When at home, it’s easy to be environmentally conscious. You’ll probably be a dab hand at putting the right rubbish in the corresponding bin and remembering to switch the lights off when you leave a room. However, with much of our lives spent at work, have you ever considered whether your workspace is doing its bit for the environment?
Although many companies and organisations are slowly moving towards greener operational alternatives, you may be noticing that your business is sorely lacking when it comes to its eco-friendly credentials. Whether it’s the large amount of paper your office is using or the lack of a comprehensive recycling program, your business could be contributing to a wider problem and, with the news taking an increasingly dire tone on the state of the environment, it may be time to make some changes.
If you’re wondering how you might be able to transform your office into an eco-friendly haven, you needn’t completely change your work structure. Luckily, there are a host of ideas you can incorporate into your day to day operations that can drastically improve your workspace.
Before you dive into changing your work environment into a green space, it’s important to consider how making these changes can actually benefit you and reap the benefits. Aside from reducing your carbon footprint, converting to a greener workplace, there are a host of benefits that come with making the change.
When running a business, maintaining a bottom line is a key driver to success. However, if you’re using power-hungry electronics or are wasting huge amounts of paper, you could be spending way more than you would ever need to.
By moving towards a more eco-friendly business model, you can expect to see a visible reduction in outgoings. According to a study carried out by the Carbon Trust in 2010, many business leaders undervalue the true amount an operation could save by incorporating green procedures into the workplace, meaning you could be sitting on substantial savings.
With the public conversation revolving heavily around tackling environmental issues as of late, it’s important for businesses to remember their brand image. These days a company’s environmental credentials can make a or break an operation, meaning it’s important that your customers see you making a concerted effort to do your part.
On the flipside, both customers and government contracts prefer working with businesses that push eco-friendly procedures, possibly leading to new business.
New environmentally friendly practices don’t just affect your clients, they can also have a profound effect on your employee’s morale. A US study found that 75% of workers surveyed would take a pay cut to work in a more eco-friendly office.
Employees feel proud to work for a company that does its part whilst also looking after their well-being, which can also lead to an increase in worker retention.
Now that we have an understanding as to the array of benefits changing your workplace into a greener environment can have, let’s begin to look at some of the easy ways you can make the change.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and it’s something you can quite easily employ in the workplace. If you haven’t already looked into logistical ways you can improve your eco-credentials, it’s likely there a multitude of ways you can make a difference.
You could start by installing a recycling policy for you and your employees and having the correct bin types for different types of waste, adding food waste bags and plastic recycling bins for staff to use.
You could also consider incentivising employees with travel schemes such as the cycle to work scheme. This can help to reduce traffic whilst also encouraging your staff to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Even if you still rely on an operation that uses a lot of paper, it can’t be denied that the world is moving towards paperless. With new innovations like email, the cloud and more powerful computational devices, it’s now easier than ever to switch to a paperless model.
With this in mind, consider looking at ways you can reduce your paper usage by incorporating new tech into your business. This can start off really small, with a switch from paper cups to reusable glasses for the water cooler.
However, you can easily begin moving towards switching to paperless statements by moving to email and reducing the number of printers you have in the office to reduce the temptation to rely on paper-based documents.
Consider energy-efficient electronics
Although moving to a paperless operation is a great way to reduce your waste output, your reliance on electronics will invariably push your electricity use up. Luckily, there are changes you can make, both small and large, which can help rectify this issue.
For starters, consider switching your lightbulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs. Being 80% more efficient than a standard bulb and much longer-lasting, you can expect to see a slight drop in your electricity use.
It can also be a good idea to upgrade your devices to newer, more energy-efficient models. As your electronic devices begin to age, they can start using an increasing amount of power. This can be down to a range of factors, such as outdated hardware being pushed to its limits or it could simply be a case of deterioration. Because of this, updating your hardware to fit your usage can be a great way to reduce those energy bills.
Adding plants to your workplace isn’t just a nice way to decorate your environment; they can also have a genuine benefit to a space’s air quality. Certain plants, such as peace lilies, spider plants and English ivies are great air purifiers, filtering out potentially damaging pollutants in the air including benzene and carbon monoxide.
By adding these plants to your workspace and purifying your air, you could see a potential 15% increase in employee productivity, according to a study carried out by the University of Queensland.
Although the above points can help you significantly reduce your waste output, it’s a fact of life that a business will create at least some rubbish on a day to day basis. Whether its old electronics or paper and cardboard, it’s important that it’s dealt with properly, both for the environment and in order to remain compliant with government waste disposal laws.
With this in mind, working with an eco-conscious waste disposal and management company can be a great way to ensure your waste is put to the best possible use. With some organisations taking a ‘zero to landfill’ approach you can be happy knowing you’re doing your part.
Creating an environmentally friendly workspace doesn’t need to be overly difficult, especially if you’re working with a quality waste management company. Here at Devon Contract Waste, we understand the importance of taking care of our environment and reducing our carbon footprint, which is why we’re proud of our ‘Zero to Landfill’ policy.
Covering all aspects of commercial waste, from paper recycling to electronic device disposal, our team of expert waste management operatives are on hand to ensure that none of your waste is left to sit in landfill, instead, putting it to the best possible use.
If you’d like to learn more about our range of services, visit our website or get in touch with one of our branches throughout Devon and Cornwall.