6 Tips for a “Greener” Office and Workplace

6 Tips for a “Greener” Office and Workplace

With environmental awareness on the rise, most business owners are looking for a more eco-friendly approach to waste management. Consumers are increasingly seeking out companies that keep the environment in mind in all of their practices. A majority say they would rather shop eco-friendly businesses than those not making it a priority.

A greener workplace and office has many benefits, from raising worker morale to enhancing brand goodwill and image to actually boosting profits. The following are some tips for cultivating a greener workplace:

1. Go Paperless

As much as possible, strive to keep your business practices “paperless.” In our current digital age, this will be easier to do than ever before. Use cloud commuting to allow for easy document editing and file sharing without the need to reprint them every time.

Some other paperless office practices include:

  • Store documents digitally and print them only when absolutely necessary.
  • Contracts can be signed on touch-screen tablets.
  • Use warm air, hand dryers in rest rooms instead of paper towels.

2. Buy Green-Minded Materials and Products

Take the time to research the source and production process for all of the supplies and materials you purchase regularly for your business to ensure that they are made in a sustainable fashion. Buying local is always more eco-friendly than having products shipped great distances.

Other factors to consider:

  • Are the products and their manufacturing processes free of toxic and ozone-depleting substances?
  • Are they made from easily renewable resources and materials?
  • Can they be recycled?
  • Are they repairable (not disposable or “throw away”?)

3. Encourage Carpooling and Mass Transit

A majority of commuters still take their personal vehicles to work, and many drive alone. Encourage and organize carpooling groups at work, and consider paying for (or contributing to) workers using mass transit options such as the bus or train.

4. Allow Telecommuting

Technological advances are allowing people to work from home more easily and without any lapse in quality. Establishing guidelines and deadlines can help to ensure productivity and worker success. The worker will make a smaller carbon footprint, and you’ll save on resources at the office.

5. Eco-Friendly Break Room Tips

  • Forego those single serving pod coffee makers and make large batches that can be kept in a vacuum sealed pitcher.
  • Buy bulk condiments instead of single-serve.
  • Encourage workers to bring their own coffee cups and glass or hard plastic refillable water bottles instead of providing them with plastic bottles of water and/or Styrofoam or paper cups.
  • Provide clearly marked recycling bins and remind workers about compliance.

6. Update to Eco-Friendly Components

When the lease on your current office equipment and appliances is up, upgrade to the most eco-friendly options available. When it’s time to buy new models of any business component or electronic device, recycle the old ones instead of discarding them.

Many older model electronic devices work just fine or can be refurbished to provide years of use. When remodeling your workplace, insist on eco-friendly building materials and practices.

One of the most important components of business waste management today is minimizing it as much as possible. These six tips can help with making your workplace more eco-friendly and doing your part in creating a better environment.

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