Ways to Reduce Your Office’s Environmental Impact
Diane Hutton

The planet is slowly dying, and although the headlines often look bleak, there are ways we can all help to aid in the fight to keep Mother Earth alive. We’ve tackled the home, we’re tackling travel, we’re tackling the big corporations, now we need to look at our working lives.

When we look at corporate environmental impact we often look at daily operations in factories like manufacturing, transportation and business travel. But an unnoticed amount of emissions are being pushed into the environment from commercial offices.

A few small changes can make a big impact on helping reverse some of the damage done. Especially if more offices chip in.

Choose green appliances

If you need to buy new equipment or replace old machinery, try to look for the most energy-efficient option. You can judge it based on its energy star rating, which will drastically reduce your company’s carbon footprint. If we think of computers alone, a small office would maybe need six or eight, making the difference for energy efficiency and no more obvious and more important.

Lighting is another element that can be improved upon. It is a radically effective way to lower your consumption and yet is very simple to fix. Maximize your natural light, install motion sensors, and simply change to LED bulbs for a quick fix. Depending on what office you’re in, lights can be on all day, making their effect build up quickly.

Services like FSI offer energy management solutions in the workplace with energy consumption tracking that will save you operating costs and raise the value of your portfolio on top of helping to heal the environment.

Rethink your supplies

Where is everything coming from? Your paper, your pens, your paperclips and any other stationery. Think about what companies they come from and if they can be switched to a more environmentally friendly option.

Replace single-use cups, mugs, and silverware with more permanent solutions. Sure, that cup has a chip in it, but the appeal of the “World's Best Boss” mug never ends. Plus, it won’t contribute to the estimated 15 billion paper cups thrown away by the US alone.

Perhaps install a tap filter in your office so that the biggest source of plastic waste and emissions: the plastic bottle, is omitted from the office.
If your office has a cafeteria, consider the effect of food waste. Look into food donation, composting or turning food into animal feed and other products.

Promote greener habits

In the age of the internet, does everything, does anything need to be printed? Back up everything to online storage like the cloud and do away with the files upon files filling up your office space.

Plant recycling bins around the office to encourage any waste plastic to go where it is supposed to, with instructions on how to sort it. Switch to rechargeable batteries in all your small appliances like radios, fire alarms, calculators, etc. and encourage your employees to take greener commutes like biking or carpooling to work by offering incentives.