5 ways to make your office more eco-friendly

When it comes to corporate-social responsibility, many workplaces are leading the charge, adapting sustainable, environmentally-friendly policies. Taking an eco-friendly approach to office management can also help to reduce operational costs – read on for five ideas to get started.
1) Switch to motion-sensing lights
Offices can be a huge drain on electricity – especially if the last person out doesn’t switch off the lights at night. Motion sensors can be one way to get around this issue.

For example, these can be used in common areas, like corridors and kitchens, so that lights aren’t being used when they are not required. Likewise, motion sensors in an office can ensure that power is being consumed only when it is needed – otherwise, lights will simply go off after a period of inactivity.
2) Be smart about computers
Simply ensuring that computers are powered down completely at the end of every day, rather than remaining in standby mode, can be another way to cut down on your electricity bill and be more environmentally aware.

One idea is to create incentives for employees to take eco-friendly matters into their own hands – for example, you could offer monthly prizes or gift cards to those who participate in green schemes, or run a competition for the most eco-friendly desk in the office, making powered-down computers a key requirement in the process.

Likewise, printers, fax machines and other office technology should be switched off and put away when not in use.
3) Use printers and paper sensibly
We’ve all heard the expression about thinking twice before you print – but printing sensibly can be a great way to save a considerable amount of energy, and reduce the environmental impact of paper.

For many offices, going completely paperless is not an option, but there are many opportunities to use paper more wisely. A good rule of thumb could be to try to keep all internal communication paper-free and save printing for external documents like letters, pamphlets and brochures. If and when you do print, switching to recycled paper can reduce your environmental impact.

Another option is to make a move to eco-friendly printing technology – EcoSys is one route to consider.
4) Encourage recycling
Recycling is an important habit to get into – and at work, there are several things  you can do to encourage people to be more mindful about waste.

A good way to start is by simply making recycling options available and clearly visible – adding a recycling station for cans and plastic bottles in the kitchen, for example, or boxes where paper can be recycled next to printers and photocopiers in the office.

You may even want to encourage recycling through the green schemes mentioned above, or switch to water cups made out of recyclable materials rather than plastic or polystyrene.
5) Go green outside the office
To get employees excited and engaged with a new green scheme, it might help to look outside the office. Volunteering a morning or afternoon of work time to plant trees, clean up a public park or plant a garden can foster a greater sense of community, encourage people to work more closely together and benefit the environment too.

You might even want to reward employees who are able to think outside the box when it comes to developing new green initiatives – they could have great ideas that could help your company reduce its carbon footprint and improve its bottom line.