Looking to Green Your Office? Follow These 3 Easy Steps!

In any given time, there are two types of people who are reading this blog: the optimist and the sceptic. If you are one of the optimists, you are likely ready to invest your time and money to green your office. You are likely to know why you want this—in fact, you probably have read several other articles related to the topic. If this is you, go ahead and check out our carefully crafted steps and unique recommendations to make your green office one of a kind.

If you are a sceptic, however, you might not want to skip this part. Do you know that one of the most popular false mindsets in going green for businesses is that it costs an extraordinary amount of money? This could be what makes you be sceptical in the first place. If this is so, get ready to be blown away.

It’s true that environmentally friendly products can be more expensive than their regular counterparts, but what people often miss is the long term benefits. Companies, either big or small, can reduce their costs quite significantly by going green.  Governments give out tax credits and tax reliefs for businesses that implement energy-saving plan into their operations. But that is the indirect way of going about it. What about the direct way? What can a company do to save the environment and energy cost at the same time? Read the easy steps below.

#1. Sleep

Yes, sleep! Not for you, but for your electronics. Putting your PCs to sleep can reduce carbon emission by 300 lbs. per year. Carbon emission is the release of carbon into the atmosphere, which can cause climate change, decreased water and food supply, and increased incidents of severe weather. Roughly 35% of energy usage in offices comes from lighting, so turn off lamps when not in use, as well as printers and copier machines.

To give you an idea what reducing carbon emission can do to your business, DuPont, a chemical manufacturer, saved approximately $3 billion in over two decades[2] by using this method.

#2. Get Intimate with the 5Rs

Have you heard of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? That is so last season! Now there are five: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle. The main point of this practice is to prioritise your company’s needs relating to items’ purchases and uses.

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Refuse teaches you not to buy what your company doesn’t need, at all.
  2. Exercise Reduce by restraining the company’s overall consumption of supplies. This means you have to be smart in selecting your products. LED lights are more efficient and last longer than fluorescent bulbs. In the long term, they will reduce energy consumption by 35% in the commercial sector[3]. Another example is choosing AFRDI Green Certified ergonomic office chairs over regular chairs. Providing support and comfort to your employee will increase concentration and productivity, and you also improve nature’s sustainability by choosing a green product.
  3. Drop the disposable option and go for The simplest tip is to look at your company’s pantry or cafeteria. Are they using throwaway plastic plates, spoon, and fork? Minnetonka Middle School substituted their plastic wares with metal wares in the student cafeterias, and they reduced their cost by $3000 in just one year[4] without any significant increase in labour time and water consumption.
  4. Repurpose old office supplies and office waste. Got old cardboard boxes lying around? Convert it to DIY tissue holder or charger organiser. General Motors repurposed their office waste by donating them to other smaller businesses and organisations, effectively promoting sustainability.
  5. If all else fails, Recycle! The EPA states 82% of electronic waste today still ends up in a landfill. E-waste produces toxic chemicals such as cadmium and arsenic which can be deadly to people living in the vicinity. Recycling paper can help save water, trees, and oil—all of which were used in the production.

#3. Carpool or Stay at Home

Working from home help reduces auto and gas emissions, as well as energy consumption. It can also increase employee productivity up to 13%[5] while keeping them happy at the same time. Remote work also means a reduced budget for office space and supplies.

If you are in a kind of businesses that mandates your employee to come to the office, you can encourage your employees to carpool or you can provide a corporate shuttle. Aside from reducing carbon dioxide emission, this option may save money by eliminating the need to rent or build a car park.

So there you have it! These 3 easy steps are a great start to your green company. If by any chance, you are building a new office or are looking to change up the office to a greener version, you can build a virtual layout and get cost estimation before actually going through with it. This way, you can optimise and customise your green office.

Now, let’s say you follow all these steps religiously and you make all these green policies in the workplace. And yet, the annual evaluation doesn’t reflect this effort. Your company experiences no real benefit from going green. How could this be?

Employees are the human aspect—and an important aspect—of going green that are often overlooked. Research indicates only about 34% employees are aware of their company’s environmental targets. About 64% of them admit that lack of empowerment and communication causes them to be less green at work. Awareness is important. A good employer wouldn’t just tell their employees what to do—they would give understanding and involve employees in the process.

With all these information, are you ready to go green? Design your green office layout, purchase the right, sustainable supplies, and turn off your electronics when you don’t use them. Get to know your 5Rs and apply them, and manage how your employees get to and from work. Do all those things, along with spreading awareness and providing support and motivation, and guaranteed—your company will see benefits, environmentally and monetarily, in no time!

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