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Create a greener workplace

16th Apr, 2019

Create a greener workplace

In a world of paper straws, reusable coffee cups, electric cars and even reusable sanitary products, is it so out of the ordinary to think that we could create greener workplaces?

Now, this might mean cutting down on the beloved photocopier or waving goodbye to paper towels but think of the enormous impact it could have on a larger scale if more companies worked together with eco-friendly practices.

Since David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, the world has taken a serious look at itself. We’ve seen these changes within our homes and public places such as restaurants and coffee shops - now it’s our turn.

Why it’s important to go green

The resources we use don’t just come out of thin air. Factories are required, trees felled, and transportation is used to move products, all of which contribute towards climate change.

The demand is so high right now that if we continue down the road we’re on, we’ll soon run out of natural resources, and the effect to our planet could be detrimental.

The benefits of being an environmentally friendly business

Going green can only ever be a positive thing – it’s not something you’re going to look back on in five years and regret. Cutting down on the likes of paper and electricity won’t only have an environmental impact, but also help to reduce your costs.

Companies like Ford, Disney, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Nike and Starbucks all have green initiatives. Think of your own experiences; if you see a company is being more conscious of the environment, how does your opinion change about them? Do you have more respect? It will be the same for your staff, clients and potential customers, as you’re creating a vision of care.

So, how can we create an eco-friendly environment at work?

Limit photocopying

Photocopying machine

Try to cut down the amount of copies you’re making as much as possible. Instead, try digital alternatives such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or InCopy to share work.

Don’t waste electricity

Save electricity at work

Simple actions like turning computers off and not using standby can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint.

Motion activated lights will also ensure lights aren’t accidentally left on or used unless necessary. Make the most of your office’s natural lighting - economic and environmental things aside, it’s much nicer to work in!

Green energy plans

Green energy at work

There are numerous green energy plans for businesses to choose from that use renewable sources. Currently, businesses consume 56% of the UK’s energy, so if more were to use renewable sources, it would benefit the environment significantly. If you own your building or have a long-term lease, you could also consider generating your own renewable energy.

Recycle

Recycle symbol

Recycling is far from a new idea, but people are still lazy with it. Encouraging employees to recycle could be as simple as ensuring the recycling bins are clearly labelled.

Don’t forget that not only paper, glass and plastic are recyclable, but batteries and electronics too (use this Recycling Locator by Recycle Now to see where you can take your electronic items). Alternatively, if you’re only upgrading and the products still work, you could donate your electronics somewhere that they can be reused

Desk plants

Desk plants | Clean air

They don’t just look pretty, they also improve the air quality in your work environment, meaning you feel brighter, breezier and more productive!

Ban disposables

Reusable coffee cup

Paper towels, straws, disposable cutlery and paper cups are all horrible for the planet. Yes, they make life easier, but the moment’s use we get from them causes a lasting effect on our ecosystem, as they’re typically not biodegradable.

Switch to microfiber cloths and towels in the kitchen, ban single-use plastics and remove the plastic cups from your water dispensers (glasses are far nicer to drink from anyway!). If your company has a café or restaurant, why not follow the lead of the Boston Tea Party and ban disposable cups altogether.

Buy in bulk

Order in bulk | Sign for delivery

Buying materials in bulk is not only cheaper for you in the long run, but it also involves less packaging – it’s a win-win situation!

If your company has its own product to ship, look into using recycled or biodegradable packaging. Your clients will love it as they feel like they’re helping the environment too.

Green transportation

Bike to work | Green transport

Encourage eco-friendly ways to get to work, such as car sharing, cycling, walking and public transport.

For those who have the equivalent of a Fitbit or Apple Watch, why not create a competition and award the person who’s engaged in the most activity that month?

If your business has company vehicles, switch to environmentally friendly cars. People may joke about the Prius, but those who drive them love them!

What methods does your company take to reduce its carbon footprint? Share this article on social media and tag us with your ideas!