The Green Office: Steps for an Eco-Friendly Office

by securedatamgt | 21 Feb 2014

Green office outside

In the past few decades the green office has become a more realistic goal, as technology has progressed and environmentally friendly procedures have become more accessible for offices. Today, every office has to comply with environmental laws, but many offices are going further and using their own initiative to create a more environmentally friendly workspace.

Despite this, Envirowise (a government funded environmental group) discovered that one third of offices made no effort last year to reduce their resources and stated that UK businesses are losing £15 billion a year on office waste. The group campaigned on the streets of London in 2008, carrying a giant bin wrapped in office paper naming the event ‘One Bin Day’.

Many organisations will claim to be a green office just because they recycle once in a while but in this day and age there are such a number of ways to go above and beyond this standard requirement. Not only does becoming eco-friendly help sustain the planet; it will also impress any potential client in this increasingly environment conscious world. It could be the extra effort of becoming a green office that makes you stand out from competitors.

To learn more about how you can save money and office space check out our blog post: how to create more office storage space

10 Tips for Going Green

Here are some basic tips to help an office become more environmentally friendly green office on a day to day basis without spending a penny.

  1. Use social media for communication to reduce faxing.
  2. Don’t print out emails unless necessary.
  3. Recycle your envelopes and cardboard packaging.
  4. Merge outside orders to cut down on delivery fuel.
  5. Encourage the use of public transport/bikes to work.
  6. Set your printer to double side printing.
  7. Turn off computers and lights.
  8. Keep your heating thermostat low and avoid using air conditioning.
  9. Separate recycling bins for paper and plastic.
  10. Avoid using disposable cups.

Paper: The Green Office Dilemma

For any office paper will be undoubtedly the greatest waste product. The fact that 80.6 million tonnes of printing/writing paper goes into the UK waste flow annually (24% of total waste) alone should push offices to become more paper conscious. Fortunately, cutting down on paper waste in the digital age has become easier than ever.

Scan Documents

Transferring paper into digital copies is the smartest way of cutting down paper waste.

High volume scanning has become an easy venture for companies with the help of record management facilities who are able to digitalise and store your documents for you. Digital documents can be stored onto hard drives and shared online with employees and so the need for multiple hard copies is reduced.

A Paper Policy

Reducing enough paper in the office to make a difference requires every individual to be committed to the same aim. By creating a policy concerning your paper usage you can eliminate any grey areas when it comes to the handling of paper in the work place, but mutual consensus amongst colleagues is required.

Paper Disposal

Despite using desktop publishing to edit and create documents, printers are still a mundane feature of every office and so an eco-friendly disposal plan for paper is necessary.

Recycling paper is obviously the best place to start when it comes to disposing paper, as producing paper from recycled paper uses up to 55% less energy and cuts associated air pollution by 95%. Most paper products can be recycled and so it should be in the interest of every office to have recycling bins (preferably made of recycled material). Offices should also have waste paper trays, a scrap piece of paper can be re used for note paper.

However, there are some pieces of paper that require more than just a recycling bin when being dispose. Any paper that contains confidential information should be shredded in order to prevent any information being leaked. With the average office worker printing 28 pieces of paper a day, shredding high volumes of confidential paper can be time consuming.

Outsourcing your paper to be shredded at a record management facility can guarantee that your company’s confidential information is being securely destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner. At Secure Data MGT, we provide offices with free 55 litre shredding bins made from 75% recycled material, and 100% of materials shredded will be recycled.

Managing a green office that is more environmentally friendly is a greater reality than ever with today’s progressing technology and environment initiatives, and with the helping hand of a record management company going green has never been easier.