The 6-Step Guide to Your Eco-friendly Office (on a Shoe-string Budget)
Thursday 30th April 2015
Whilst having a carbon policy should be at the top of every business’ to-do list, reaching your carbon targets can feel like a stretch on both time and the budget. This little guide will get you back on track within the hour. Let’s get started.
Start with Recycling
These days, you can recycle pretty much all your office waste. Begin by getting all the necessary bins and put them in a place where everyone can see.
You can use closed-loop recycling services like the one provided by Paper Round (excuse the plug). They will come and collect a range of waste in fuel efficient vehicles and take them away to be recycled or remanufactured.
Join the Eco Paper Chain
With paper production accounting for 40% of global deforestation (source: WWF), it’s time we all got wise to our waste. These days, 100% recycled paper, such as the Image Paper Bright White, is as crisp and smooth as new.
That said – try to use less paper when you can. You can do this by reading your documents online, only printing when absolutely necessary and when you do print, make sure it’s double sided. Have a scrap paper box next to the printer where it’s easy to see and ask everyone to use it. With a pair of scissors and a stapler, a crafty colleague can produce hand-made notepads for free. Why not set the challenge?
Make Peace with the Machines
I.T. may seem harmless, but it accounts for 2% of all global CO2 emissions – roughly the same as the aviation industry. Battle these bullies by choosing a model of computer that can be easily upgraded so you don’t need to throw the machine away after a few years’ wear and tear. Better yet, buy a laptop. They use about 10% of the energy a desktop does.
If you’re thinking of getting a new printer, why not get an eco-friendly duplex? That way you can print on both sides, halving your total paper use. To get super efficient you can stock your printer with a closed loop supply of eco-toners.
Give the Power Back – to the Grid
Did you know that lighting an average sized office overnight wastes enough energy to make 1,000 hot drinks? Why would you? - Best to turn them off – and while you’re at it, encourage staff to turn off their monitors when away from their desks.
Go one step further and take a fresh look at the way your company heats and cools its premises. Give the air-con a rest by employing a smart scheme that reflects the temperature and turns down automatically at weekends, nights and on holidays, too.
Don’t Omit Emissions from Your Plan
With travel emissions having such a negative effect on the climate, encourage colleagues to car-share, or cycle to work. Similarly, you can use online video conferences instead of driving to meet customers or clients.
It’s also important to make sure that you buy local goods that are delivered by environmentally responsible businesses (like us!). Make sure you ask about your dealer’s carbon policy before you buy.
Spread the Good Word
Begin by getting everyone involved. In order to make your business environmentally friendly you’ll need the help of everyone in it. Use this guide to write up a few basic ideas and the set about spreading the message. You can do this by sending out an email, arranging a meeting and putting up signs around the office.
Get everyone to brainstorm new ideas and make them feel a part of the process. When complete, set a target, draw up a carbon policy and reward those who take part. This can be as simple as a £10 voucher, or laminated certificate at the end of every month to the ‘greenest employee of the month’.
That’s it. Now it’s time to get started. For more information on going green, get in touch today.