Six ways to make your office more sustainable

A few small changes can make a huge difference to your business’ carbon footprint.

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It perhaps goes without saying that, collectively, we need to alter our behaviour towards the environment. And while individual changes are important, businesses have a responsibility to lead by example. Especially as, according to a 2017 report, just 100 companies might be responsible for 71% of global emissions. Here at Point 6 Design, we’ve made a concerted effort to be more sustainable. We’ve made six important (and incredibly easy!) changes that will have a great impact on our emissions. 

So here they are: six easy ways to make your office more sustainable. 

Switch up the stationery

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It’s easy to forget that office stationery is mostly single-use or poorly sourced/recycled. However, just like your business, you should want these products to last. To mitigate the amount of plastic going to landfill from Point 6, we’ve changed out our biros for refillable fountain pens. The move is a popular one, too. Not only will this help lessen our plastic waste, but the pens also look and feel great.

Obviously, not everything in your office stationery cupboard can be made to last – you can only write so many lists per piece of paper! But that’s okay. In these cases, look to companies like The Green Office, which specialise in recycled or recyclable stationery items. Failing all of that, just ask your office stationery supplier if they have a means of providing items which are more sustainable/sustainably sourced.

Change to a renewable energy supplier

Renewable energy is on the rise, with the UK now producing more energy from renewable sources than from coal. In fact, it’s such a success that entire energy companies can operate by selling your business purely renewable or sustainably sourced energy. Bulb, for instance, is an energy company that provides 100% renewable electricity. Its gas is 100% carbon neutral too, offsetting its emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world. It’s commonly known for its customer-friendly approach and simplicity of use. Ideal for the busy office managers who have numerous projects going on. 

Smart lighting and LEDs

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In 2018, 13% of global electricity consumption could be attributed to lighting. However, this can drop to a mere 8% with the use of energy efficient LEDs from companies like Signify (formerly Philips Lighting). What’s more, with the introduction of intelligent lighting systems it’s possible to reduce energy use even further. These sustainable systems give you full control of your lighting, meaning you only use specific lights according to your needs at any given time.

If the notion of paying for a new lighting system seems daunting for your business, Signify offers ‘Light as a Service’. It can install a new LED system for your business with zero down payment. Plus, you’re only charged for what you use.

Go paperless

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According to an article in The Guardian, trees could be the most cost-effective means of mitigating the effects of climate change. But we need to plant a lot of them if we’re to be successful. However, this plan is already on the back foot while deforestation rages on. In fact, if deforestation were a nation, it would rank third behind China and the US for its contribution to emissions. 

So to say it’s important to look after our trees is an understatement. Fortunately, we can cut down on 10% of deforestation by shredding our use of paper. Instead, go paperless and store all of your important documents online. Should you need to print, try and use both sides on each piece. Or try to buy recycled paper where you can.

Encourage working from home

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Our daily commutes are sometimes seen as the worst part of the day. Overcrowded trains, which are often late, simply do not make for a good start to the morning. And with each journey coming with its own ‘carbon debt’, the only sure-fire way to avoid such energy usage is to, well, not take the journey.

Working from home (WFH), or working remotely, has a huge impact. If each of your employees took one day a week from home, your businesses commuting emissions are cut by 20% in one go. Expand this thinking to consider that London’s population fluctuates to more than 10 million people on a given working day and you’re looking at huge emissions savings. 

Of course, finding other sustainable means of commuting is also a reasonable suggestion. Cycling to work is a potential for most people, plus it’s great for your health.

Have clear recycling bins

Recycling is complex. Knowing which items go in which bins can be a minefield. So, if you’re going to encourage recycling – which we highly recommend you do – ensure that all of the instructions are clear. Not only will this help avoid issues and potential fines, it gives your employees the confidentce to make the right choice. 

So there you have it, six easy ways of making your business more environmentally friendly. If you have any ideas yourself, we’d love to hear from you.

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  • 6th January 2020
  • 5 min read
  • Lewis Rolfe
  • Categories

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