Everything we do impacts the environment. From driving to work, to how and what you recycle, being a ‘Green’ business, and ensuring you have eco-friendly office has become more important than ever.
However, an eco-friendly office doesn’t just give you the peace of mind that you’re making a conscious effort to lower your environmental impact; it can also make your employees happy. In fact, 72% of UK workers say that having an eco-friendly office is important to them.
At Rombourne, we think it’s vital that offices are as eco-friendly as possible. Below, we share our quick and easy tips on how to ensure you have an eco-friendly office…
1. Switch off the lights
According to Energy Trust, turning off unneeded lights could remove 171kg of CO2 emissions from the air each year. So, it goes without saying; switch off the lights when a room in your building isn’t in use, or go one step further by installing lighting systems that automatically turn on and off as needed.
Your office should also switch to LED bulbs as these use 90% less energy than traditional halogen ones.
Another advantage of LED bulbs is that they’ve been shown to last approximately 20 times longer than traditional light bulbs. This means that not only will you reduce your office’s carbon emissions (which raises the temperature of our planet and affects sea creatures by making our oceans more acidic), but your business can save money by replacing your bulbs less often.
2. Bring plants into the office
Plants are a great addition to any office because they reduce CO2 and carbon monoxide levels, as well as remove bacteria, mould, and everyday toxins from computer equipment from the air. High levels of these aren’t just bad for the environment; they can also make your workforce feel unwell by causing a range of unpleasant symptoms. These can include headaches, dizziness, coughing, dry eyes, a runny nose, and a sore throat.
Another advantage of office plants is that they boost productivity by making you happy. According to a study, bringing plants into the workplace can reduce feelings of tension and anxiety by around 37%, anger and hostility by 44%, and fatigue by 38%. All of these feelings can have a negative effect on your staff’s morale and productivity levels.
3. Print less documents
Every time you print a document, the need for paper increases, and more and more trees are cut down as result. This leads to deforestation, which is very bad news for the environment as we need trees to absorb CO2 and provide habitats for wildlife.
Not only that, but frequently using the printer contributes to your business using more energy (which increases your carbon footprint), and also costs your business as ink and paper will need to be replaced more frequently. Therefore, you should be encouraging your staff to print less, and one effective way to do this is by using an ID based print management system, which ensures documents are only printed when you’re at a printer. Alternatively, Follow Me Printing uses your location to find the most suitable printer, which reduces uncollected printed waste.
4. Recycle, recycle, recycle
Recycling waste (such as food, plastic, and paper) instead of throwing it in the bin doesn’t just reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases being produced as an effect of degradation. In fact, it’s also been proven that producing recycled products uses less energy than those that have been constructed from new materials.
As an employer, you should encourage your workers to recycle more by providing the correct facilities for them to do so. This means ensuring that your eco-friendly office has recycling bins in your kitchen or breakout area, and that these are clearly labelled with the materials that need to be placed in each bin. It’s simple, really; by making the task of recycling easier, more of your staff will do it!
5. Walk or cycle to work
27% of 2015 greenhouse gas emissions were from burning fossil fuels, such as those used for cars and trains. To get your workforce walking, running, or cycling to work instead, ensure your building has an on-site shower for them to freshen up before they sit down at their desks, and that there’s somewhere onsite for them to securely store their bikes.
If it’s not feasible for every one of your employees to walk, run or cycle to work, another option is for them to reduce the amount of car journeys being made to the office each day by using public transport or sharing lifts with other employees who live in the same area (a.k.a. carpooling). This not only helps the environment, but it can also help your workers to bond and form better relationships.