In an ordinary day job people spend at least an hour stuck in traffic. They turn on the lights to get to the office, though it is bright enough; throw away a lot of desktop sticky notes that remind them of urgent tasks, keep their computers on while they eat, print dozens of files only to never use them, etc. If only we all knew the impact that our actions have on the environment! Some companies have already become aware of the need to protect the natural environment, and have taken steps aimed at reducing the consumption of transport, paper and energy in the offices.
The traffic, especially in big cities, is a serious problem that does not only make people late for their meetings. As the owner of your business, you should encourage your employees to use less polluting alternatives. The first thing you should do is to make sure the office is in a place accessible by public transport. Another option is to add racks for employees to put their bikes on, or even offer financial incentives for employees to share the car.
Today, technology allows us to perform tasks that make paper waste practically unnecessary. So, why not save trees and reduce your office costs by eliminating paper as much as you possibly can? You can place a large board or set up a website to give official statements, or use emails instead of handing out copies, scan important documents to have a backup, use digital tools to organize your tasks, etc.
Eliminate energy ‘vampires’
Ask your employees to turn off their computers when they are eating or are simply away from them. They can also adjust the brightness of each screen at a medium level. Install a timer in evenings and at the weekends to turn off any device and encourage your employees to turn off lights and computers when they stop using them. On the other hand, change your traditional bulbs with energy saving light bulbs, since you can save up to 40 percent energy. Also, as your lights would then emit less heat during the spring and summer, you will have less need for air conditioning.
Establish a policy for prints
Create rigorous regulations for printouts. For example, acquire only recycled paper, ask your employees to make prints on both sides, make all your payments online and see that your bills and statements are digital.
Place containers in the office to collect paper with purpose of recycling. It also encourages your employees to reuse the paper - they can use it for reminders, instead of buying blocks and blocks of post-it notes.
Replace copiers or conventional printers with multifunction devices that allow you to do all these tasks: copying, printing, scanning and faxing. This way, you save the energy consumed by all these devices separately. Do not throw the empty ink cartridges. Some companies save empty toner cartridges in order to recycle them or have them remanufactured.
Consider the Home Office
More and more companies implement this action, which is to allow employees to work from home. One of its main benefits is that it eliminates travel time from home to the office, allowing workers to take advantage of their time and reduce environmental pollution.
Try to make sure that your office has open and airy spaces and sufficient windows for natural light. Some companies have even chosen to redesign their spaces to harness the sun rays, thereby reducing power consumption.
With sustainable development, any business can grow without depletion of natural resources. Using renewable resources has to become a way of life instead of just an option, since people are already using a lot of non-renewable resources in their everyday lives. This will not only provide financial security, but will help to save the planet as well.