The EU’s Green Week (30th May to 3rd June 2016) will be focusing, this year, on ‘investing for a greener future’. One aspect of this theme is greener cities, making them a better place to live and work.
CBS Office Interiors’ Managing Director, Phil Green, gives his five tips on creating a greener office, an investment that can have positive affects for both the company and its employees.
1. Eco-Friendly Design
- Save energy by reducing the number of individual offices in a building and grouping employees into shared spaces.
- Installing a green roof, a layer of plants and vegetation, can help moderate outdoor heat in the summer, while insulating the office in the winter months.
- Plants can help to purify the air and be used as a feature. Top plants include, areca palm, lady palm, rubber plant, English ivy, and peace lily.
- Look for sustainable products and furniture, use low-energy office appliances, and environmentally friendly materials.
2. Energy Efficiency
- Wider windows and light wells can introduce more light into the office environment, and improve the wellbeing of employees.
- Low-e, argon filled windows help to regulate the interior temperature by reacting to the outside weather conditions.
- Smart climate control will ensure that only spaces in use are heated.
- Solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps create green energy and reduce energy costs long term.
3. The Sustainable Office (Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle)
- Setting the office printer to double-sided by default will ensure that paper is used efficiently
- Turning office thermostats down by one degree will save energy and result in lower energy bills.
- Push taps on sinks and dual flush systems in office toilets will reduce water use. Rainwater can also be harvested to be re-used in the office, such as for flushing toilets.
- Encourage employees to open a window or draw down a blind instead of switching on the air con
- Turning computers off overnight and over the weekend.
- Motion sensitive lighting, in areas with no natural light will also impact on your office’s energy usage ensuring that lights are only on when needed.
- Photo sensors detect natural light and adjust artificial lighting accordingly.
Scrap paper can be turned into notepads or used for printing rough copies; and envelopes, jiffy bags and packaging can also be re-used where feasible.
If you are unable to recycle fixtures and fittings in your own office there are many charities and recycling schemes that will take your old office furniture and put it to good use.
4. Buying Green
- Buy green energy - A green energy tariff will reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions.
- Look for environmentally friendly supplies such as stationery, toilet paper and eco-friendly coffee.
5. Green Travel
- Encouraging employees to use other forms of transport can reduce carbon emissions.
- Try bikes for work incentives or car sharing schemes
- Decide whether business flights are essential. A virtual meeting may be as good or if it’s not feasible then maximise that flight by arranging more meetings or visits while in that region.