By Kayla Matthews
Environmental friendliness is increasingly popular topic, and more and more businesses and consumers are coming to value sustainability and green practices. Business that want be eco-friendlier can use sustainable policies and practices to reduce waste and make their offices greener — and they can reap some major benefits for doing so.
Below, we’ll cover some of the main advantages of going green, and how you can make your office space eco-friendlier and more sustainable.
Why Go Green?
Going green can secure offices a few different benefits. Businesses money by reducing waste and trimming operation costs. Implementing office sustainability initiatives — like programs that reduce waste or the amount of energy your office uses — can help office managers spend less on keeping the lights on and the office heated.
Buildings with eco-friendly certifications, like the ENERGY STAR certification, are more likely to find tenants and go for higher prices on the market and are generally seen as more valuable than less sustainable buildings.
Going green can benefit your employees’ health — green cleaning products are less likely to contain chemicals that are irritating or harmful to the health of your employees.
A green office space could also be a huge boon if you want to advertise your brand as being sustainable or eco-friendly.
Customers, especially those from younger generations, prefer to shop at businesses that align with their values — and more and more often, those values include sustainability and consideration for the environment. These customers want to feel like they are making a positive change in the world with their purchases and habits. As a result, sustainability sells — customers are willing to pay a premium for products from brands with eco-friendly images.
The biggest benefit of going green, however, is itself — with green policies, you’ll be reducing your office’s carbon footprint, creating less waste and helping to preserve the environment.
How Your Office Can Go Green
Going green isn’t the result of one policy change — instead, it will take a combination of many smaller tweaks and policy changes that come together to reduce waste and encourage sustainability.
An office can become greener by swapping out less efficient equipment for newer or more green models. For any given piece of office equipment, there’s likely a green alternative — desktops can be traded for more energy-efficient laptops, traditional light bulbs can be replaced with LED light bulbs and so on.
Smart thermostats and office temperature systems can intelligently manage the heating and cooling of your office in a way that will reduce energy use. For example, these systems can detect the parts of the office that are currently occupied and only heat or cool those areas, or automatically shutting off the temperature control when no one is in the building.
Smart power strips can intelligently put devices into sleep mode or shut down all devices when a main device is turned off. These power strips can be good for powering office computers at desks or cubicles, as most other devices can be safely powered down for the day once the computer is shut down.
Outfitting your office with products and materials designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly can help you reduce your office’s consumption of water and energy. You may also be able to ditch some products altogether — going paperless can significantly reduce both office waste and resources needed.
You can also provide training for employees on how they can help the office become more sustainable. For example, if your office is part of a recycling program, you may need to train your employees about special recycling procedures — like how plastic containers that held food need to be rinsed out before being recycled.
Greening the Office
More and more offices are going green, taking advantage of new technology and products to help reduce office waste and resource consumption.
When it comes to making an office green, businesses have a range of strategies to choose from — including adopting energy-efficient equipment, smart technology or switching to more sustainable products.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.