How to Make your Office more Eco-Friendly

An Eco-friendly workplace reflects the social responsibility of the organization and its staff towards the environment. Working in a green office can help everything from worker morale to client satisfaction. A green office also promotes a fresh and healthy environment.

Why Eco-friendly offices?

  • It creates a more conducive and natural environment for your employees: that means higher productivity!
  • You can reduce your waste and excess energy consumption that leads to tangible cost savings.
  • Going green is a great step for your corporate public relations, showing your customers and the public that you care for the environment.

So here are some very simple changes that you can make in the office to make it more Eco-friendly

#1. Reduce the paper prints

From meeting notes to even paper contracts, choose to substitute your paper usage by using virtual e-documents instead.

Utilize modern communication channels and apps to take down minutes and notes that can be shared easily around the office without any fear of losing or misplacing them!

If a print is required, make sure to print on both sides of the paper instead of printing on a single side.

#2. Place Recycling bins around the office

Employees are more likely to recycle if they have recycling bins to use. If there is no recycle bin at work, find out if it’s acceptable to place one in a frequently traveled area within the office so that everyone can be prompted to use it. Spread the word that there is a recycle bin in the office if one has to be newly added.  And more often than not, employees want to recycle rather than throw something away.

#3. Reducing energy usage

Using natural light is the best way to reduce energy usage. During the daytime, keep the blinds open and let the natural light lit the rooms. Natural light has very positive energy and keeps people fresh and active.

LED lights with sensors are another thing that you can replace in your office. Lights with sensors work by switching on/off depending on motion changes, hence reducing use and saving costs.

Turn down the thermostats at night and on the weekends when the office is closed.

Use energy efficient equipment such as those certified by the Energy Star Program

#4. Get rid of the disposable cups and cutlery

Remove the plastic disposable cups and cutlery from the office pantry. Instead, keep the reusable ones that can be easily washed and reused. Encourage the employees to carry their own mugs and water bottles to the office. In doing so, they can also enjoy the personal touch of drinking coffee from their own mug instead of disposable cups.

#5. Handle your e-waste

Offices are the places where most of the e-waste is generated. We all know that e-waste just cannot be disposed of like any other waste. It needs to be sent to the authorized recycling centers where it can be recycled, reused or recovered. So it is important to place a separate bin in the office where all the e-waste can be collected and channeled to an authorized dealer who manages the e-waste.

#6. Use Eco-friendly office supplies

Opt for recycled paper products, from your sticky notes and printer paper to paper towels and tissues. Look for and purchase green products such as staple-less staplers and pens that can be refilled repeatedly rather than sent to a landfill. Find products that are made from post-consumer content (materials have been collected back from previous products and remade into new ones) such as paper and plastic products. Recycle and reuse used office supplies whenever possible.

#7. Get everyone on board

To really make a difference at your company and reduce your Eco-footprint, everyone needs to be a participant. You can make a ‘Green Team’ of employees who brainstorm and help implement environmentally friendly changes in the workplace. You can do things like organize volunteering opportunities and team-building activities that serve the environment. Make being green fun by setting up games or competitions. Educate employees on why it’s important to go green: for the business and for the environment.

#8. Change the way of commuting

Encourage the employees to carpool and use public transport while commuting to office. Provide the parking space to the employees with a genuine need to bring their own vehicle or those who carpool. For others, office transport or the public transport is always available. It can be a little inconvenient to some people, but a great step for the environment as less vehicles means less traffic and less pollution.

#9. Place an indoor plant on every desk

Keeping a small plant on the desk, can bring lot of positive energy, keep the place fresh and improves the indoor air quality. It also symbolizes the green motto of the organization and its employees.

Beautiful plants and pothos also enhance productivity. Plants like Spider Plants, Peace Lilies, English Ivy, or Bamboo Palms are good for the eco-friendly office environment. However, any plant that you love will do!

#10. Telecommute whenever possible

The last two years of the pandemic, due to the lock-down and WFH scenario, have taught us that most of the work and meetings can be done through telecommuting than actually having a physical meeting. Telecommuting is both a convenient way to work and a great way to reduce your carbon footprint from commuting to and fro. Hence, companies should build this culture and allow the employees to WFH and telecommute for the work which does not require their physical presence in the office.

Final Thoughts

Starting with any or all of these steps is guaranteed to get your business to be more responsible in your impact on the environment—and you will likely have happier employees and reduced costs, too.

Still not sure where to start? Use this business carbon footprint calculator or consult an expert to get an idea of the impact—good and bad—that your business is making not just on the environment and the earth, but also on all the communities and species that inhabit it.

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