The world is becoming ever more aware of the impact our energy use is having on the environment. With this in mind many companies are making the dedicated effort to make their workplaces ‘greener’, in that they’re trying to reduce the amount of energy they use and waste, and practice efficient energy consumption.
If you are one such business who wishes to make your workplace greener, then following the tips detailed below will help get you started:
Organise an Office ‘Green Team’
Just as when you elect a team to run a specific work project, you should aim to establish a project team for your energy efficiency drive. It is worthwhile, at the initial meeting to set your company’s aims and targets and work out a plan as to how you think the team can help the company achieve these. For instance the team might be responsible for:
– Designing and displaying ‘Green’ posters with fun facts and tips
– Designing, distributing and displaying new ‘Green’ policies to all staff
– Checking that new policies are followed
– Running monthly ‘Green’ staff meetings
– ‘Green’ inductions to staff
– Continuing to identify new energy efficient processes
Having a ‘Green Team’ can help you keep track of how well your company is doing in its energy efficiency drive. However, the ‘Green Team’ can only do so much, in addition to their everyday job, so it is important to set out specific methods, policies and just general company everyday actions.
1. Cutting Down on Non-recyclable Waste
– Do not supply every employee with their own bin; this encourages waste. If staff have to move to reach a bin, they are automatically more mindful of how much they are throwing away.
– Make sure your office has a simple recycling structure; this might mean having a green bin for man-made recyclables, a food bin and a normal bin for non-recyclables.
– Instruct your purchasing team that they must only buy recycled goods, i.e. all paper stationery, toilet paper, envelopes etc.
– Limit the number of disposable products in your office, i.e. replace throwaway drinking cups, handtowels etc. with recyclable/reusable options.
2. Thinking before Printing
– Only use recycled paper and make sure every staff member has their default printer settings set to double-sided (duplex) printing and in black and white ink only.
– Encourage staff to question whether they really need to print every document.
– Encourage sharing of documents via tablets, laptops, Google docs etc.
– Instead of throwing away paper that’s only been printed on one side, reuse it for printing draft documents or for scrap/ note taking.
3. Using Less Energy
– Encourage staff to be more efficient in terms of using false light; use natural when possible.
– Install energy efficient bulbs.
– Make it office policy to switch off lights whenever leaving a room (if there’s no one left in the room).
– Encourage staff to switch off their monitors and computers when absent from their desk for more than 20 minutes and at the end of the day.
4. Encourage Staff to Travel ‘Greenly’
– Encourage staff to use alternative methods of transport, i.e. public transport. Your company can increase employee take-up by offering season ticket loans or loans for purchase of bikes.
– Encourage staff to car-share.
– Make sure your staff use ‘green’ methods of transport when attending/ travelling to meetings; there are even ‘green’ taxi firms you can now book to ensure your company’s travelling is low-carbon.
– Encourage the use of web and video conferencing to ensure your employees are not travelling needlessly.
James writes for Jaga. When not writing, he can often be found “greening up” every aspect of his life.