4 Starting Points For A Green Office
It’s been growing slowly domestically over recent years and it finally seems as though “being green” is now being translated to the office environment.
More and more companies are starting to take their green responsibilities seriously in their workplaces and reaping both the financial and environmental rewards that this brings.
Of course, there are umpteen ways to manage this and suffice to say, this guide isn’t going to be scrutinizing the advantages of going paperless. Instead, it’s going to focus on the four issues you could be contemplating as you start your quest towards a green office environment.
Clear Your Current Office Sustainably
Perhaps the biggest mistake companies who are taking the green plunge make is not dealing with their current office responsibility. It’s going to be assumed that you’re going to be disposing of a lot existing furniture and fittings – and exactly how you are going to do this is especially important. If you just throw everything out without an ounce of consideration for recycling, you’ve just done the whole project an immense disservice.
Consider recycling, as well as disposing of those non-recyclable goods the right way. Fortunately, you don’t have to take care of all of this yourself and you can see here for office clearance options.
Furnishing Your New Environment
Next, it’s onto the new office itself. As you may have guessed, it’s at this point where you need to question whether you are opting for the completely new approach, or looking to recycle or reclaim your furniture from elsewhere. There are many office re-use centres and websites which can be found online to help you with this.
Naturally, the latter is the greenest option, but if you are looking to purchase a completely new set of furniture for your office then at least opt for greener solutions. These come in the form of furniture which hasn’t been treated with chemicals and is therefore much more positive for the atmosphere and for the quality of air in your office.
The recycling approach isn’t necessarily limited to furniture either. Electronics also fall into this category and while some businesses might not feel comfortable reusing them, you can at least sell them on afterwards and use the proceeds to purchase your new equipment. There are plenty of electronic refurbishment programs which will help out with this.
Stationery, Office Supplies, Ethical Procurement & Green IT Systems
So you have your new office painted with Low voc paint, energy saving devices installed and new furniture in place but are your regular supplies of stationery, cleaning products and catering green and ethical too? Are green IT systems in place to help save energy and resources? A good way to evaluate this is to complete a green audit of your workplace. A useful checklist can be found here and further green office tips can be found here.
Perhaps one of the most important things when greening your office is to educate employees on the positive benefits of a green office. Is ethical procurement of office supplies like recycled paper, green cleaning products and fair trade tea and coffee etc in place? Are recycling facilities easily accessible? Other things, such as only using paper in ‘x’ circumstances, or in relation to shutting down electronics and ensuring that the last person always turns the lights off (unless you have installed a swanky sensor system yourself) are essential too. Education is hugely important in keeping and maintaining an eco friendly office.