Office sustainability is a concept that is still not always implemented properly. While companies understand the need for sustainability, many still don’t adopt practices that encourage it.
For example, in the US the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually. The statistic is rather surprising since companies continue to implement digital processes, but cannot escape the need for paper.
The increase in digital trends has made conservation and office sustainability achievable. However, it is up to business executives to take the proper measures. Technology is becoming friendlier to the environment, with new features offering sustainable options from printing to computer usage.
How to Improve Office Sustainability
From deploying the right technology to establishing processes that lead to a reduction in their carbon footprint, there are many things businesses can do to improve office sustainability. These processes reduce waste and improve the bottom line.
1. Promote a Paperless Office
A paperless office doesn’t mean completely ridding the office of paper. That might simply never happen. But reducing paper consumption is one of the best ways to create a sustainable office. Think of all the processes that require paper, and imagine ways to automate those processes digitally.
There are some important steps you can take in this direction today. For instance, you can scan important documents and put them on a shared drive. This gives easy, instant access to files to all employees. Important files can be encrypted so not everyone can access them.
This may be difficult if you have an entire warehouse full of documents, but you may not need to scan everything all at once. Some organizations adopt paperless archival moving forward and then only retroactively scan documents if they touch current processes.
In either case, this will reduce the need for physical file storage. Printing may never go obsolete but through this process, the need for constant paper consumption will shrink.
2. Cultivate a Company Culture That Encourages Recycling
Office recycling initiatives can be incredibly useful. For example, if we accept that offices will never go completely paperless, we can establish rules for recycling used paper. Recycle bins should be placed around the office so paper and plastic can be disposed of responsibly.
But it doesn’t stop with paper and plastic. Technology can also be recycled. For example, toner cartridges can also be recycled.
Spent cartridges end up in landfills where they pollute the environment. The plastic in the cartridge takes hundreds of years to decompose. However, printer cartridge recycling prevents them from ending up in landfills, and also allow them to be remanufactured and reused.
Which leads to another aspect of recycling culture – remanufacturing. Businesses can save money and help the environment by using remanufactured printer cartridges. They are lower in cost and eliminate the emission of harmful gases that occur from creating new cartridges.
3. Promote Carpooling
Employees of an organization can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling. The HR department can make a carpool schedule after discussing it with employees.
Employees just need to be informed of the benefits of carpooling from reducing the carbon footprint to the reduced cost of traveling together. Employees pooled in one car can share the cost of fuel, which will end up saving each of them tons at the end of the month.
4. Deploy New Technology
The technology used inside the office contributes significantly to energy consumption and cost. Using the right technology can reduce both consumption and cost. Simply choosing technology with the Energy Star label will help, as these devices minimize energy consumption.
Another way to save energy is to use laptops over desktops. Laptops consume less energy than desktops. They don’t require to be plugged in at all time when in use. Plus, employees can take laptops home and work from away from the office when required.
5. Make the Office Green
Literally making the office green can lead to a more sustainable office. There are numerous plants that help improve the air quality by absorbing toxins; this includes spider plants, golden pathos, and gerbera daisies.
These plants also help to control indoor temperature and humidity. This means that you don’t have to rely on energy-draining air conditioners as much. Decorate the space with such plants to establish a positive and toxin-free environment. Having plants in the office may even help employees concentrate and reduce stress.
Office Sustainability Can Start Today
Starting sustainability initiatives at the office can seem like a huge task. Start with smaller, more manageable initiatives such as making the office green, promoting recycling habits, and gradually work towards bigger ones like reducing paper usage.
Making your employees aware of the positive impact of office sustainability initiatives is a great way to getting them involved. Employee’s involvement is vital in making the office more sustainable.
If your office needs help deploying next-generation sustainable technology, our experts are ready to help. Contact us today to find out how!