From piles of paper to lights, computers, printers, copiers, and heating and cooling, the average office can be the very opposite of green. However, with a few simple adjustments, businesses can become greener and save money. We show you how with our top tips for transforming your place of work into an environmentally friendly haven.
Switch on to Energy Saving Settings
Computers are essential office tools but they can be run more efficiently simply by optimising energy saving settings. Always shut down your computer at the end of the day as leaving it on ‘standby’ will still cause it to consume power. Unless you use them frequently, printers and scanners can be unplugged until they’re needed.
Think Before you Print
Before you press ‘print’ think about whether you really need a hard copy or if you could just save it to your computer and keep a digital copy. Less printing means less wasted paper, less energy consumed, and less ink used, plus a far less cluttered workspace! If you do need to print a document, be sure to print double sided.
See the Light
.. but only during office hours! You do it at home so switch off lights when you leave the office. Also consider replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient ones. Best of all, ensure that as much light as possible floods your office, without it affecting computer screens.
Heating can account for up to 35% of an office’s energy bills and cooling can double energy costs so establishing a standard temperature for the entire office makes sense - between 19-21â„ƒ is ideal. Just as you would at home, ensure that all windows and doors are shut to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping.
Recycle and Buy Recycled Items
Always recycle waste paper, card, packaging and shrink wrap, and invest in individual recycling bins for each desk so that it’s no more difficult to recycle than it is to throw away. It’s also a great idea to buy recycled goods where possible. Consider purchasing recycled toner cartridges (the quality is surprisingly good) and print company stationary and marketing materials on recycled paper. You can even buy recycled business cards, and by displaying the recycled logo on the reverse you can show you’re a caring company.
If you have a vending machine for tea and coffee, try to encourage staff to use their own mugs rather than the paper cups and provide glasses for the water cooler. Even better, do away with the energy-guzzling vending machine and invest in an energy-rated quick-boil kettle instead.
Going green needn’t be difficult or costly - in fact, it could easily save your business money. You could even turn it into a team bonding experience by getting the entire company involved. Appoint a member of staff - preferably one who is a bit of an eco warrior - as a ‘Green Leader’ and offer incentives for meeting company green targets. The key is to engage your team and get them excited about going green. A bit of enthusiasm goes a long way!