When it comes to becoming more environmentally friendly, every little helps. We have come up with some tips, tricks and products to make your office more eco friendly. Aside from the obvious benefits going green has on the environment, making your business environmentally friendly can save you money, improve your SKA rating and even increase staff retention rates.
The benefits of a sustainable office
Being more sustainable in the office not only benefits the environment and can also improve mental health and wellbeing in the office. This blog post by Earth911 talks about how making conscious changes to be environmentally friendly can have a positive impact on mental and physical health. For example, walking to walk helps the environment, your physical health and wellbeing.
Recycle your old furniture
The idea of furniture made from valuable resources from millions of offices around the globe makes us wince. That’s why we’ve decided to do something about it and start our own recycling scheme where we incentivise our customers to recycle furniture that is past its best. Read all about how and why we do it here.
Ditch the bins!
Under the desk individual bins as we all know, aren’t great for recycling. One office design trend that we have seen increase in popularity recently, is ditching the bins altogether and replacing them with a bank of attractive recycling bins at the end of the desk. Beyond waste management and better recycling, this also encourages people to take micro-breaks as they stand up to use them. This helps the user to take essential eye breaks from the screen and prevents them from sitting still all day.
Reduce paper usage
“In the UK, we use over 9.9 million tonnes of paper each year. It takes 24 trees to make one tonne of paper.”- Recyclingbins.co.uk
If possible, go paperless, if not reduce the amount of paper you’re using. Here are some ways you can use less paper at work:
- Takes your meeting notes on your phone/laptop/tablet instead of on a notepad.
- If you need to print things out, print on both sides instead of one.
- Only print out documents that you need a physical copy of.
- If you print on documents so you can proofread them, try proofreading on your computer instead and use Grammarly to help find all the mistakes your eyes could be skimming over.
- Try more sustainable paper options
Turn everything off
When you leave the office at the end of the day, make sure to turn off lights, heating and electronics. A simple thing light turning off lights help to reduce carbon emission.
Read more about how turning off lights can help the planet.
Environmentally friendly furniture
Do you know where your furniture comes from? Our suppliers are dedicated to their green messages and are based right here in the UK and still using handmade techniques that eliminate a lot of waste.
If you’re looking for sustainable office furniture, we recommend you have a look at Flokk. Flokk prioritises sustainability when making furniture. They consider these five things making and designing products:
- Low weight products: building better products with fewer resources
- Fewer components: Makes manufacture and assembly easier. Smarter solutions for the user
- Right choice of materials: Use recyled or recycable materials and avoid hazardous ones.
- Long life furniture: Furniture that’s built to last a long time
- Design for disassembly: Products can be repaired, reused and recycled.
It would be hard to make everything sustainable in the office but one thing you can do is focus on one product in your office and find a sustainable version. For example office chairs, there are many comfortable sustainable office chairs out there that you will appreciate as much as the planet will. Here are some of our favourite sustainable office chairs available on our online shop:
Living walls and office plants
Anyone that follows us on social media will probably be well aware of our love of office greenery and living walls. There are oodles of benefits for introducing plants into the office including filtering the air from airborne office pollutants, increasing productivity, and let’s face it, looking lovely! Our projects team at Love your workspace put together their favourite office plants for productivity here
Switch to 100% renewable energy
We run our offices off 100% renewable energy and you can too! We switched our energy provider to Bulb which not only saved us some pennies but also means that our renewable electricity energy comes from solar, wind and hydro. We don’t use gas, but we’re pleased to see that their gas is 100% carbon neutral. Get £50 off your first bill by switching here.
Go open plan
love your workspace spoke about the benefits and pitfalls of open-plan offices in one of their latest blog posts. If designed just right, with careful planning, design and input from your team, they can be fantastic work environments. Working without walls also has the benefit of capitalizing on the available natural light. Beyond saving you money on your electricity bill and lightbulb stock, a recent study has revealed that exposure to natural light can even improve your work performance.
Working right next to the beach has made us great fans of cycling to work (although our research has concluded, not on rainy days with a strong south-westerly wind). As well as keeping your staff fighting fit, this can also make for a cost-effective commute with more companies taking part in the cycle to work schemes, where you can save money on a bike and gradually pay for a new bike through your salary.
Alternatively, you can reduce your commute completely by adopting telecommuting and flexible working practices. Working flexibly can be mutually beneficial for staff with hefty commutes or childcare commitments in particular. If you do decide to adopt these practices, make sure you check out the ergonomic essentials for home working.
We are always trying to encourage people to get outside and get some fresh air during their breaks. If you find it hard to prise people away from their screens, why not organise some outdoor events! We have seen some excellent examples of our clients organising summer sports day (complete with obligatory Pimms) and trips away to explore the Alps – we’re looking at you Propellernet!
Most importantly, It can also be a good way to start doing something good for the environment. You can soak up the sunshine by joining a big beach cleanup walk or starting a tree planting scheme like Brighton based pedal-powered stationary company W.Straker.
If you live in Brighton or the surrounding area, here are some events you might like to take part in…