Green your workplace

Energy efficiency and sustainable consumption are key to greening your workplace. 

Try our handy tips to reduce the environmental impact of your business.

Set up a Green Action Team

  1. Establish a project team of 3-5 staff members.
  2. Agree a realistic target, like increased recycling rates or switching off monitors and lights.
  3. Get support from management through one-to-one meetings.
  4. Launch your initiative with a green quiz or fun activity at a staff meeting.
  5. Put up posters with interesting green facts and tips.
  6. Ask staff to volunteer as a ‘green ambassador’ for their floor or team. 
  7. Use meetings or a newsletter to regularly update staff.
  8. Use launch momentum to drive the next action.
  9. Run green inductions for new staff and volunteers. Offer a green incentive eg cloth bag.
  10. Extend inductions to existing staff.


Easy ways to cut waste

  1. Keep bins away from desks.
  2. Organise a simple recycling system.
  3. Buy recycled goods such as stationery, toilet paper, etc.
  4. Replace disposable products with reusable equivalents - eg drinking cups, handtowels, cutlery etc.
  5. If you can't avoid disposables, recycle them - Save a Cup recycles vending cups.


Think before you print

  1. Use recycled paper. Paperback sells lots of green office products.
  2. Set double-sided printing and photocopying as the default.
  3. Consider whether you need to print every document.
  4. Put up signs to make people think before they print.
  5. Reuse paper that's only been used on one side for printing or scrap paper.
  6. Recycle paper products. Organisations like Paper Round and local authorities can help set up collections.
  7. Reuse envelopes. Try our envelope reuse labels.
  8. Set up recycling facilities on each floor.
  9. Use separate containers for white paper, mixed paper, glass, cans and aluminium foil.


Energy - use less, use renewable

  1. Switch off lights when you leave rooms and the office.
  2. Turn off your monitor when you leave your desk.
  3. Make sure the last person out turns off the photocopier.
  4. Brainstorm other energy-saving ideas - get some inspiration from Energy Saving Trust.
  5. Use energy-saving bulbs. Choose more energy efficient appliances - search Sust-it.
  6. Switch to a green energy supplier like Good Energy.


Consider your travel needs

  1. Inspire your staff to find the greenest way to work.
  2. Offer loans for season tickets or bicycles.
  3. Get memberships to Barclays Cycle Hire for London business trips.
  4. Provide a shed or other safe place for bikes.
  5. Review your travel policy and ensure that travel for meetings is low-carbon.
  6. Use 'green' taxi firms like Green Tomato Cars.
  7. Encourage travel by train or bus.
  8. Use video or call conferencing to avoid trips and save money.
  9. If you need to travel, take the train to Europe instead of flying short haul.


Save water  

  1. Heat only as much water as you need for tea and coffee.
  2. Mark kettles to show how much water is needed per cup.
  3. Put ‘hippos’ in cisterns to reduce water used in non-dual flush toilets. Thames Water provides these for free. 
  4. Alternatively, fill a plastic bottle and put it in the cistern.
  5. Opt for dual-flush systems if replacing toilets.
  6. Replace taps with low-water-flow controls such as spray taps.
  7. Consider waterless urinals - try Eco-works.

Cut plastic and chemicals

  1. Consider greener supplies for cleaning products - try Friends of the Earth Shop
  2. Order refillable containers wherever possible.

Useful links

Carbon Trust - specialist advice to green your company. 
Envirowise - manage your waste better.
Ethical Property Foundation - sustainable property management.
Global Action Plan - cut your emissions at work.
The Green Desk - everything for the greener office.
Waste Online - information on resource use and waste.

Further reading