By taking these five simple steps, you’ll be able to significantly reduce your office’s carbon footprint; make positive changes to society; and save money on energy bills.
1. Reassess your kitchen facilities
The kitchen is without a doubt one of your office’s biggest sources of waste. Exchange plastic plates and cutlery with reusable alternatives; provide your workers with beverage containers instead of disposable water cups; and use recycling bins with biodegradable bin bags – specialist companies such as Skyman Sacks have a wide array of options to choose from. If you want to take your eco-friendly lifestyle a little further, only purchase organic and fair trade coffees and teas instead of mass produced rubbish.
2. Go paperless
Is this day and age there’s not much a mobile phone can’t do. With Cloud services and online storage systems readily available, keeping paper documents is no longer a necessity. While you may feel safer with physical records, many digital and Cloud based services provide a much greater level of security, not only in regards to keeping out intruders, but also when it comes to data backup. If you still need to use paper make better use of it and print on both sides.
3. Use natural light
There is absolutely no substitute for the ambience of natural light, so try to let in as much sunlight as possible. If you have drapes, exchange them for blinds; set up desks in more well-lit areas of the office; and most importantly, turn off any artificial lights when you leave the room. Letting in natural light can not only reduce your energy costs, but can also boost productivity and make your employees feel more motivated.
4. Turn off computers
According to a study conducted by Poole Tourism, in an office with 200 computers, turning them off at night and during weekends could result in a £10,000 reduction on annual energy bills. In an office with air conditioning, this figure could rise to £15,000. In addition, getting your employees to turn off their computers when they are away from their desks could save even more.
5. Create a green team
No attempt at creating a green office would be complete without building an official “green team.” This elite group will create a green initiative; ensure the office takes part in events such as Earth Day; and will set targets for the future. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that a senior manager be involved in order to motivate employees to take part.
Remember that any eco-friendly act – no matter what scale – is a positive step forward. While leaving on the odd light bulb won’t result in the melting of the polar ice caps, it will take you further away from your goals.
Aaron Hopkins is a freelance writer who, for this green business article, worked with Skyman Sacks.
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