It’s a misconception to think that ‘going green’ in the office means spending lots of money. There are many ways of being more environmentally responsible without incurring costs and in fact can actually save money.
A good starting point is to see if anyone in the office is interested in becoming an environmental ambassador. If they have a passion for it, they can ensure there is an environmental policy in place and drive forward any green initiatives. As an ambassador in my organisation, I’m currently helping to organise a jumble sale initiative to recycle any unwanted items and arrange tree planting days.
There’s no end to the ideas you can get involved in but here are the ‘big four’ areas you should focus on first:
- Implement a switch-off campaign for lights and office equipment.
- Ensure heating and cooling systems are optimally set-up. Can they be turned off in the evenings or on weekends?
- Look at water conservation methods. Are toilets set-up to reduce flush volume?
- Replace inefficient, high energy light bulbs with low wattage and energy saving lights.
- Invest in light sensors for areas that are sporadically used.
- Ensure boilers, air conditioning units and radiators are properly maintained and there are no leaks anywhere.
Printing and stationery
- Ensure default double-sided printing is in place.
- Set-up a printer friendly email signature for all staff.
- Purchase recycled paper and green office stationery.
- Avoid colour printing wherever possible as this uses more ink and power to print.
- Implement a car pool scheme.
- Encourage cycling by introducing a cycle-to-work scheme.
- Measure the carbon footprint of commuters to identify where the largest impact is and implement methods to help reduce it.
- Check on the waste management process – is there a zero landfill policy?
- Is there a recycling programme in place? If so, remove general bins so that waste can be placed in the recycling areas.
Let’s save money while doing our bit to save the planet!
Priscilla Richardson is an Account Manager for front of house specialists Mitie Client Services