How To Green Your Office

We’re all aware how important the environment is. But if becoming an eco-warrior and hanging from an Icelandic dolphin trawler isn’t your thing, then why not start in the office? It might not be exciting, but most offices are wasting energy and resources unnecessarily. Did you know for instance, that leaving the office lights on overnight uses as much energy in a year as it would to heat a home for almost 5 months?

So if you want to make your office a less wasteful place and experience a feel-good planet saving natural high, then read on!

Do an Energy Audit

Before attempting to address energy consumed in your workplace, you’ll need to know exactly where and how you’re wasting energy. All companies with over 250 staff are now obliged to carry out energy audits. And the savings to be made are more than worth it; large businesses can save around 15 per cent on energy bills through efficiency measures, and enjoy an average return of 48 per cent and payback on investment within three years. Yet smaller companies too should run energy audits. In an era of ever increasing energy costs, an audit will help you identify the savings you can make. Simples!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The average office worker prints off 1,584 sheets of paper in one month, and every year 80 million tonnes of paper are thrown away. Overall, office waste costs UK business £15 billion a year, yet a massive 80% of it is recyclable. So cut down on what you use, reuse what you can, and recycle everything that’s left over. For instance, rather than using twice as much paper as necessary, set your photocopier to print on both sides of the paper by default, and only print those pages you need. Some office supply specialists would recommend allowing an internal office policy of handwritten corrections.  This not only saves time but of course paper and money on your stationary budget!

To establish a recycling system in your office, you should do the following:

  • Install recycling points for paper, print cartridges, cans, plastic and cardboard
  • Start small – don’t expect too much at once.
  • Appoint an office energy champion for encouraging recycling

Saving Energy Tips

The amount of energy used in the office can easily be reduced through these very simple measures, saving money as well as the cost to the environment.

  • Consider upgrading old and inefficient equipment.
  • Consider laptops rather than desktop computers to save on energy consumption
  • Keep the heating thermostat turned down. The internal temperature needn’t be over 20 degrees. Add a thermostat lock to prevent it being tampered with.
  • Encourage working from home where possible
  • Invest in an energy efficient kettle
  • Turn off all lights and electrical equipment every night
  • Consider investing in energy efficient lighting such as LED’s. These can reduce lighting costs by 70%. Using occupancy sensors will save even more
  • Use windows rather than air conditioning for cooling
  • Create a workplace energy efficiency plan and get everybody on board

Bill Turner is a guest blogger who enjoys travelling with his family and researching the latest mobile technologies.