7 Tips for a More Sustainable Office

September 18, 2018 | Commercial Real Estate

Developing a greener or more sustainable office isn’t just good for the environment. It’s also good for business.

In fact, going green helps:

  1. Reduce costs – The number one business benefit of green buildings/offices is lower overheads thanks to wastage cuts.
  2. Attract customers – It’s no secret that consumers want to minimise their own footprint. So, more and more, they are choosing brands that engage in ethical and sustainable practices.
  3. Attract talent – Green businesses often lure the best talent because more and more job seekers prefer to work for a company with values that align with their own. Eco-friendly workplaces also infer that the company cares for its staff members.

What’s more, attitudes towards sustainability are shifting. Green building standards are becoming less of a personal preference and more of a corporate responsibility and market necessity.

More and more companies realise the need to act now. If you’re one of them, here some simple measures that you can take to help reduce your environmental footprint.

Tip 1. Reduce your use of electricity and water

For example, take advantage of natural light as much as you can to reduce your electricity needs, and (if possible) install a solar hot water system and a rainwater tank.

Conduct a spot check of your office to make sure that there are no leaky taps in your kitchen, toilet or shower facilities and invest in aerators to reduce excess water flow.

Tip 2. Recycle

Having recycling bins in your office is a simple way to make your office more environmentally-friendly. Encourage your staff to recycle as much as they can and make sure recycling bins sit in prominent positions (like near or next to your printers).

Providing battery chargers and using rechargeable batteries in your equipment will also help you to reduce waste, as well as save you money in the long run.

Providing real crockery and cutlery for your staff to use in the lunchroom is also a great way to reduce the use of disposable cups, plates and cutlery.

You should also make sure that your office printer cartridges are recycled.

Tip 3. Do not use resources unnecessarily

Paper is a classic example of a resource that is widely overused. It is one of the most significant components of solid waste in landfills and, in NSW alone, we chew through over 700,000 tonnes each year. But, in today’s digital era, how much paper do we actually need?

Most offices could cut back considerably on their paper use, or, at the very least, ensure that they use recycled paper.

If printing is essential, encourage your staff to print double-sided and to avoid printing emails. Another solution is to implement card readers which will reduce your company’s printing pace straight away!

Providing whiteboards and laptops also helps to reduce paper use. And hand dryers or tea towels can be provided to negate the need for paper towels.

 

Tip 4. Buy energy-efficient equipment and supplies

This includes equipment like air conditioners, computers and lunchroom appliances, as well as bulbs for your lights. Remember to look at the energy use ratings before making your purchase decision.

You should also ensure that air conditioners, computers and lights are switched off when they are not being used or necessary.

Tip 5. Make green purchasing decisions

Think about the resources you need to run your business. Are there green alternatives? Also, look at the green credentials of your suppliers. For example, are their products made from recycled materials and do they minimise their environmental impact? Are your cleaners using environmentally-friendly products?

Tip 6. Introduce some plants

Plants help to recycle the air, brighten up the office, and reduce stress and other workplace nasties (like low morale).

Be sure to choose low-maintenance plants that are not a burden to look after, are hard wearing and have a low pollen count. (Check with your employees before introducing plants into the office to ensure none of your staff are prone to allergies.)

Tip 7. Reduce unnecessary staff travel

Consider what you can do about work-related activities outside your office. For example, can you hold a video conference call instead of requiring people who live interstate to fly in to attend a meeting? After all, that’s one of the many benefits of modern technology – it allows work to be done anytime and anywhere.

Choosing to set up your office close to public transport options and installing end-of-trip facilities (like bike racks and showers) can also help reduce your staff’s environmental impact.

How we can help

Want to find out more about leasing a smart building to help your business become greener and more sustainable? Tenant CS is a commercial tenant advisory service that caters to companies across Australia (with a particular focus on Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra), Singapore and the greater Asia-Pacific region.

Info graphic summarising the 7 tips to adopt for a greener office

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