It seems like everywhere you look nowadays people are embracing a more environmentally conscious ethos in both work and leisure. It’s easy to be environmentally focused in your own time (because you’re responsible for it) but when your workplace doesn’t have a green focus, it can be a bit disheartening – mainly because the impact is greater due to a higher number of people, and because the steps to change this are relatively simple! I have seen a great many workplaces embrace a ‘green’ ethos this year and who have recorded great results – both financially and in workplace morale. I want to discuss some of the easy ways that you can go green in your office in the hopes that this helps you with your environmental efforts.
Many people in most offices will find that their laptop or computer is a huge component of their daily work. If you take the time to educate your staff about how to make their computers energy efficient this will help across the board. Implement changes like making sure that staff are shutting down their computers at the end of the day – and consider installing an office-wide power switch that shuts off all of the devices at once. Printers, scanners and other peripherals need to be unplugged when they’re not being used as they draw on power.
Most workplaces (if not all) will have cleaners who come and perform the daily cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, cleaning bins and wiping surfaces. Make sure that you know whether the cleaners you are using have an environmental focus; companies like Consolidated Property Services in Melbourne are leaders when it comes to environmental waste management – one of the few companies to achieve such certification due to their ongoing adherence. Ensure that whoever you choose, you’re checking to make sure that they have an environmental focus at the forefront of all that they do.
In this incredible age of living in the cloud, it still happens that many people are printing off documents or using paper when there’s just no need. The best choice is no paper at all, so keep things online and review documents on screen. You can find all sorts of document sharing programs for various industries, so take a look at see what will work for you.
Encourage a greener commute
Various companies Australia-wide are implementing initiatives to encourage workers to cycle, walk and to take public transport to work. You can ease the strain on the environment and on the peak hour commute by opting for a non-vehicle mode of transport (public bus excluded, of course).
Engage the idea of working from home
It might not be possible for all workplaces to do this (sorry, teachers) but for many workplaces and offices, working from home is very possible. For the day or two that employees spend working from home, they save on their commute and spend more time actively engaged. This can also work to improve employee morale as there is more autonomy in the workplace which builds confidence and can strengthen relationships.
Use green materials
Sometimes it will be simply impossible to avoid using printed paper, so in this instance it pays to ensure that you’re using the next best thing, which is recycled materials. It doesn’t stop there: You can get recycled toilet paper for your cubicles, pens and pencils that are made from recycled materials and refillable items instead of single use ones. Look for biodegradable soaps and paper towel for the bathroom, too.
I do hope that these suggestions will go some way to making your workplace a lot more environmentally conscious.