Shockingly, over the past 30 years, 30% of the world’s natural environment has been destroyed and natural forests have declined by 10% according to the World Health Organisation.
Everyone needs to do their bit to help save our environment for future generations and since we spend a considerable amount of our lives at work, changing how you use our planet’s resources in the workplace is a responsible move.
Paul Slinn, founder of Flexioffices and Chartered Surveyor with more than 20 years’ experience finding solutions for clients’ office problems, offers some advice on how to work more sustainably and turn your office into a more environmentally friendly working space.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Have a look at every resource your business uses – what can you reduce? From your electricity, to water, to paper – make a list of what you use and brainstorm as a team how you can cut down. It might seem obvious, but turning off your printer, computers, monitors and office lights at the end of the day is easily forgotten when you are in a rush to get home in time for dinner. Look at how warm you heat the office, could you reduce this by a degree or two? Do any of the taps in your bathrooms and kitchen areas drip? The Carbon Trust has an energy calculator that can help businesses work out not only how they can make changes to their energy consumption, but also how they can save money by making changes.
Request your cleaning company uses environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Use recycled products as much as possible – that includes paper for your printer, notebooks, sticky notes, pens, recycled bin liners, foil, etc.
Ensure you have recycling bins around your office. Having obvious and plentiful recycling points in the office keeps your initiative front of mind and convenient for employees.
Encourage cycling or running to work
Only really feasible for those staff members who live shorter distances from the office, but encouraging or offering incentives for team members to walk, run or cycle to work, contributes to the environment by reducing carbon emissions and also impacts their well-being and subsequently productivity. The government backed Cycle to Work Scheme, allows staff members to essentially buy bicycles and accessories before income tax, which means savings of between 16 – 40% off the retail price.
Offer team members public transport ticket loans
For those that live commuting distance from the office, offer loan schemes for them to buy annual or monthly travel passes. As well as enabling them to spread the cost of buying a long-term ticket in advance, it also saves them money on a regular commute in the long run, making public transport a more economically attractive alternative to driving.
Make your meetings carbon free
Think about how you can make changes to your approach to meeting clients. Although being able to walk to meetings is a rare treat, how would your clients feel if you cycled or for those dedicated fitness enthusiasts, ran?
There is also plenty of technology available that can save carbon emissions in the air as well as valuable office time – you can arrange meetings via Skype or teleconference facilities.
If you are meeting clients who are based many miles away from you, how would they feel if you include them in your ‘carbon reduction’ initiative and request to meet them half way? Considering one-off meeting facilities enables huge flexibility around team meetings and you can take serviced office space for as little as a day or even just a meeting. Meeting clients half way is a lot easier if you can find a meeting room solution around your mutual transport hub, such as Victoria, St Pancras or Marylebone.
There are any number of ways that companies could work more sustainably and if every business embraced just one of these changes it could make a big difference.
Written by Flexioffices.