How eco-friendly is your office? Sadly, the answer could be “not a lot”, especially if you have never seriously investigated the subject. In 2018 alone, the world used over 400 million metric tons of paper, according to a statistic shared by PDF Pro founder Sophie Knowles on the Entrepreneur site.
Sadly, the digital revolution doesn’t appear to have hugely reduced paper usage – especially as the United Nations expects that to increase by 50%. Fortunately, pursuing the following tactics can add up to a big win for your company’s green credentials.
Switch off unused electronics, lighting and heat at the wall
Remember when your mother would regularly remind you to switch off the light as you leave a room? As a business owner, you can now be the one doing the same reminding to your staff – except that lighting isn’t the only thing they should be switching off when they don’t need it.
Electronics and heating, too, should be turned off at the main plug. If someone forgets, ask them to contribute some money to a Green Jar where you keep funds for an environmental organisation.
Go paperless where you can
This is easier than you might realise. Financial institutions and vendors with which your business is registered might be encouraging you to switch to digital, rather than paper, statements – if you haven’t already. Acting on that encouragement would lower the amount of paper mail you have.
You could also try reining in the amount of printing your company does – though, if it relies strongly on printing, you should gradually transition the firm over to a digital document management system.
Maximise natural light
According to the World Green Building Council, employees working near sunlit windows are 15% more productive, as reported by TechRepublic. This can be attributed to natural light’s influence on the body’s circadian rhythms – which, in turn, affect waking and sleeping patterns.
Indoor light, by contrast, can severely disrupt working practices. For this reason, where your office has peripheral walls with windows, you should position workstations within 25 feet of them.
Source the most eco-friendly products
Your office likely relies on many different supplies, but it could be possible for you to procure them in a more environmentally-friendly fashion. When you do still need paper, choose recycled paper, as The Balance Small Business urges; ecommerce firms can even use recycled content as packaging.
Better still, if you are in the online retail sector, you could design the packaging in such a way that customers can reuse it for returns; just remember to instruct them on how!
Install new fixtures for energy efficiency
This would be a more ambitious undertaking and can include erecting energy-efficient walls, laying heat-efficient flooring and setting up modern, greener lighting and fixtures. However, the upfront cost can be more than paid for as you realise environmental savings over time.
This is especially true if you hire workplace design professionals. Consider, for example, that Maris are experts in designing offices of restrained carbon footprints.