Ian Flanagan
Turn Key

Member Article

Top ten tips for a sustainable office

You simply cannot ignore it anymore, sustainability is here to stay. However, making your business ‘green’ can not only help the environment, it can also save you money. With the amount of waste businesses create, making an effort to become sustainable is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Environmentally friendly actions don’t have to be large to have an impact, as it’s the little day-to-day tasks that can add up. By consistently reducing the amount of energy, water and paper, our businesses use you will see a huge difference, both to the environment and to your profits. How much paper would you save over the course of a year for instance, if you always ran double-sided copies? It is just one small, easy way to go green that offers a big result!

Ian Flanagan, Managing Director of leading facilities manager provider RFM Group, offers ten simple ways you can stop wasting energy and money to achieve a greener office.

Plan, plan, plan

So you’ve decided you want to be greener but have you really thought about what you want to achieve? Do you want reduce waste, recycle more or cut energy costs by 10 per cent? Set a list of clear objectives that are achievable and stick to them.

Ramp up your recycling

Recycling is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and make your office greener. Turn lazy staff into lean and green staff, by introducing a centralised binning system placed in accessible, high-traffic areas. Provide clear information about what can and cannot be recycled. Not only will this be great for the environment it will be great for the waistlines too!

Mean machine to green machine

Office equipment can be a huge drain on energy and money. Did you know that a photocopier left on overnight will use enough energy to print 1,500 laser copies? Make sure the last person to leave the office shuts down all printers, faxes and photocopiers.

Switch on to switching off

Don’t just hit the stand-by button, turn it off. According to the Carbon Trust, switching off and unplugging all electrical sockets after leaving the office could save UK businesses £70 million a year in energy costs.

Be bright about light

Using sustainable lighting is environmentally friendly as well as cost efficient. Installing CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs that last longer, auto lights for large floor plates or simply just switching lights off when leaving the room; are just a few ways to reduce companies’ energy waste.

Go paperless

The mass of paper and waste that many companies accumulate on a daily basis is unnecessary. Make a stand and use your company as an example of how green business can be done. Take advantage of the small opportunities to go green – use email rather than post and save files rather than printing them and if you must, then print double sided.

Eco energy

With energy prices soaring, businesses can easily haemorrhage thousands of pounds every single month. Over the next decade renewable energy, in particular offshore wind power, will continue expanding thanks to public and private sector investment. Why not change your energy supplier and receive 100 per cent renewable electricity at competitive rates?

Reward good habits

Just implementing a company wide policy to shut off lights, machinery, and equipment will not encourage people to be more energy efficient. Why not introduce an incentive scheme for staff to prevent idle energy consumption? Offering vouchers to high street stores or ethical gifts at the end of the month is a great way to reward employees and to encourage a behavioural change.

Show off to show others the way

Once you have implemented a strategy to improve your office’s sustainability, you should quickly start to see a return. After all that hard work, why not publish those results and make them available for your clients and customers to see? Each green accreditation you get, whether its Work Wise or Carbon Commitment, will have its own logo; put these on your email footers, website and blog to show people how committed you are.

Ask the experts

Simple advice and steps are easy to and achieve but if you want to make a real difference then why not call in the experts. FM companies can not only manage your building and facilities they can also help you to implement and maintain a sustainability strategy. Let them help you whilst you get on with your own day job.

Find out more at www.rfm-group.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Turn Key .

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