Now more than ever there is pressure on businesses of all sizes to take responsibility for their contributions to climate change. Our planet is deteriorating at an alarming rate. Thankfully, it’s not too late to turn things around before the damage is permanent. So, whether you’re a small office or large corporate company, here are 15 simple ways you can make your commercial space greener:
Yes, it’s still at the top of the list. Recycling is truly one of the best ways we can help the environment. Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. This is truly staggering. If every company were to take recycling more seriously, it could make a huge difference. So, implement a strict recycling system with clearly labelled bins, penalise those who don’t cooperate and encourage your employees to do the right thing.
2. Raise awareness for the issues at hand
If your company doesn’t already have a team of enthusiastic people dedicated to keeping the place as eco-friendly as possible, then start one! Create your own environmental mission, with pledges you’re going to make in the coming years to reduce your output. You can also ask your employees to brainstorm ways they think they can be more eco- friendly. Be open to suggestions on how you can implement these changes in the workplace.
3. Bike to work
Start up your own environmentally conscious commute club! This can include a bike to work scheme or even lift sharing in the mornings and after work. Sure, biking to work may be a little more tricky in the winter months, but during the summertime you can certainly get more employees involved. And, if they live further away, then even something as simple as sharing the car journey is better than two or three more cars on the road than necessary.
4. Be smart with your lights
If you’re lucky enough to receive lots of natural light into the office, then make the most of it! Improve energy efficiency in the workplace by switching off the lights when they’re not needed. One easy way of doing this is to install motion-activated lights, so when there’s no one in the office and you’ve all left for the day, there’s never the danger of forgetting to turn off the lights as they will automatically do this for you. You can also install energy-saving lightbulbs, which are capable of using up to 75% less electricity than standard bulbs.
5. Choose green energy
Turn your attention to renewable energy suppliers, there are plenty of them. Finding the right green energy supplier will not only benefit the environment, but it’s also very affordable. With more homes and businesses switching over to a sustainable energy provider it means that the environment is being looked after and air pollution is decreasing as a whole.
6. Become a paperless office
Becoming paperless is potentially one of the easiest green changes a commercial space can make. Depending on the businesses needs and trade may make this possibility differ, but with tablets, apps and online communication, there’s no reason why some business can at the very least reduce the amount of paper the business is using. When using paper cant be avoided, checking the papers origin is another way to stay environmentally conscious, making sure the paper is recycled or trees are planted to replace whats use is a great way to stay green.
7. Avoid leaving electrical items on
It’s amazing how much energy can be saved with a conscious effort to switch electrical items off. Don’t leave computers in rest mode, switch them off, lights, heating and other daily uses can simply be switched off if the office makes the effect to ensure all the staff are doing their part.
8. Reduce your plastic use in the office
Sometimes the use of plastic can’t be avoided, but changing as much off the office as possible to remove single-use plastics can really help. Avoid using plastic cups with the water cooler and ensure all employees are using a reusable cup or bottle.
9. Include plants around the workplace
It can be hard to believe but, have plants in the office isn’t just to make the place look nicer. Plants in the office are known to offer health benefits which include reducing stress, offering cleaner air to breathe and even reduce the level and sickness and absence in the office.
10. Create monthly green challenges
Making all these changes at once in a commercial space can be a lot to take on if employees aren’t used to it. So, creating challenges to achieve, making games out of it and rewarding people for hitting their goals can make all the new ethical changes easier to fit into everyone’s daily routines.
11. Control water usage
Reducing the amount of water the commercial space uses is another way to become greener. Installing taps that limit the amount of water staff can use can help as some people don’t realise how much they waste. If them seems like an excessive step, adding signs above taps can always work as a friendly reminder to not waste water.
12. Buy in Bulk
The first thing that comes to mind when considering buying in bulk is saving money, but it also a good way to be green. Ordering workplace products in smaller quantities means that deliveries along with fuel consumption are more regular. Listing off everything the commercial property is going to need monthly and buying as much as you can make a great difference, more and more clothing retailers are trying to do this to reduce their carbon footprint, and now, more businesses are following suit.
13. Watch the thermostat
Heat consumption in a office can be very excessive at times, one person might be cold and turn the heating up, while another is too warm and opens a window, letting all that energy out. Assessing the office and whether the thermostat can be turned down to save energy might seem like a small change, but combine it with everything else, things are going to get much greener.
14. Utilise power-saving settings and sleep mode
Not all electrical can be switched off at the end of the day, but you can still reduce their output. Machinery and other electricals that can’t simply be switched off may have energy-saving modes that need to be used each time they aren’t in use.
15. Engage with your employees
Let employee’s know this is important to you and the business. Ethically it’s the right way to move and getting your business to do the small part makes a big difference all over the world. Monitoring all the new ideas you implement is the key to keeping your staff engaged and wanting to do their bit. Letting them know they can come to you with new ethical ideas is a great way to let them know you’re interested and want this to be the way the business moves forward.
Saving money and offering a more proactive approach to your business aren’t the only benefits for making these changes. The more other businesses and potential customers see you’re going green the more likely they are to continue to deal with you.