5 Steps to a Greener 21st Century Office
No matter how green your office or your company claims to be, there is always a room for improvement. Whether this be with the office products you choose to use, or the way in which the employees choose to travel, there is always that extra step that can be taken to make a considerable positive change. This positive change can be beneficial for the environment, as well as your company itself. For instance, going green can save your company a substantial amount every year in energy bills. This is because waste isn’t only harmful to the environment but to the company bank account. Waste can be expensive; according to the sustainability agency WRAP, collectively it costs UK businesses over £23 billion per year.
Going green can be beneficial to your work ethic and general environment too. Setting realistic targets to reach on a weekly or monthly basis can equate to a more productive and motivated workforce especially if the efforts are made apparent. In addition, it doesn’t hurt in regards to your public image either. If your clients, local community, business partners and regulatory agencies see that you are making a conscious effort to become green, it will all positive for your and your business.
1. Get Everyone Involved
Making it a team effort can really make all the difference, as everyone is working together to make a significant change. Also, three heads are better than one, so if everyone has a brainstorming session to formulate ways in which the company can make a positive step forward to preventing environment pollution, it’s likely that some decent ideas will emerge, some in which can be utilised by the entire team.
2. Selecting Eco-Friendly Suppliers
If your company chooses local suppliers who share your green values, it can be beneficial for them and your company (and the environment of course.) Choosing local suppliers means shorter delivery trips from nearby suppliers which means less fuel, and transportation impacts which can reduce your corporate carbon footprint.
3. Lessen your Paper Usage
Figures from the UK government estimate that over 80 tonnes of printing and writing paper is thrown away each year. You can ensure that this is recycled instead of being sent straight to the landfill by setting up separate recycling bins for paper. Due to modern technology, it is now much easier to reduce your paper usage, as most things can be processed online, or on computers. A paperless office uses fewer resources, requires less storage space and is more cost effective, so try to use emails and PDF documents where you can. If printing is needed, then use both sides. For instance, four years ago, Farnell Clarke, accountants in Norwich became a pioneer among accountancy practices in the UK, as they were one of the first to adopt KashFlow as its preferred software provider. They made the bold decision to entirely move away from the costly Sage packages that underpin most firms. Whilst Sage has led the accountancy market for many years, the emergence of the new technology gives accountants the opportunity to offer clients something new and innovative, which is also cost effective.
KashFlow is Cloud-based accountancy software. Essentially, this means that it functions entirely online, with all data hosted by remote services ‘in the Cloud’. KashFlow allows the employees of the firm, and their clients to access their management information from absolutely anywhere, at any time – as long as they have access to the internet.
4. Green Travel
An extra consideration is your commute to work, however long it may be. Encouraging your staff to carpool or use public transport is an effective way to shrink your carbon footprint, and your travel costs. Cycling is even better, accomplishing both of the above with the added advantage of regular exercise, which is also useful for team health, morale and attentiveness. And if your business joins to the Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme, employees can save up to 42% off the price of a new bicycle.
5. Green Office Products
Offices consume a huge amount of stationery supplies each year. So the extra consideration to seek out for recycled paper with a high level of post-consumer waste can make a large difference in the long run. One tonne of recycled paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil and one tonne of carbon equivalent. Also, recycled pens are an option, which reprocess materials to reduce oil consumption and landfill waste.