People in the modern world are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and the way their actions affect parts of the planet thousands of kilometres away. Small business owners across the country – from digital marketing agencies to family-owned grocery stores – are modifying their workplace practices to minimize their environmental footprint, and you should be doing the same.
I’ve spent some time researching the topic to bring you the following six ways to reduce your office’s environmental footprint. Remember, every business is different, so you won’t necessarily have to focus on every one of these. Nevertheless, they are still very useful.
- Recycle as Much as Possible
Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce your office’s carbon footprint. One thing a lot of people don’t realise is that pretty much everything can be recycled if you look hard enough. Old electronics can be taken to specified disposal points, furniture can be donated to op shops or repurposed, and even single-use plastics can be recycled if you try hard enough.
- Reduce Paper Usage
A major issue in many offices is excessive paper usage. You can make your business more environmentally friendly by spending some time analyzing your paper use and reducing where possible. For example, only print where necessary, reuse old printing as scrap paper for note taking, and reduce paper communication.
- Switch Off
Meanwhile, you can reduce your electricity consumption or fire accidents, and therefore your office’s carbon footprint, by switching off devices and any other electronics at the end of the day. In many cases, the last one to leave will simply be able to turn the mains power off at the switchboard to minimize electricity wastage.
- Educate Your Employees
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that education is the key to success. If your employees aren’t following best practices to reduce their environmental footprint and make your office more eco-friendly, the chances are that they simply don’t know what they should be doing. Spend some time educating them, and think about putting together a short email outlining office expectations.
- Reduce Aircon Usage
Many office buildings have the air conditioner turned on by default, regardless of the external weather conditions. If the weather’s nice outside, there’s absolutely no need to turn on a building’s heating or cooling system.
- Encourage Green Transport
Wherever possible, you should take steps to encourage green transport. For example, you could send a simple email encouraging carpooling, and attempt to get colleagues who live together to travel together. Similarly, consider installing secure bike storage and an office shower to encourage people to cycle to work.
Overall, it’s actually pretty easy to reduce your office’s environmental footprint. If you’re serious about doing what’s best for the environment, implement the six actions I’ve outlined above and do some research to figure out what else you could or should be doing. You might be surprised just how easy it is to do the right thing for the planet.
And, in many cases, you will likely end up saving some money as well!