Environmentally friendly office
10 ways to make your office greener!
Here we give you practical and quickly implementable tips on how you can ensure more sustainability in your office - everyone can make a contribution to a better and healthier environment for everyone!
Reuse old materials
The first logical step in any green strategy is to consider what things you can reuse. Try the following:
- Turn scrap paper into notepads for internal use with the help of paper clips - or let the external printer cut and staple the pieces of paper.
- Organise a group order for pens, pencils, staplers or other office supplies before everyone orders individually - or encourage employees to post their needs on the notice board. This is often faster than placing and waiting for an order.
- Give away used furniture and computer accessories to charities, youth groups, or other local organisations.
As manufacturing costs rise, all companies will develop a keen interest in reducing fixed costs. Try the following:
- Regulate the temperature in the offices with the help of roller shutters. Set the heating thermostat 1 ° C cooler than before and you will see how your heating costs are reduced by 10%.
- Preferably use natural ventilation rather than air conditioning. Use an electric fan instead of an air conditioner when temperatures rise.
- Switch to energy-saving lamps.
- Start a "Please switch off" campaign to encourage your employees to switch off the lights during the day and their computers at night.
- Consider replacing conventional light switches with motion sensors in rooms that are not in constant use, such as hallways, storage rooms or toilets.
- If you are using a kettle, don't make it fuller than necessary.
- Unplug cell phone chargers from the wall socket when you are not charging your cell phone.
Water is rapidly becoming an expensive and valuable commodity and every effort should be made to reduce the consumption of water in the office. Try the following:
- Install toilets with double flush. Install water-saving devices in your toilet cisterns.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Keep water consumption in mind when purchasing new equipment - from kettles to dishwashers. Does the device work efficiently with water? Will it increase or decrease water usage in the office?
As landfills get closer to their capacity limits, the costs for companies will continue to rise. That is why it is becoming more and more important to reduce the waste produced. Try the following:
- Reuse envelopes and cardboard packaging.
- Avoid using window envelopes as they are much more difficult to recycle.
- If possible, re-use any bubble envelopes.
- Change your printer's default setting to double-sided printing to use both sides of the paper.
- Avoid disposable items like paper cups, paper towels, and paper plates.
- Send back promotional items in prepaid envelopes and request the deletion of your address details.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
Make your workplace more environmentally friendly
A tidy and clean workplace makes it easier for you and your employees to think and act wisely. Try the following:
- Provide sturdy and clearly labeled storage boxes for reusable envelopes, cardboard boxes, and bubble envelopes.
- Set up a shelf by the printer for used paper that can be reused as a scrap or sticky note.
- Beautify your office with plants to literally make your workplace "greener". Not only do plants look good, they can also help reduce indoor air pollution.
- Make recycling as easy as possible by placing clearly marked recycling bins in strategic places, such as kitchen and dining rooms, entrance areas, next to printers and copiers.
- Find out which employees have a natural interest in environmental protection and encourage them to become "masters of the green office". Your energy and enthusiasm will rub off on the other colleagues.
- Start the program for "environmentally friendly ideas" to encourage employees to develop their own ideas on the subject of energy saving or other environmentally friendly measures.
Recycle your waste
Well thought out waste management means more than just reducing waste. Whenever possible, waste should be kept away from landfills. Try the following:
- Used batteries are hazardous waste and should not be sent to landfill.
- Install a collection point for batteries and contact your local council to find out how to dispose of them safely.
- Make sure that fluorescent tubes are recycled or disposed of safely in small quantities.
- Contact your local authority to find out about appropriate systems.
- Provide suitable containers for composting food waste.
- Set up an area for sorting recycling waste - e.g. in the kitchen or in the common room where there is space, or in the stairwell where there is no risk of fire.
- Install clearly labeled bins for plastic bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, food and glass.
Shop environmentally conscious!
In the following points you will find practical tips for environmentally friendly purchasing decisions in various areas. Energy: - Significantly reduce your CO² emissions by buying green electricity. Check with your current power company for information on the different options. Electronic devices:
- Buy office equipment with a 5 star energy rating.
- When buying IT equipment, give preference to multifunctional devices instead of different devices (eg. fax, printer, scanner and copier).
- Group your office supply orders together to reduce the number of deliveries to your company.
- Buy office supplies from a company that offers a wide variety of environmentally friendly products.
- If possible, choose recycled products for paper, envelopes, card stock, pens, office supplies, and office furniture.
- Choose paper and wood products with FSC® certification, which guarantees that they come from tested, sustainable sources.
Organise carpooling for colleagues who live close together. Encourage employees to use public transport instead of cars or taxis whenever possible. Negotiate with a local bicycle dealer or health insurance company about introducing a cycling program. Help your employees use the bike to get to work by providing safe storage and possibly shower facilities. Consider using teleconferencing and video conferencing to minimise travel distance. Set clear goals for minimising business airline travel.
Provide recycling bins for paper, aluminum cans, newspapers and magazines, cartridges, toner and glass in the offices. Contact your local council for information on recycling facilities in your area. Install can grinders if you are using a lot of cans. Contact your office cleaning company to find out if they offer a recycling service.
Pass on your knowledge!
Educate your workforce about how you can help protect the environment. Put up posters and stickers to remind employees everywhere of the simple steps they can take. Publish your environmental policy, or create one if you don't already have one. Point out your measures to suppliers and customers and ask them to do the same. Add an advisory note at the end of your email to prevent people from printing the email.