How To Make An Eco-Friendly Office Space For You And Your Team
Every one of us has a responsibility to do better for the environment.
We share this planet with over 7.8 billion other people, and we all have some impact on the state of the environment around us in varying degrees. As a business owner, you will naturally have more of a direct impact on the environment than many others, and so that understandably makes you somewhat more responsible for doing whatever you can to make the world a better place.
Office spaces are notorious for being harmful to the environment in some way, especially when it comes to power usage and waste. Here are some ways that you can redesign your office to make it much more eco-friendly.
Go Paperless Or Reduce Paper Use
The first step you should consider is cutting down on paper usage. This isn’t always possible for companies that rely very heavily on printed documents and paperwork, but it’s possible to make the switch in many cases. Moving to a more digital system, or even one solely digital, will naturally help reduce your carbon footprint significantly. This can take some time, so don’t expect things to progress to a paperless system overnight, and you’ll also have to worry about getting your employees used to whichever new system you implement.
This can be especially difficult for employees who have worked with you for many years using the current system, and you’ll likely see some pushback. When it comes to switching to digital systems, you’ll want to ensure that you have the correct training methods in place so that you can be certain every employee, regardless of their skill level when it comes to tech, will have a good understanding of the new system. It’s worthwhile ensuring you have a qualified and respected trainer that can go through the new system with everyone and work one-to-one with those who may be struggling.
Choose A Renewable Energy Supplier
Where you get your energy from is also important when it comes to becoming more eco-friendly. You can get your supply from many different energy providers, and some are more eco-conscious than others. Companies that make use of fossil fuels, burning them to produce energy and letting those emissions into the atmosphere are understandably not eco-friendly. However, not everyone is going to have access to an environmentally friendly energy supplier like those that harness the power of wind, water, or solar. However, some fossil fuel energy providers strive to make themselves carbon neutral.
They will undertake certain green initiatives that offset their carbon emissions, making up for the amount of pollution they cause. At least, that is the aim. Do your research before choosing an energy supplier to find the one with the best track record possible by looking at the types of green initiatives they’re involved in as well as how much pollution they’re responsible for. There are many green initiatives out there, including replanting trees and ocean cleanups, but if possible, your first choice should be a company that doesn’t use fossil fuels. As well as this, you’ll want to choose energy-efficient appliances and devices and replace any light bulbs you have with modern, energy-efficient options.
Provide Electric Company Cars And Charging Spots
One of the perks many businesses offer to their customers is the company car, in which employees will be provided with a vehicle for both business and personal usage. Alongside this, they could get certain other bonuses, such as reimbursement for fuel costs on the percentage that may have been used for work purposes. When it comes to the environment, cars are understandably a big factor in pollution due to their carbon emissions. Over the years, cars have had upgrades to reduce those emissions in the form of things like catalytic converters, and even fuel has been improved to produce less carbon pollution in the form of diesel fuels over petroleum. However, electric cars are still considered the way forward for our eco-friendly automotive needs, so offering electric cars as part of that plan is important if you want to tackle this.
Of course, the downside for electric cars is that they’ll require regular charging to remain operational, which can take a little while. This also requires an understanding of how to charge them effectively, and you can check out how here. When it comes to exterior office design, you’ll want to add enough charging points in your parking lot for your employees to ensure they’ll be able to charge their cars while at the office.
Enforce Recycling Procedures In The Office
Over the past few decades, many of us have been relatively strict when it comes to separating our recycling, but many others often let those efforts fall by the wayside. In an office space, this is much more likely to happen as many employees may think that it’s not their responsibility when they’re at work. This is why it’s important for you as an employer to enforce proper recycling procedures for your staff. Educating your team and providing them with an easy and understandable method for recycling is very important.
There are countless situations where someone can’t even be bothered to walk a few extra feet to throw their recyclable materials in the correct bin, and this is why even things like the placement of those bins are important. It may even be worth hiring a member of your team to manage the recycling aspect of your business, overseeing the recycling efforts of others, as well as emptying bins, for example. Recycling doesn’t have a huge impact from an individual perspective, which is why many will let it slide now and again, but if we’re all letting it slide as a collective, that’s when the damage can be done. In contrast, working together to ensure we’re all recycling properly will have a large and positive impact.
Donate Old Equipment When Possible
It’s not uncommon for a business to have to replace its devices and equipment to benefit from more advanced iterations. Camera equipment, for example, is often becoming more advanced, and so are computers and other digital devices. While it might be more eco-friendly to use these items until they are obsolete, this just isn’t always feasible. If you do end up switching to newer equipment, you should aim to recycle those old devices where possible, sell them, or even donate them to others. Not only will a donation prevent the item from being wasted, but you could help out a smaller business or independent professional, helping them to significantly progress their business or career.
Throwing those old devices away, on the other hand, will present several different problems, too. You’re essentially throwing money away as you could have simply sold those devices if you weren’t going to donate them. Of course, when it comes to broken devices and IT equipment that aren’t able to be fixed, it’s very important to recycle them properly. Many appliances and devices can contain some very harmful chemicals, both to the environment and people. This is why recycling, donating or selling that equipment is instead the better choice when it comes to being environmentally friendly.