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The Green Office

Climate change has been all over the news recently with the government making pledges to help prevent global warming from going any further and the harsh reality is, all of us have work to do and a responsibility to work towards a greener way of life to take care of our planet and ourselves.

This shouldn't stop at home and greener, more sustainable living is something which we should definitely be introducing more into our workplaces if we want to ensure we minimise environmental impact. But how?

We have taken a look at some innovative ways to help decrease climate change in the workplace below.

Switch It Off!

Be honest, how many of us leave lights, electronics or heating switched on overnight in our offices? It''s such a simple fix and a habit that it is good to get all staff into. Switching off our electronics at the plug and turning the lights and heating off is quick and easy and something each individual staff member can be responsible for. If they forget, why not ask the offending individual to donate some money in to a 'green' jar which gets donated to a local environment project? It would highlight the mistake without a harsh punishment and the environment would benefit

to balance it out.

Natural Light

Making use of natural light as much as possible instead of artificial light can have major benefits on health and mood, not to mention on the environment. It can increase productivity and wellbeing, aid in the normal function of the human body-clock and of course, minimise the use of resources to power artificial lighting. Of course, we understand that some offices can be rather dingy when relying on light from windows alone so a combination of both natural light and artificial light would likely be more realistic. In this case, opting for LEDs is a greener choice and incorporating sensors or timers can really help eliminate the unnecessary use of light too.

Paperless is Best

With the accessibility to the digital world that we now have, there is no need to use paper in the huge volumes we have seen it used in during the past. Keeping documents digital is also an excellent way of ensuring that they are safely filed and that the data contained within them is protected. It is also easy to safely share digitalised data within the work place and even cuts down operating costs. We know that naturally, certain documents may need to be printed but to offset that, ensuring the office has a good recycling scheme is key!

Greens to be Green

We have talked about bringing biophilia into the workplace before and having a green space at work is hugely beneficial. Not only for the wellbeing of staff but also some plants have the amazing capability of cooling a room by up to 10 degrees! That means less money spent running fans and aircon. Sustainability where nature is concerned can also be increased by planting bee-friendly plants outside. If there is simply not the space to have a living, green area in your workplace, try instead asking people to bring in a desk plant. They produce more oxygen and filter the air to offset any chemicals which could be in the air in the office. They make for a cleaner, greener, happier working space.

Limit Disposables

Instead of disposable products, it is worth investing in reusable, sustainable items not only for your pocket as it can be a big money-saver over time, but also for our environment. Water flasks, cloth napkins and reusable cutlery are a great starting point, as well as investing in better quality items in terms of stationery and electronics which are built to last and to be more efficient.

Green Commuting and Business Travel

Public transport and carpooling are great ways to reduce carbon emissions on the commute to work, not to mention walking or cycling as an alternative to driving. Plus, the latter two have all the additional health benefits that exercise brings both physically and mentally to staff. In terms of business travel, as the pandemic has recently proved, this can be minimised massively with the help of video conferencing. If it is feasible, encouraging people to continue working from home part or full time also helps to decrease the impact we have whilst travelling on the environment.

It is most key to encourage green values within your teams and employees so that everybody is working towards the same overall goal, both in work and at home. Incentivising green working and introducing a 'green team' are excellent ways to get people passionate about taking care of the planet we live on, encouraging environmental-friendliness both as a habit and way of life.