10 top tips for creating a sustainable office

As we all become more and more aware of how important it is to protect the environment, both homes and offices are adapting to become as sustainable as possible. 

It’s no secret that office spaces can be wasteful. It’s estimated that the average employee will produce around 500kg of waste every year in the office. Plus, with the electrical power and energy being used, this can all add up to become quite costly for the environment. 

So, if you want to save money and help the environment, we’ve curated a list of our top 10 tips on how to create a sustainable office that you can easily implement right away.

1. Choose Furniture Made From Sustainable Materials

When it comes to choosing furniture for your office, such as desks, chairs, storage units, and any supplies or accessories, try and make environmentally-friendly choices. These days, plenty of furniture suppliers – including Officeology – and manufacturers produce furniture using sustainable materials and fixtures and with environmentally-friendly processes.

Look out for sustainability certificates such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) when shopping for office furniture. 

2. Go Paperless

For many modern offices, paper isn’t often needed. Instead, everything from sharing documents between co-workers, making meeting notes, and sending company announcements can all be done digitally with tools like document management software. If you’re able to reduce your paper usage or go completely paperless altogether, this will go a long way in becoming more eco-friendly. 

If your business still needs to use paper, such as letters, you can use 100% recycled paper products as an alternative.

3. Choose Energy-Efficient Lighting

Offices typically use a lot of lights, even if they aren’t necessary. You’ll usually find office lights are even switched on all day. Not only is this a waste of resources and contributes to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, but it also racks up your energy bill.

We recommend switching to energy-efficient lighting, such as LEDs, which use up to 80% less energy. Furthermore, occupancy sensor lights can help you save even more as the lights only come on when motion is detected from people in the room.

4. Turn Off Devices

At the end of the day, make sure to turn off all of the computers, printers and photocopiers, coffee machines, and any other electronics, appliances, and equipment that don’t need to be on overnight when everyone has gone home. This will help to reduce your office energy usage and bills.

5. Use Recycled Materials

In your office design, use recycled materials wherever possible. From reclaimed wood for your desks and other furnishings, recycled plastic for supplies, and even sustainable wool for your carpets, there are plenty of options out there to help you create a beautiful and sustainable working space. Some of our own office fit out suppliers use recycled materials so we can help you choose attractive and sustainable options.  

Also, don’t forget to encourage employees to recycle themselves. Recycling is one of the quickest and easiest ways to become a more eco-friendly office space, so ensure there are recycling facilities around the office that are simple to use and find.

6. Ditch the Plastic

Say goodbye to single-use plastics, such as disposable cups, cutlery, and straws, and start using reusable items instead. From stainless steel cutlery and reusable mugs and bottles, you’ll be helping to keep single-use plastic out of landfill. 

Stock your office kitchen with cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and mugs to ensure employees have what they need to avoid wasteful single use items. If you want to go the extra mile, get your own branded reusable bottles to give to every employee as a welcome gift. 

7. Think About the Lifespan of Your Office Equipment

One of the biggest things to consider when it comes to being more sustainable is the lifespan of the products you buy. When you buy some office furniture or equipment, think about how long it should last. A desk chair that was on the cheaper side, for example, will need replacing far quicker than a quality desk chair built to last. Whilst the initial cost for quality, sustainable office furniture may be a bit higher, its lifetime cost and environmental cost will be lower.

8. Install Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems

While it may be a bit of a hassle at first, installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system will make a big difference in the long run. Older systems not only produce higher energy bills but their inefficiency will also negatively impact the environment and contribute to the rise of global warming.

We’d also recommend maximising any natural light and ventilation in your office space as much as possible. Placing desks near windows, using lighter-coloured paint and only using the heating and cooling system when you really need it will all help to save money and reduce your environmental impact.

9. Use Green Cleaning Products

The cleaning products you use for the office could have harmful effects on both the planet and your employees, as many of the standard products are made with harsh chemicals and toxins. We’d suggest replacing these supplies with eco-friendly products or asking your cleaning team to switch to greener products. 

10. Create a Sustainable Office Team

Lastly, create a new team of sustainable advocates within the office. This can be a group of people from different departments who are passionate about the environment and are actively trying to make a change. 

This team can help to educate other staff members on the importance of sustainability, as well as think of new ideas, implement changes and encourage everyone to be more eco-conscious with challenges and incentives. 

All of these changes don’t need to happen overnight. By starting small and picking up a few new sustainable practices, you’ll be doing your part in helping the planet and creating a greener place to work.
If you’re looking for new sustainable office furniture or want to create an effective workspace to comply with environmental initiatives, take a look at our furniture and office fit-out services, and contact our team today to discuss your needs.

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