it’s not needed at all. Take the learns from the pandemic to see how you can reduce your businesses carbon footprint whilst still operating effectively.
Plants not only improve the quality of the air in an office space they also bring colour, decoration and vibrance to any office space. Consider buying some plants that can be placed around the building. If you are investing in plants, be sure to make sure they are well looked after and do no die, nothing looks worse than a neglected, dying plant.