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
- Establish a project team of 3-5 staff members.
- Agree a realistic target, like increased recycling rates or switching off monitors and lights.
- Get support from management through one-to-one meetings.
- Launch your initiative with a green quiz or fun activity at a staff meeting.
- Put up posters with interesting green facts and tips.
- Ask staff to volunteer as a ‘green ambassador’ for their floor or team.
- Use meetings or a newsletter to regularly update staff.
- Use launch momentum to drive the next action.
- Run green inductions for new staff and volunteers. Offer a green incentive eg cloth bag.
- Extend inductions to existing staff.
Easy ways to cut waste
- Keep bins away from desks.
- Organise a simple recycling system.
- Buy recycled goods such as stationery, toilet paper, etc.
- Replace disposable products with reusable equivalents - eg drinking cups, handtowels, cutlery etc.
- If you can't avoid disposables, recycle them - Save a Cup recycles vending cups.
Think before you print
- Use recycled paper. Paperback sells lots of green office products.
- Set double-sided printing and photocopying as the default.
- Consider whether you need to print every document.
- Put up signs to make people think before they print.
- Reuse paper that's only been used on one side for printing or scrap paper.
- Recycle paper products. Organisations like Paper Round and local authorities can help set up collections.
- Reuse envelopes. Try our envelope reuse labels.
- Set up recycling facilities on each floor.
- Use separate containers for white paper, mixed paper, glass, cans and aluminium foil.
Energy - use less, use renewable
- Switch off lights when you leave rooms and the office.
- Turn off your monitor when you leave your desk.
- Make sure the last person out turns off the photocopier.
- Brainstorm other energy-saving ideas - get some inspiration from Energy Saving Trust.
- Use energy-saving bulbs. Choose more energy efficient appliances - search Sust-it.
- Switch to a green energy supplier like Good Energy.
Consider your travel needs
- Inspire your staff to find the greenest way to work.
- Offer loans for season tickets or bicycles.
- Get memberships to Barclays Cycle Hire for London business trips.
- Provide a shed or other safe place for bikes.
- Review your travel policy and ensure that travel for meetings is low-carbon.
- Use 'green' taxi firms like Green Tomato Cars.
- Encourage travel by train or bus.
- Use video or call conferencing to avoid trips and save money.
- If you need to travel, take the train to Europe instead of flying short haul.
- Heat only as much water as you need for tea and coffee.
- Mark kettles to show how much water is needed per cup.
- Put ‘hippos’ in cisterns to reduce water used in non-dual flush toilets. Thames Water provides these for free.
- Alternatively, fill a plastic bottle and put it in the cistern.
- Opt for dual-flush systems if replacing toilets.
- Replace taps with low-water-flow controls such as spray taps.
- Consider waterless urinals - try Eco-works.
Cut plastic and chemicals
- Consider greener supplies for cleaning products - try Friends of the Earth Shop.
- Order refillable containers wherever possible.
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.