9 Simple Steps Towards A More Sustainable Workplace

Recently the urge for more sustainability in the workplace has increased. The concept is not something unfamiliar despite recently gaining momentum. The 3 key pillars are environmental protection, social and economic development. These are more commonly know planet, people and profit. In terms of what sustainability is or looks like in a ideal world is no longer something that is necessarily as clear as it may seem. In modern day terms, it is quite broad and originally referred to use of natural, renewable resources. Personally I feel that the reason for this is because it is evolving but the core focus is to reduce negative human impact on the environment.

3 Key Benefits (Businesses)

·         “Green” work spaces experience significant improvement in cognitive scores – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health / Syracuse University Centre of Excellence / SUNY Upstate Medical School, 2015.

·         An improvement in indoor air quality (due to lower concentrations of CO2 and better ventilation) has been linked to at least 7% improvement in employee performance –Park and Yoon, 2011.

·         Studies suggest employees prefer to work in companies with sustainability credentials.

Bring A Desk Plant

The right plants in your indoor environment will help improve not only the air quality but also your general mood (not to mention, brighten up the office).

“Plants produce more oxygen, offsetting any chemicals released into the air by new office furniture and making a cleaner, happier space for your people to work in,” – Rebecca Galloway, communications manager at information design studio FFunction

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Encourage green commuting

Encouraging employees to lower commuting emissions can be done really easily by offering incentives to do so. Whether this is by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transit to the office.

Additionally a work-from-home policy can also reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Many offices do this through ensuring all team meetings and business reviews are done at the beginning and end of the week. This allows for them to be undertaken remotely. The average person in Britain has a work commute of about 58 minutes. With technology on the rise for conferencing, reducing commuting saves the company budget, but it also reduces Scope 3 emissions.

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Utilise natural light

The World Green Building Council reports that employees working near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. A huge impact natural light has is on the body’s circadian rhythm. This controls awakening, falling asleep, synthesizing vitamin D and digestion.

Having censored lighting can also support with this not to mention switching to a green energy supplier.

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Go paper-free

It goes without saying that the greenest paper is no paper at all. This opinion has also been shared by Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist at Adobe. Corrections, revisions, and updates on printed documents contribute to 90% of all office waste in the US, and remaining 10% is taking up space in storage facilities, he said.

According to Conserve-Energy-Future.com one office employee consumes 10,000 sheets of paper every year. Approximately, 500 sheets per ream or 4 boxes of sheets valued £10 per box. More than three-quarters of the 10,000 sheets end in the waste stream.

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Decrease the Brightness on Your Computer Monitor

This is a really simple way to save energy which most people won’t even notice once they’ve done it. Reducing your computer monitor’s brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of energy that the monitor uses.

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Turn Off Your Computer Monitor at Night

Since we are discussing the computer monitor, here a bonus energy saver. Not everyone is able to use sleep mode or power down but there is an alternative. When you leave the office for the day why not turn off your computer monitor to save energy.

Buy Eco-friendly and Responsibly Sourced Coffee

Coffee is the world’s second most tradable commodity after oil and now a multibillion pound global growing industry. But the environmental impact of coffee is significant so switching to responsibly sourced coffee can make a significant difference. If you want suggestions then Grind London, Union and Cafe Direct may be an option. You can check these out on my Amazon Storefront.

Photo by Preston Goff on Unsplash

Use Water Conservation Devices in the Restroom

Big opportunities to save water are in the restroom. For instance, a lot of people have had success installing simple “Tank Banks”. It automatically saves about 1 gallon of water per flush. Not to mention that it’s simple and is maintenance free.

Some office restrooms have traditional faucets which can have a sensor that automatically turns off the flow of water and could help as well. The installation shouldn’t require a plumber either.

Photo by Steven Ungermann on Unsplash

Switch Air Fresheners For Charcoal Deodorizer Bags

These all natural air fresheners can be used to eliminate odours (a bag of coffee beans can be used to neutralise). Each bag can last for up to 2 years not to mention they are 100% biodegradable. This could make a massive impact to some businesses airfresher bill.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

These tips are a great starting point which are really easy to implement. But it doesn’t stop there as there’s so many more businesses and individuals can do.


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