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Five ways to become a greener office

Do you work in an office? Is it as environmentally friendly as it could be?

Have a quick look around…

Are lights left on when not needed? Is your air-conditioning running when an open window would provide all the cool air that’s needed? Do colleagues print sensibly, turn off their PCs when they’re away from their desks, and do they recycle as much as they could? Do taps get left running or bathroom leaks take an age to get spotted and fixed?

Being an environmentally friendly workplace is no longer just about complying with legislation. As we live in an increasingly environmentally conscious world, more and more people are paying attention to the actions they take, including the businesses and brands they choose to buy from… and work for, for that matter.

Making your office greener isn’t just about winning over new customers and attracting the best staff though – as good as those reasons are.

Reducing your resource use is great for your bottom line too. In fact, Business Energy Scotland advisers typically find that Scottish SMEs can easily slash 24% off their energy costs by taking actions to be more resource efficient.

If you think your office could be greener, here are five things you can start doing today to make a difference…


1. Use the power of your people

There are lots of ways that your office could become greener, such as upgrading your lighting, insulating or installing a modern heating and cooling system. However, these upgrades often require significant financial investment.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend money to have a big impact. One of the most effective ways to become a greener office is to simply motivate staff to adopt more resource efficient behaviours in the first place.

Your employees are in the best position to identify inefficient behaviours and put forward new ideas. And by engaging your staff, they can make decisions based not only on profit, but also on what is practical and achievable – making them feel valued and creating a happier workplace at the same time.

You might want to consider running fun reward schemes and competitions to really boost motivation levels.

We have lots of free materials, posters and stickers that can help you motivate your staff. You’ll find them in our staff engagement toolkit which also gives you step-by-step actions you can start implementing today.


2. Build a team

Creating a team of passionate and dedicated people in your office is a great way to accelerate your progress to becoming a greener office.

Your green team can include people from different areas of your office to ensure each area has a leader to identify opportunities, motivate their colleagues and feedback on results.

A fantastic example of an organisation using green teams well is Edinburgh Leisure, which has saved £41k thanks to staff engagement.


3. Learn from others

We are pretty certain that there are lots of ways that your office can save money by becoming more resource efficient. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

They say that seeing is believing… so why not take a quick look on the Green Network for Businesses and find out what others have already achieved.

Seeing what others have done, and how much they have saved, is a great way to build confidence in your resource efficiency plans and to get that all-to-important management support.

Having the opportunity to find out how other people went about making their improvements and the lessons they learned is a fantastic way to fast track your projects and maximise your success too.

Most businesses on the network will have an office of some description but these office-based projects on the Green Network for Businesses will be of particular interest.


4. Get in control of your office’s heating controls

A lot of businesses waste energy, and money, by heating their office when there is no one there – either in the morning before anyone arrives, but more commonly, at night when everyone has left for the day.

Setting correct timer controls will ensure that your heating system switches on early enough in the morning to provide the desired temperature for staff when they arrive – without switching on too early and wasting energy.

Correct timer controls will also mean that your system switches off at a time that will ensure desired temperatures are maintained long enough, without heating your premises after everyone has left.

This comprehensive template will help you to recalibrate your controls to achieve maximum results at minimal cost.


5. Get our new green office guide and find big savings

If you want your office to be greener and would like more to learn about more actions you can take that will have the best and biggest impact, check out our new green office guide.

It will quickly show you how you can run a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable office. And don’t forget, you can get in touch with our team of experienced advisors by emailing or calling 0808 808 2268 – they would be delighted to help you.


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