Over recent years, it has become more and more common to see businesses highlight the ways in which they are becoming more eco-friendly. There are more advantages to business being eco-friendly then just helping the environment. Indeed, many companies find themselves getting certain tax breaks on goods and equipment, as well as gaining more customers, due to their public image being greatly improved.
The following tips can help your business, like many others, become more eco-friendly. You’ve just got to follow the tips and ensure all your employees do too.
1. Re-use instead of throwing away
Many offices are very guilty of printing out documents they don’t really need and then simply throwing the paper away. Even if you throw the paper into the recycling bin, it is still a great waste. Instead of throwing it, turn it over and use the blank sides as scrap paper.
2. Reduce the amount of energy your office uses
With energy prices continuing to rise, it is not only homeowners who need to take care with how much energy they are using but businesses too. Reducing the amount of energy used and therefore how much is spent is relatively easy. For instance if you just turn down the thermostat in the office by 1°C, your heating bill could be reduced by as much as 10%.
You can also save a lot of energy and money by making sure your employees turn their computers off overnight and over the weekend, instead of leaving them on standby. Air conditioning also costs a lot of money, so you can save this energy by closing your blinds to keep the office cool instead of turning the air con on.
3. Water use
Most people take our water supply for granted but these costs are also rising and becoming ever more valuable. It is therefore important to try and reduce the amount of water being used, and often wasted, at the office. You can do so very quickly so by installing dual flushing toilets and making your taps operate via a push button instead of turning the tap and leaving it running.
4. Reduce the amount of waste ejected from your office
Many of our landfills are getting close to maximum capacity. As a result the government are going to start fining companies who are not making the effort to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
If everyone in your office starting reusing things, such as envelopes and jiffy bags, waste would be greatly cut down. You should also have all printers set to duplex (two-sided) printing by default, as this will ensure both sides of the paper are being used and not wasted.
5. Make sure what you are buying is ‘Green’
You can do a lot for the environment by changing the types of products and services you buy for the general day to day running of the office. For instance:
- Switching your energy tariff to a green energy one. This means you will be using green energy which has been created by renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro power.
- Investing in smarter equipment. For instance, instead of buying separate photocopiers, printers and fax machines, buy machines that are multifunctional. Also, look for the energy efficient label on each item you buy for the office, from the kettle, dishwasher and fridge right through to your computer equipment.
6. Encourage ride sharing and public transport
So many people travel by car to work. Unfortunately, most of the time there is only one person in each car. Imagine if each car was full up instead. Try to set up a car sharing scheme, perhaps providing incentives to get people to really sign up for it.
You should also encourage the use of public transport, perhaps by providing season ticket loans and other incentives to get people to switch from one mode of transport to another. There are plenty of cycle-to-work schemes about now too, so make sure you offer your employees this as well. Not only will you be a more eco-friendly company but you’ll be a healthier one too.
7. Make sure your recycling initiatives are clear
Many companies make the mistake of thinking people will just naturally start to recycle. They won’t. You’ve got to really press the importance of recycling things like paper, plastic, aluminium cans and so on. You can do this by making stand out notices and telling people clearly where each item must go and what the benefits are of recycling.
Laura writes for Jaga. When not blogging about Jaga ventilations systems, she can usually be found trying to clean out hers.