Offices are constantly churning out massive amounts of wasted paper, packaging, and using obscene amounts of electricity and resources. Not only this, but employees often travel miles using fuel to get to and from work, run off a lot of water, and use many products when there. Offices and businesses in the UK are one of the major setbacks when it comes to creating a greener environment, as they are a main contributor to creating waste, and often continue to use many unsuitable resources with no thought.
With the future of our planet in the limelight, and research growing rapidly surrounding more sustainable resources, all eyes are on businesses, in particular offices, to create a more environmentally friendly workplace.
By creating a greener office, you will be lending your helping hand the to the world around us, assisting in the possibility of a more sustainable, healthier and cleaner place for us to live. Not only that, but you will see direct benefits to your business too. For example, your energy bills will be lowered and less waste will be produced.
So, how do you go about creating a greener, more environmentally friendly office environment? Here, we provide you with the top tips for making a positive impact on the world around us.
- Use insulative materials
Your office can be designed specially to reduce the amount of energy you use, for example on heating the building. Insulation can be a great way of maintaining a good temperature in the office without spending a fortune on your heating bills and creating a carbon footprint.
Investing in insulative windows is one of the primary solutions to keeping the room warm. Double or even triple glazing windows with low-E glass are one of the innovative new options for insulative windows. These windows will regulate the temperature of the room, making the best use of the heating or air conditioning when it is used.
Another way to increase insulation in your office is to install insulative doors. Composite doors are one of the best options for insulation, as they combine the qualities of many different materials and have an insulative central layer, whilst still looking like a normal door from the outside.
- Use green building materials
Incorporating green building materials into the design of your office can have a massive impact on the environmentally friendliness of your office, and there is a multitude of options available for every surface.
Coco tiles, leather tiles, cork flooring and bamboo flooring are just some of the greener options for your office environment. They have a natural, earthy feel and look, and what’s more, they are also a very attractive option for the décor.
Green materials for the interior design of your office are also much healthier than other materials, which tend to be made with glue and adhesives which can be dangerous for people with allergies, and contain harmful chemicals.
- Reuse and recycle
Bad waste practices are currently costing the UK around £15 billion a year, and this is one of the most major points in creating a greener office environment. You can have a massive impact on the amount of waste which is created in your office simply by changing the way you throw away rubbish. Before throwing things away, make sure that there is no further use for them. For example, a used piece of paper may be used again to make notes on the back. You can also use both sides of your paper by changing the printer settings on the office computers to print two sided.
It is also important to make sure that the goods you buy for the office, for example, the ink cartridges and other plastic based products, are environmentally and can be recycled. Make sure that you use green company providers. You can also get involved with your local recycling schemes, such as separating rubbish into their allocated recycling bins.
- Reduce your energy
Another way to reduce the amount of waste which is created in your office is to reduce the number of items which are bought in the first place. Instead of asking your staff to order new items every time, encourage them to buy refills instead.
You can also reduce the amount of equipment you have plugged in using electricity by getting staff to share printers, photocopiers and other IT equipment.
- Save water
Using a large amount of water is another thing we tend to take for granted in the UK, and much of it is wasted. Encourage your staff to save water every time they turn the tap on. For example, when making a round of drinks, staff only need boil as much water as is needed for the round. It is also possible to install a water saving flush option on the toilets which will save both money and water. In fact, it is possible to save up to five litres of water per flush when changing to this option.
- Reduce electricity usage
Offices are largely focused on computer work, electrical devices such as printers and more often than not, employees even have more than one screen turned on at a time. The lights in a building are also on constantly for five days a week, doors are often automatic, and kitchen items such as the kettle and microwave are also being used one after the other.
Make small changes to where electricity is being used and you will see major differences in your bills. For example, switch off unused plugs, encourage staff to turn off their monitors and electrical items when they are not being used, and switch lights off where they are not really needed or are not being used, for example in meeting rooms, the kitchen and in areas of the office which are empty.
- Cut unnecessary travel costs
Many employees travel a long distance in cars to get to and from work, and these daily journeys use fuel and cause pollution. Try to encourage your staff to think about other options for how they could get to and from work, for example, car sharing and using public transport.
It is also a good idea to offer an incentive for anyone who does decide to go ahead with these ideas. For example, you could offer a seasonal train ticket to anyone who uses that mode of transport. This will encourage more staff to use more environmentally friendly methods of transport to get to and from work.
If you need any help in designing your office to be more environmentally friendly, contact us at Manor Interiors and we will be able to advise you on how you can reduce your carbon footprint as well as cut down your costs.