Many individuals have already taken small steps to live more sustainably at home. For example, you buy food locally, recycle weekly and reduce your energy consumption where possible. In contrast, your work place has computers and other electronic equipment running every hour of the day, printers seem to be printing endless amounts of paper and the air conditioning is at a hot or cold extreme depending on the season.
This doesn’t have to be the case; a few small changes here and there can help you and your co-workers become far more environmentally sustainable with little effort. Before we begin, one of the most significant steps a manager or company owner can take is to make the switch to renewable energy. Business energy comparison site, Utility Saving Expert can help you compare leading commercial gas and electricity suppliers. You can filter deals by price, contract length, tariff type and you will be able to get a free no obligation quote in less than 10 minutes. Here’s a list of tips to help your office save money, reduce energy consumption and have a positive impact on the environment.
1. Start by measuring your carbon footprint
A great starting point is measuring your office’s current carbon footprint. This can be done by carrying out an energy audit and a consultant can be hired to undertake this task for you. While not as accurate, there are also a number of online carbon footprint calculators that can be used.
2. Time for an office upgrade
This can be at any level, from the most basic to the most advanced. Similar to your home, you could start by switching old energy bulbs with modern LED bulbs that are far more efficient. Not only do these consume less electricity, but they also last much longer. The larger your office is, the more these upgrades will be notable in helping you save money. Having double glazed windows and well insulated walls will also help you better retain hot or cold air. It’s also a good idea to check if your current heating and cooling system is operating to its optimal efficiency. Purchasing electricals that have a high energy star rating can help you reduce power usage.
3. Recycle as much as possible
These days most things can be recycled. When electronic devices reach the end of their life cycle, endeavour to recycle them rather than dumping them in the nearest junk yard. There are a number of e-recycling companies that take on this specific task. Some manufacturers will even have initiatives in place where they will recycle your old goods. Please note: do not forget to securely delete any remaining data before handing these in. Other common examples of things that can be recycled include paper, plastics, food and office furniture.
4. Turn the power off
Before leaving the office, remember to turn the lights off along with any electronics that are not in use. Some companies may wish to install sensors that will automatically dim or turn off the lights in unused areas. Most computers have a power saving standby mode, although it’s still better to shut down when not in use.
5. Monitor paper usage
It’s very easy to print off every email or document in the office. It’s good to have a policy in place where employees are encouraged to only print what is absolutely essential. This will lead to less paper waste as often many documents or emails can’t be recycled and must be shredded as they contain confident information. Workers should also be encouraged to print double sided where possible, and use the back of paper as scrap paper. Many businesses have already taken steps to go paperless, although there is an equal number that haven’t made this transition.
6. Get staff on board
Have policies in place and educate all employees as soon as possible. Instructions can be provided in weekly email updates and internal newsletters. A competition or reward system may work for some to encourage staff to cut down on waste.
7. Have recycling bins everywhere
Ensuring that recycling bins are easily accessible will make it easier for everyone involved. For example, if a worker can easily drop a plastic bottle or stack of paper into the relevant recycling bin which is nearby, he/she is far more likely to continue to do so. If recycling bins are not visible and can’t be found, how can employees be expected to take the right action. A good recycling system should be put in place to ensure waste isn’t mixed together.
8. Reduce the office temperature
You could save a significant amount on your business energy bills by even reducing the office temperature by as little as one degree. Smart thermostats are also beneficial as they can adjust the temperature automatically.
Hopefully, these tips can help your office reduce its carbon footprint. You will save money and protect the planet at the same time. Remember to periodically assess how you’re doing to see if any changes need to be made, helping you improve processes.