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Make your workplace kinder to the environment

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Matt Darvill Environmental, Work Life, News...

Much of the discussion of being more conscious of our impact on the environment is centred on our routine at home. Less emphasis is placed on our behaviour in the office, and the changes we can make whilst at work. But there are certainly some easy things that can be done to reduce our impact on the environment, without revolutionising the way we work.

Paper

The most glaring reduction has to be in paper usage. Whilst much of the focus is on reducing our plastic dependence, we are still using 400 million metric tonnes of paper each year. You’ve probably seen messages on the bottom of countless emails, however most people still print far more than they really need to.

There is a lot of accessible software that allows multiple people to view and edit documents at the same time, saving the need to print and review documents on paper. If you do need to print, you could switch to 100% PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) paper. This is made from recycled office waste, such as envelopes and mail, massively reducing the burden on the environment.

Power

There are loads of gadgets that can reduce your energy bill, both helping the environment and your company expenditure. Automatic lights, smart meters and even solar chargers are becoming more and more common. Think how long phones are left on charge, or computers on standby through the night. A standard halogen bulb left on all night uses one bucket of coal in itself!

Other Changes

There are a few other things you can do around the office to make sure you’re doing as much as you can. Changes can be made to the cleaning products you use, to ensure the chemicals within them are not harmful to water supplies. Could you replace paper towels with hand towels and air dryers? Can your office supplies and stationary be recycled? All of these smaller changes make little impact to our routines, but together can make a huge difference.

Green Team

Lots of companies now have a nominated ‘Green Team’ who can implement more environmentally friendly ways of working. Commonly, recycling schemes can be much improved just through thinking about the ways of integrating them.

Employee engagement is the most important factor to start seeing the benefits of any changes you make as a company. As soon as a few start to cycle to work, recycle more etc. more will follow that example.

In the past we’ve been through some changes you can make to your daily routine, to help you reduce your plastic use, click here to give that a read.