How to Make Your Office More Sustainable
United States President Donald Trump has received heavy media backlash following his recent decision to back out of the Paris Agreement. While the biggest men in business can get climate change wrong, it doesn’t mean your workplace should follow suit.
Between piles of paperwork, excessive air conditioning and electronic energy consumption, offices are breeding grounds for landfill, greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. If you were told that making some small measures around the office could create a more sustainable workplace while saving some cash, wouldn’t you want to start today? The following tips can help your office become more sustainable, produce less waste and reduce your CO2 emissions.
Office Sustainability Tips
Go digital where possible
Does there really need to be a hard copy of every letter in the cabinet? Keeping a structured computer file system is an absolute necessity, and a quick search term can help you find any document in the system. While you’re at it, consider whether you can send that letter mailout as an email attachment instead. A common file system between staff can help them access important information all in one spot, and any staff notices can easily be made through email. Storing as much workload as possible in digital form keeps your work organised, retrievable, and traceable while eliminating unnecessary paper waste and clutter. In the absence of paper copies, ensure your important files are replicated onto a separate hard drive as a backup.
If you do need to use paper, opt for recycled and environmentally friendly varieties when stocking supplies. Set your printer to print double-sided on default, and create a policy for staff to print one single document before going ahead with mass volumes to avoid wasteful errors. Use discarded prints and drafts as scrap paper before trolling the stationery cupboard for fresh notepads. Ensure each staff member has convenient access to designated recycling and regular waste bins inside the office to avoid all waste getting mixed together and ending up in landfill.
Stop unnecessary power use
Screensavers, idle appliances, bright lighting and heating/cooling systems suck up energy in your office all day long (and for some, all night). You can save energy and your power bill by switching off power points when not in use, and setting all computer screens to dim to black after a short period of inactivity. Set the air conditioning to no less than 24 degrees in summer, and either set an on/off timer or appoint a staff member to be in charge. Your air conditioning and heating systems should also be regularly maintained to maximise performance, hygiene and energy efficiency. Installing a sensor lighting system can conserve energy by automatically switching lights on and off as people move about the office. According to State Government of Victoria, converting to a sustainable lighting system can use up to 80% less energy in some cases.
Re-think the commute
For those who sit in peak hour traffic every day, the environmental toll of their job starts before they even enter the office. If there’s a job that can be done away from the office, consider the option for staff to work from home once in a while, if their role permits. Carpooling is another option for employees who live close to one another, and don’t forget cycling to work if you live closer to the office for a money saving, more sustainable commute.
Forget the cardboard coffee run
Coffee is seen as a lifesaver to workplace productivity, and a daily routine for many office workers. If you must have a barista pour your favourite roasted blend, ensure you bring your own reusable cup. Some café’s even provide a discount to customers that use a BYO cup. The same goes for water too – keep adequate cold water in the fridge to reduce plastic water bottle use, and if employees must have portable water, encourage them to fill reusable bottles.
Set up your office in a sustainable space
Many new office buildings are designed to be more efficient and sustainable, and there are factors to consider when moving office to find an eco-friendly fit. Look for large windows with plenty of natural sunlight to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Lighter coloured paint does wonders for brightening up a space naturally and reflecting the sun’s rays. A building with insulation means your office will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter, providing energy savings on your heating and cooling efforts while sparing the environment from additional CO2 emissions. An office that uses renewable energy such as solar is another factor to consider favourably.
Making the move to a more eco friendly office?
When moving to a new office, this is a great chance to reflect on how you can start fresh with a greener attitude in the new office environment – and this can start with the way you move. If you want to be extremely sustainable, you can purchase reusable, durable bags and biodegradable fillers and wraps. If you require cardboard boxes, consider purchasing used ones from a storage company or enquire at a warehouse. When you’ve moved boxes to the new location, you can then reuse and recycle them. When setting up the new office, make a point to place desks near windows to make the most of natural light, and keep heaters and radiators unobstructed.
John Ryan Removals has over four decades of experience in office relocations in Melbourne and use specialty equipment to move contents from offices, libraries, schools, hospitals and laboratories, shop fittings, display homes, and warehouses including heavy machinery.
Our office moving services include disconnections, moving and reconnection of desktop computers and printing devices, relocation of filing cabinets, shelving, cabinets, security safes, and workstations including disconnecting and reconnecting services and data.
Our office removalists in Melbourne take extra care when transporting your goods with specially designed computer trolleys, and applying protection in lifts and foyers to prevent property damage. John Ryan Removals also offer security document destruction, asset disposal and security crates so you can feel confident about your sensitive data staying safe. If your eco-move sees your office moving to another country, we also offer international moving services for your commercial relocation from Melbourne.