With single-use plastics in dispute and leading supermarkets pushing eco-friendly policies, businesses now have a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint and up their CSR efforts. In celebration of our recent Carbon Smart Gold Accreditation, in this blog we will talk you through some simple ways to reduce your energy usage across all areas of your business in a meaningful way.
One way to promote eco-friendly practices in the workplace is by introducing biophilic design (incorporating natural light and foliage into your interiors). Having plants and flowers around your desk not only smell good and give a fresh vibe, but can also help create a productive environment. Creating an appealing aesthetic with plants as part of the decor is an effective method of enhancing employee’s moods and motivation.
The RHS has stated that “plants positioned in an office can help lift staff’s well-being by up to 47%”, contributing to workplace creativity and efficiency. Wellbeing is key to a productive office – otherwise, you could find a higher rate of absenteeism and potential staff turnover.
Plants can be worked into overall office design, acting as a focal point and working alongside existing company branding and colour schemes harmoniously. Having brightly coloured flowers using reds and yellows creates energy in the working environment, whereas blues and greens have a more relaxing effect. You can have these different colours in different areas of the office i.e. red or yellow at your desk, or blue or green in break-out areas.
Change the work culture
We’re all creatures of habit, but when it comes to eco-friendly work practices, habits are where you need to start. Taking away desk bins and installing a recycling centre in a central location within the office will encourage better habits within your team. This will help everyone to proactively think about recycling plastic water bottles and paper rather than just throwing them away in the same bin.
In the kitchen, bring in actual plates and metal cutlery and get rid of plastic knives and forks. In the boardroom, use interactive whiteboards to display meeting notes rather than printing out several copies for all involved. Whilst on that subject, do you really need to print out that draft? Paper represents 70% of all office waste, so if you must print, use duplex and monotone printing in order to cut your emissions.
Switch to greener office supplies
Be smart with your standard office supplies. For example, staple-less staplers (they do exist!) and refillable pens will reduce wastage. You can also buy kitchen and bathroom cleaners in bulk and decant into smaller bottles to save on plastic. Finally, not all offices can afford to go fully paperless, but eco-alternatives such as recycled paper and toners are an efficient and effective way to cut your carbon footprint by up to 2kg of CO2.
Be smart with your utilities
Businesses in the UK account for 25% of our total water usage. When we take such a large share of energy, thinking of ways to use it appropriately, responsibly and sustainably needs to be our top priority. This doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of policy.
Start with repainting any dark areas of the office to a light colour – this will reflect daylight coming from the windows, which in turn means less artificial lighting has to be used throughout the day.
When it comes to water and energy, you can install weather-stripping to minimise any potential heat loss from windows and doors, meaning you’ll use energy more efficiently and conserve what you do use. You can also introduce water aerators into bathrooms and kitchens in order to cut water usage by up to 90%.
Do you have any eco-friendly office tips, or has your workplace dramatically cut its carbon footprint recently? Whether you’re keen to go green or already have, get in touch today to find out the ways in which our products and services can support you in cutting your emissions even further.