As we become more and more aware of our social and environmental responsibilities, finding ways to establish a more environmentally-friendly office becomes a top priority for company managers. Whether you run a small office with ten employees or a huge corporation with over 1000, finding ways to minimise your carbon footprint and waste output is key.
Office environments are also the ideal place to make a change; there are lots of opportunities to introduce sustainability measures within an office and lots of benefits to doing so. To help you make positive changes in your workspace, we’ve listed our ten top tips for creating and managing an environmentally-friendly office. Read on for more information.
Educate your employees
The first step towards making a company-wide change is to educate your employees. It’s impossible to make eco-friendly changes if the very individuals who run your business don’t understand them. You could add recycling bins to every office floor, but if your employees don’t know how to separate and dispose of the company’s commercial waste correctly, they’ll continue to use the same processes as before.
Educating your employees doesn’t require a big training day; it could be as simple as sending around an email to introduce the changes you plan to make and why they’re important. Once your employees understand the importance of going green, they’ll likely want to help out.
Put plenty of recycling bins around the office
Leading on from our previous point – you’ll need to put plenty of recycling bins around the office and make sure your employees understand what each bin is there for. Make sure you have recycling bins for plastic, metal, glass, paper and cardboard and label them accordingly. Print posters explaining exactly which bin should be used for which waste type and pin them above the bin itself. This way, employees who haven’t recycled before will be able to use the bins correctly.
Recycle IT equipment and office furniture correctly
Putting recycling bins around the office is a great first step, but employees often need to dispose of more than just envelopes and food packaging. Over time, your office will need to upgrade its furniture, electronic equipment and more. Make sure you put measures in place to recycle these office items responsibly and efficiently, as this is a key part of becoming an environmentally-conscious workplace.
When it comes to recycling electronics, your office will need to find a WEEE recycling company to take care of this. When the time comes to recycle your office furniture, however, consider hiring a skip from a waste management company that can dispose of the waste on your behalf.
Find a reliable waste management company
Once your recycling bins are full, they’ll need to be disposed of responsibly. Here, hiring a reliable waste management company can make your job much easier! A dedicated waste management company will collect your waste and dispose of it in the most efficient and environmentally-friendly manner possible. Working with a dedicated recycling company will also help your business stay compliant, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Using the services of a waste management company is especially important when disposing of confidential waste. From old employee contracts to invoices you no longer need, offices are full of confidential documents that need to be recycled appropriately. A dedicated confidential waste disposal company will be able to take care of this responsibly, safely and legally.
This is another great way to become a more environmentally-friendly company. Of course, finding responsible ways to dispose of your office’s waste is extremely important – but reducing your waste output in the first place is the best way to make an effective change. One efficient way to do this is to go paperless. This means creating digital copies of important documents instead of printing them in physical form. There are many ways to do this, such as by sending emails instead of letters.
Start by digitalising some of your processes and committing to going 100% paperless over the next couple of years. Promote this change, too; by telling your partners and customers that you’re going paperless, you’ll encourage them to follow your lead.
Fill your office kitchen with reusable goods
Make sure your employees have access to glasses, mugs, plates, bowls and cutlery that can be washed up and used again and again. If your employees can make a cup of coffee and a slice of toast for breakfast, they’ll be less likely to purchase takeaway food items from local cafes. This is a simple change that will help to reduce the volume of waste produced by your office. With this in mind, you should also supply a kettle (or hot water dispenser), toaster and microwave for employees to use.
Decorate with potted plants
This is a simple and cost-effective trick that all offices can utilise. Putting plants in the office can help to purify the air and combat indoor pollution, which in turn will help your employees remain healthier and stay productive. Plants have also been proven to minimise stress levels and boost creativity in workplaces, so their benefits extend further than helping the environment!
Invest in eco-friendly office supplies
There’s no denying that offices get through lots of single-use supplies. From toilet roll to tea bags, offices are big contributors to throw away waste. Finding ways to minimise your office’s waste output is essential, but in some situations (such as in the case of toilet roll) there’s only so much you can do.
Instead, make a change by opting for the most eco-friendly options available. For example, purchase notepads and pencils produced from recycled materials and try to purchase plastic-free items as much as possible, such as paper-wrapped toilet rolls.
Take advantage of natural resources
Where possible, conserve electricity by taking advantage of natural resources. Instead of switching the lights on automatically, see if the natural light streaming in through your office windows is bright enough to work in comfortably. Swap wooden or plastic partitions for glass to ensure that sunlight can travel freely throughout the office floor and fit blinds that open fully to allow the maximum amount of light in.
Similarly, take advantage of natural ventilation. Before switching on your air conditioning, open the windows in your office to let some fresh air in. This will help you reduce your energy consumption and minimise your carbon footprint.
Ask employees to switch off electronics that aren’t in use
This is another simple but effective way to conserve electricity in the workplace. At the end of the day, ask your employees to switch off their computers, laptops and any other electronic devices that won’t be in use overnight. It can be easy for employees to forget about their environmental responsibilities when the clock strikes five, but if everyone can take a minute or two to switch off electronic devices, your office will be one step closer to sustainability.
Brewsters Waste Management: Commercial waste management services in London and Essex
If you’re looking for a reliable, responsible and efficient waste management service throughout London and Essex, then you needn’t look further than Brewsters Waste Management. Since 1960, we’ve helped thousands of businesses with waste management collection and skip hire services, and a ‘zero waste’ landfill policy we’re proud to uphold. At Brewsters Waste Management, we can help your company – no matter what industry you work in- stay environmentally friendly and legally compliant. We achieve this by combining cutting-edge recycling technology with a commitment to sustainability, helping us to become one of the most trusted waste management services in the local area.
For more information about our range of waste management and skip hire solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts today. At Brewsters Waste Management, we are always happy to help.