With Government initiatives to reduce plastic waste and growing societal concern for the environment, eco-friendly workspaces are needed now more than ever. When a workplace is eco-friendly, it’s not just the environment that benefits.
Customers and potential employees alike will take an interest in your organisation. And there are many changes, big or small, that your business can implement to go green. Here are just some of the ways to achieve an eco-friendlier workplace.
Lead by example
As an employer, you can’t expect your employees to follow any green initiatives you set in the workplace if managers and senior level staff don’t follow them themselves! Managers need to lead by example, so that employees are encouraged to follow suit.
If leaders are seen to be acting in a responsible, eco-friendly way, such as cycling to work, going paperless or using recycled products, employees will pick up on these cues and follow them. This will also increase the chance of enforcing any eco-friendly policies.
The impact that offices have the environment is significant, with paper playing a large part in this. In 2016, 411 million metric tons of paper and cardboard were produced globally, according to Statista.com. Therefore, going paperless is a simple but effective way to become an eco-friendly office.
Start by reducing the amount of printing devices available in the office, which will make people less likely to print. Introduce a digital document storage system such as the cloud and encourage employees to send documents digitally. Switch to digital statements to reduce the quantity of paper mail you receive.
Reduce your energy consumption
In the workplace environment, it would be impossible to continue running with out electrical appliances. But you can monitor and reduce your energy consumption. Start by switching out lightbulbs to LED ones, and replace appliances or machines in the office to energy efficient ones.
Also make sure all electronic devices and lights are switched off when they aren’t being used – and especially out of business hours to reduce power consumption. Try installing motion-sensor lights and utilise power-saver mode rather than relying on your employees to remember to turn everything off.
Reusable not disposable
Rather than using disposable cups or cutlery, provide employees with mugs or kitchenware that they can use, or encourage them to bring their own. Encourage employees to bring their lunch in reusable containers over plastic bags.
This attitude can also be applied to any office furnishings or devices. Rather than disposing of them, see if devices can be recycled or fixed before replacing them. Look to turn old furnishings into new items, for example turning old desks into storage shelves.
Redesign your office
If you really want to get serious about creating an eco-friendlier workspace, why not consider redesigning your office? Biophilic designs such as foliage walls not only create a luxury office design, but are beneficial to employee wellbeing too.
Introduce plants to your office and large windows that maximise the natural light. An eco-friendly office design will also make your business more energy efficient, making for cost-effective savings too.