Who doesn’t want a greener office? The benefits are immense, from productivity and enhanced creativity to employee wellness and a reduced carbon footprint. But having a green office may sound intimidating, so here are our best tips to get you started.
#1 GET GREEN EVEN BEFORE YOU GET TO WORK
That’s right, I’m talking about commuting to work. Companies can encourage car-pooling, cycling, or even taking public transportation over private cars. This can simply be done by providing bike racks, offering shower facilities for workers who choose to bike to work or even financial incentives!
#2 CUT DOWN YOUR PAPER CONSUMPTION
Let’s be honest, you don’t even need paper that much! Email out presentation slides instead of printing hard copies. Change the default setting of office printers to “double-sided”. Place an empty box for “scrap paper” next to the printer — if any printer mishaps happen, the unwanted paper can be used as rough paper for sketches, doodles or team discussions.
#3 REGULATE ENERGY USAGE
Unplug devices that are not in use. Regulate air-conditioner usage. Install power-saving settings for all company laptops/desktops. And change your lightbulbs. Incandescent lightbulbs consume 40% more energy than T8 or T5 fluorescent tubes!
#4 SAY NO TO FOOD WASTE!
Do you really need catering for that meeting? Catering doesn’t just mean tonnes of food go to waste — it also means plastic packaging, plastic utensils, styrofoam cups, and the nightmare goes on. Try to get an early RSVP for meetings so as to best estimate the amount of food required, and have a healthy mix of fresh (sandwiches) and packaged foods (granola bars) so leftovers can be carried over! Opt for caterers that consciously use less packaging (or even make a simple request to them!)
#5 HAVE A GOAL!
Going green is tough because it’s such an intangible concept. What’s green? How green is green? That’s why setting tangible goals as an office is so important! Maybe cut down water consumption by 20%, reduce packaging waste by 5kg, or order 40 packs less of paper for use. Numbers always help to track progress (and trust me, there’s something oddly satisfying about hitting a numerical goal.)
There are countless ways to have a greener, more sustainable office. My biggest piece of advice: pick a method that suits your team the most. Having a greener office shouldn’t be a chore, just pick a technique that suits your team energy, office space or goals the best. If you have a dreary place in need of some redecoration, try spicing things up with some office plants! If you’re desperately trying to cut costs, a team effort to reduce energy and water consumption is right up your alley. It’s all about integrating green practices with your company goals!