Businesses can significantly impact the environment, from energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to waste generation and resource overuse. How a business conducts its operations can have far-reaching consequences for the planet. In this article, we have attempted to create a list of helpful and simple actions that can make your office more environmentally friendly. If you are considering an office interior fit out then it is a wonderful opportunity to take into account some of the suggestions below.

Conduct an Assessment as How to Make Your Office Environmentally Friendly

Environmental protection is crucial for the survival of our planet, including our species, therefore should be of concern to all businesses and individuals.

To make your office more environmentally friendly, assess its current environmental impact first. An environmental assessment can examine the business’s energy use, water consumption, waste generation, and any other factors contributing to environmental harm. The assessment will point to the actions that can be taken to reduce the impact of the business on the environment.

Actions to Make Your Office Environmentally Friendly

1. Recycle Station

The amount and type of waste generated by the office’s daily operation can have a significant impact on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 43% of the waste in Ireland comes from commercial and public service sources. Many businesses have added a recycling station as part of an office interior fit out. However, the EPA report points out that a large part of the waste still ends up in landfills, with most plastic burnt instead of recycled. A lot of people are still not sure of exactly what type of waste goes into each recycling bin and can end up contaminating the entire contents of the recycling bin.

It is very important to provide proper information thereby creating awareness in the office of the benefits of recycling. Some companies, with the involvement of the staff, are developing recycling projects that help people better understand their roles and obligations when it comes to recycling materials.

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2. Minimise Paper Usage

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Office Paper is one of the most used materials in businesses. However, it is also one of the most wasteful and harmful to the environment. Here are some ways businesses can save on paper usage:

  • Print Preview: even when it is absolutely necessary to print a document, we can decrease the number of pages used. Ensure you have the page set up the best way, maximising the use of blank spaces and printing front and back whenever possible.

  • Electronic correspondence: use e-mails and other message services to communicate. Many businesses include a footnote promoting mindful printing.
  • Digitize Documents and Applications: The number of private industries and government bodies accepting applications and document submission online is increasing, this has reduced considerably the amount of paper used.
  • Recycle Paper: Ensure all paper suitable for recycling is placed in the correct bin. Dirty papers such as napkins, and blue roll used for cleaning are example of materials that cannot be recycled.
  • Paper bag: Some industries have entirely eliminated the use of paper bags, supermarkets for example. Lately, the fashion industry is following suit and asking customers if the need a paper bag. We can contribute by carrying reusable bags when shopping for any kind of products.
  • Extra packaging: Some brands have decided to removed unnecessary packaging and decrease the size of labels.
  • Physical catalogue or pamphlets: Using technological meaning to deliver this material and also prioritising online advertising platforms have a great impact on the environment.

3. Use Technology

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The development of technology helps to prevent environmental impact in a lot of ways, but it also has its downside. The size of the operations and the nature of the raw materials used to produce these devices can create waste and destroy the natural environment. However, on balance and if well planned and executed, technology is a great tool in helping save our planet.

We can implement simple actions, such as using electronic devices to view documents and availing of platforms to communicate online, thereby decreasing the need for people to attend meetings physically.

4. Smart Office Interiors Fit Out

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The culture of the business will determine the levels of technology adopted, but a smart office interiors fit out will contribute to its use in practice.

Multimedia stations offer a perfect set up for video conferences without compromising on space. In an open-plan environment, the use of acoustic pods is increasing, which has the benefit of reducing lighting costs while allowing a space for people requiring privacy or a quiet space for conference calls.

Depending on the office layout, glass partitions can help by creating separate environments and are a great option that provides privacy yet does not interrupt the flow of light to a room. Glass partitions will also guard against draughts and cold air entering a room and create a warm and cosy ambience.

Small changes such the positioning of the heating or even the colour of the walls and furniture can also generate this warmth and help to reduce the level of heating required.

5. Energy Consumption

One of the most effective ways to make your office environmentally friendly is to reduce its energy consumption. This can be done through simple measures such as turning off lights and equipment when they are not in use and implementing energy-saving policies such as telecommuting and flexible work hours.

Plan your office interiors fit out using energy-efficient lighting and appliances, such as motion sensors for the lights and equipment with automatic stand-by mode.

6. Office supplies

reusable office supplies

It is not just only due to the efforts of the business and staff that adopt better environmental practices as listed above, but it is also important to carefully select the actual materials used within the business that will help it to achieve its target for a greener outcome. For example, we would suggest the use of reusable cutlery in the canteen that will reduce the amount of plastic waste.

Some businesses use their greener credentials as a marketing opportunity, such as giving staff water bottles or reusable cups (with the company logo) to be used at the office coffee station.  It helps the environment and promotes the business brand when the staff carries the cups in public. It has been known that some businesses create a campaign on social media built around what the business is doing to benefit the environment.

Conclusion on how to make your office environmentally friendly

In conclusion, you can take steps to make your office environmentally friendly by assessing its current situation, reducing energy consumption, implementing waste reduction programs, using sustainable materials, adopting green transportation practices, and engaging in sustainable sourcing.

By taking these actions, businesses can contribute to a more sustainable future for the planet while also improving their bottom line through cost savings and increased efficiency.

Is your business adopting any other measures to minimise the environmental impact? Share with us through our social media and help to promote a cleaner environment.