In most large corporations any initiatives for going green usually emanate from the top floor, trickle down through the department heads, and are often diluted out of existence before they reach the majority of the company’s staff. In smaller tech companies, where there tends to be more holistic interaction, there are numerous ways in which the employees themselves can directly implement eco-friendly changes that will have an immediate impact on the office environment.
Recycle big time
Setting up a recycling bin in the office is just the start of the process of going green. There should be a general overall reduction in office supplies consumption, with an emphasis placed on reusing as much as possible. For example, paper with just a few lines scribbled on it doesn’t need be thrown away – it can be used as scratch paper, or even for aligning new cartridges in printers and copiers. Additionally, the days when everything in an office had to be new, sparkling, and usually bland are long gone; consider picking up recycled pieces of furniture to make an unusual and interesting focal point in the office.
Cut down on power
There are plenty of gadgets available to help you cut down on energy consumption and allow you to switch things off automatically at the end of the day’s work. Light controllers and intuitive management systems will handle all that for you, and you will see a big and almost immediate drop in your energy bills as a result. Infosys, India’s second largest IT company, has saved $80 million on energy bills in the last six years by redesigning and updating its energy efficiency systems.
Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products is easy, and if you ever end up being in charge of making cleaning arrangements for the office you should choose an eco-friendly company to do the work. They will use non-toxic cleaning substances as well as materials that have been sustainably sourced.
Go for natural ventilation
Heating and cooling systems in an office can account for a big chunk of the energy bills. The pressure here can be eased by opting for natural ventilation and eco-friendly insulation. Sleek and stylish shutters, for example, will not only look good but also cool the office naturally in hot weather while keeping the heat in during winter.
Cut down on printing
The majority of office workers frequently print documents when there is really no need. For example, in most cases the documents needed for a meeting don’t all have to be printed, and this is especially true for a high tech office where the bulk of all work is done online. With all the advances in cloud-based technology, files that would have been printed in days gone by can simply be saved on Google Drive for a presentation. Attendees will also be more impressed by a sleek projected presentation than they would be by old, low-tech paper files.
Implementing an eco-friendly office environment can have its up-front challenges, but it is also great fun, will save you money in the end, and will reduce that all-important carbon footprint. However, it is important to remember that an eco-friendly lifestyle also needs to be encouraged beyond the office. Going green becomes a great deal easier when it is an organic part of your lifestyle rather than an ideology imposed on you from the outside.