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How To Make An Eco-Friendly Office

We spend the vast majority of our time at work, whether that thought fills you with dread or not it stands to reason that if we’re trying to improve sustainability at home we should be doing it at work too. Whether you’re working in an office or self-employed looking to get your first office space, there are so many ways to make your workspace more sustainable and planet friendly.

Plus, introducing eco-friendly practices at work not only helps the planet but can also create a healthier, more enjoyable work environment.

Whether you already have sustainability policies to add on to or you’re just getting started here are some practical tips to help you make your office a more sustainable place.

Choose a green energy supplier if you can

One of the most impactful changes you can make is switching to a green energy supplier. While you might not be able to choose your energy suppliers, you can bring this up with the management company or the person that owns your office space.

Green energy companies generate power from renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy. By opting for green energy, you can significantly reduce your office’s carbon footprint.
Take some time to research and choose a supplier that provides 100% renewable energy options, you might even find that these options are cheaper.

If you can’t switch suppliers for your main office, if you regularly work from home it’s worth checking the sustainability of your energy providers to reduce your environmental impact there as well.

Check how eco-friendly clients and suppliers are

It can be a delicate conversation to have but it’s important to make sure that your businesses environmental policies match yours.

It’s not always possible, but choosing to work with and for companies that prioritise the environment over profit sends a clear message and increases the impact of any policies you add and support.
It’s not ideal to be preaching friendly practices and championing causes that protect the environment if you then worked for or with a logging company that did not care about their impact and what they did.

We know this can be a challenging motion to introduce if you’re an employee but if you’re in the position to make decisions, it’s worth bringing this up to see how the rest of the team feels and if you could implement a code of ethics for future work.

office plants

Choose sustainable products for your office

Every item you purchase for your office has an environmental impact. From the paper you use, to the technology and furniture you have in your office.

To help minimise the environmental impact of running an office opt for products made from recycled or sustainable materials. This includes everything from recycled paper and pens to eco-friendly furniture and electronics.

Think beyond the simple changes you can make and think bigger next time you redecorate or move office space. If you can get decorations and furniture second hand or rent furniture look into these options as they help to use supplies already in circulation.

By choosing sustainable products, you reduce waste and support companies that prioritise the environment.

Go paperless if you can!

Most offices don’t have a printer anymore, it’s more surprising to see printers in newer companies than not. If you’re thinking about going paperless, it’s easier than ever with the rise of portable technology and digital signatures.

In the office, use digital tools and cloud storage to reduce your reliance on paper. Use electronic signatures, digital invoices, and online communication platforms.
This not only cuts down on paper waste but also streamlines your workflow and saves storage space. If you do need to use paper, choose products made from sustainable paper sources or better yet even recycled paper.

Avoid disposable and single use products

Single-use items like plastic cups, cutlery, and plates contribute significantly to everyday office waste. To cut back on this, encourage the use of reusable alternatives. For example, instead of disposable water cups you can source some vintage or second hand glassware to use in your kitchen space.

Simple switches like this can drastically cut down on office waste. To identify what you use most of, look at which products have run out at the end of the week and see if you can find a non-disposable alternative.

Choose Eco-Friendly Finance Providers

Your financial decisions can also impact the environment. If you can, choose banks and pension providers that invest in sustainable projects and avoid those that actively invest in fossil fuel and destructive projects.

Luckily for us all, green banking options are more common than ever. These support renewable energy, low-carbon technology, and other environmentally friendly initiatives by investing your money into climate positive projects.

By choosing these providers, you can ensure that your money is being used to support a greener future.

Think about the snacks and food available in the office

Not every workspace does offer snacks, but if yours does consider how you can make these more eco-friendly. Offering vegan options and prioritising locally grown fruits and vegetable can still give your team great snacks to choose from while reducing your carbon footprint.

Vegan foods generally have a lower carbon footprint compared to meat options, and buying locally reduces the emissions associated with transportation.

Support environmental causes through your business

Programs like Skoot allow businesses to offset their carbon emissions by funding environmental projects. These initiatives can range from planting trees to protecting natural habitats.

If the business can’t pledge money to a cause, there are initiatives you can offer through the business for team members to volunteer to collect litter, garden a community space or support the local environment in other ways.

By getting involved, your office can contribute to larger environmental efforts and inspire others to do the same.

Add some plants to your office 

Adding a few plants to your office is a simple yet effective way to create a greener environment.

Plants not only brighten up the space but also help to improve air quality and improve people’s mood. Choose easy-to-care-for plants like succulents, spider plants, or a cactus. While bigger plants might be appealing, its important to remember these will need to be cared for so prioritise easy to care for over flashy plants.

Quick and Easy Ways To Make Your Office Green

Creating an eco-friendly office doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are some additional simple steps to help you on your green journey:

  • Use energy-efficient lighting: Replace old bulbs with LED lights which use less energy and last longer.
  • Recycle properly: Set up clearly labelled recycling bins for paper, plastics, and other materials and enforce using them.
  • Conserve energy: Encourage employees to switch off lights, computers, and other electronic devices when not in use.
  • Reduce water usage: Install water-saving devices like low-flow faucets and encourage mindful water use.
  • Encourage car sharing or cycling: Promote alternative transportation methods to reduce carbon emissions from commuting.

Why should you have a eco-friendly office?

Beyond the obvious environmental benefits, a green office can also lead to cost savings and improved employee well-being.

Energy-efficient practices and products can lower utility bills, while a healthier, more sustainable environment can enhance productivity and job satisfaction.

Additionally, showcasing your commitment to sustainability can boost your company’s reputation and attract like-minded clients and partners.

Transitioning to a greener workspace can seem daunting, but it’s important to start small and build from there. Begin with one or two changes and gradually implement more eco-friendly practices over time. Involve your team in the process to foster a culture of sustainability within your office.