Top Tips for eco-conscious businesses and employees

With the majority of us spending over 35 hours a week in the workplace, it's important to be conscious of how our actions can affect the environment. Many things can be done, on a scale that’s both big and small, to help your office become an environmentally friendly space.

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Top 10 Eco-friendly tips for business owners

1

Conduct an energy audit

Find out exactly how much energy your business is currently using by conducting an audit. Take regular meter readings to keep track of your usage and identify areas that require improvement.

2

Keep the heat in

Reduce heat lost from your office by installing effective insulation and using draft excluders to prevent pesky cold air from lowering temperatures. Add radiator reflectors around the building, they're a cheap but effective way of increasing efficiency by preventing heat escaping into walls.

3

Go solar

Think about installing solar panels to generate free, sustainable energy for your office. They might seem costly at first, but over time solar panels guarantee to cut down costs. Your office may be suited to other renewable energy sources as well.

4

Assess the energy-efficiency of your tech

Computers are, for most businesses, the main tool for productivity. With technology advancing daily, it's not just the software that's improving. Newer models are known for being much more energy-efficient -this goes for appliances like kettles, fridges and even boilers. Made sure you look for models with 'eco-modes' and encourage staff to use them. It's important to remind employees to shut down and unplug their tech at the end of the day too.

5

Take control of office lighting

Install light sensors around the office to reduce the amount of electricity consumed, and don't forget to add sensors to hallways and stairwells too. Make the most of natural light by repositioning desks closer to windows and installing skylights when possible.

6

Switch to LEDs

LEDs are known for being the most energy-efficient way to light an office and, on average, save around £7.50 per bulb per year. They are more expensive than halogen bulbs, but with a lifespan of up to 30 years your business will soon benefit from the investment.

7

Provide sufficient recycling facilities

Ensure recycling is easy for staff. Provide recycling bins in kitchens and next to desks and printers. Add informative posters around the office so people know what they can recycle.

8

Buy recycled paper and office supplies

With recyclable paper and sustainable, non-toxic stationary readily available, it's easy to make the switch. Paper can be recycled up to five times too, so remind your staff to put it back into the recycling bin.

9

Promote green culture

Make the environment a business-wide concern by encouraging your staff to become eco-conscious. Create a 'green team' and encourage them to regularly make improvements around the office. Add motivational signs to remind your staff to switch off lights, recycle and think about their environmental impact.

10

Reward eco-friendly staff

Take time to create schemes that reward staff who take great care of the environment. For example, reduce the carbon footprint of your employees by encouraging car-pooling and providing incentives such as reduced parking rates or a regular prize-draw.

Download our free eco pack

Whether you want to make big changes or start out small, our top 10 tips will help both businesses and staff operate in a greener, more efficient manner. If you want to put our tips into action in your workplace, why not download our eco pack? We've created handy checklists and posters for you to print out and share around the office (just remember to use recycled paper!).

Top 10 Eco-friendly tips for employees

1

Reduce your paper usage

The average employee uses around 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Go digital wherever you can to reduce waste, expand margins on documents to get the most onto one sheet and print double-sided when necessary.

2

Close windows when using air-conditioning

We all know offices can get stuffy in the summer, but it's important not to open windows when the air-conditioning is on. The cool air will escape, meaning all the energy that has been used to create it will, quite literally, go out of the window.

3

Only boil a necessary amount of water

Think about how many times you and your fellow colleagues make a cup of tea during the day… it's a lot, right? Every single time, a kettle has to be boiled. More water means more energy is consumed, so don't fill the kettle to the top if you're only making a drink for yourself.

4

Ditch the screensaver

If you currently use a screensaver, go to your computer's settings and remove it. Screensavers waste energy, and there are much better options available. If you're going to be away from your desk for five minutes or more, put your computer into sleep mode or, even better, hibernate mode instead.

5

Avoid leaving tech on standby

Your monitor might be switched off, but the little red light that indicates standby mode is still draining energy. One computer might not use up much energy on standby, but combine an entire office of appliances and multiply it by the number of working days and you'll have quite a substantial bill.

Before you leave the office for the day, make sure you switch off your tech at the source.

6

Create an environmental team

Find members who are enthusiastic about transforming the company into a greener space and get together to create an environmental impact team. Meet regularly, assess what more needs to be done and even organise green events for the entire office to spread eco-conscious cheer.

7

Embrace video conferencing

Go digital when you can and conduct meetings over video chat using services such like Skype or Zoom. Of course, some face-to-face meetings are vital but don't travel for the sake of it. Reduce your carbon footprint when you do by car-sharing too.

8

Eat a 'green' lunch

Choose to make your lunch from organic, locally produced foods and store in a reusable container. This cuts down on food miles and reduces waste. If you have any leftovers, why not start a compost bin at work? You could even suggest having a communal vegetable patch so you can grow your own lunch!

9

Walk, cycle or carpool to work

If your commute isn't too far, ditch the bus or car and walk or cycle to work. Not only will you be cutting down your carbon footprint, you'll start to feel healthier too. If you must drive, get together with colleagues and share one car to cut down your total carbon emissions as well as petrol costs.

10

Reuse and recycle

Last, but certainly not least, reuse wherever you can and recycle when possible. If you don't have recycling bins in your office, start an appeal for them! They're particularly effective placed next to desks alongside regular bins.

Scrap paper is great for notes and don't forget that office stationary, ink cartridges and even old, unwanted computer accessories can be recycled too.

Download our free eco pack

Whether you want to make big changes or start out small, our top 10 tips will help both businesses and staff operate in a greener, more efficient manner. If you want to put our tips into action in your workplace, why not download our eco pack? We've created handy checklists and posters for you to print out and share around the office (just remember to use recycled paper!).