As 2020 starts to wind down, your business might already be looking at planning and budgeting for the new year. Let’s face it, 2020 has been pretty dreadful for many businesses, and sustainability may as a result take a back seat in the 2021 budget.If you would like your business to operate more sustainably and even save a few costs (who wouldn’t?), take note of the following small changes and initiatives that can be implemented in any office environment on a budget that won’t break the bank.1. Print Less
We preach about this a lot at Green Office because it really can be done! Printing less is one of the easiest ways to save a few bucks in the office through reduced paper and ink procurement. Cutting print volumes also reduces paper waste, thereby diverting waste from landfill. Consider digitalising your documentation and business processes which, depending on your business’s operations, may result in your office going completely paper-free.
2. Recycle More
If you really can’t go without printing in your office, you should at least be recycling your consumables. Paper and even used printer cartridges can be recycled – there is simply no need to send these items to landfill. You may even receive a decent rebate on your recyclables, earning your business a little extra income with minimal effort. As with most things reliant on human behaviour, convenience is the biggest factor in achieving a good recycling rate at the office. Employees will put recyclables in their proper containers if this is made easy for them. Placing recycling containers in convenient locations will reduce the amount of paper waste that is thrown away.
3. Shut Down Devices
Desktop computers and printers use a surprisingly high amount of electricity when in use and even on standby. Additionally, electronic devices have a longer lifespan if they rest (we all need to sleep, don’t we?), so switch your devices to “sleep mode” when not in use, and shut down and unplug them when leaving the office at closing time. You may be amazed at the amount of energy saved, as well as the cost savings on your monthly electricity bill. Additionally, the optimisation of your devices’ lifespan will help to reduce the amount of e-waste your business generates – an added bonus.
4. Ditch the Single-Use Plastics
By now you should all know the bad “rep” as they say, associated with single use plastics. If you haven’t already banned these pollution offenders from your office, now is the time. Promoting reusable products in your office like drinking glasses and/or reusable bottles will reduce waste and the need to constantly purchase supplies. Again, another cost saving.
5. Support Like-Minded Businesses
If sustainability is important for your business, why not work with other businesses who are trying to do the same? Look to support businesses that manufacture recycled paper or use wood from sustainable sources, remanufacture printer cartridges and alike. They are out there! When looking at gearing your procurement processes towards sustainability, ask other businesses how their products are made or what kind of sustainability initiatives they have in place.
Adopting sustainability initiatives within your office environment needn’t be an overly expensive exercise – it just takes a few simple changes and a bit of effort. Who knows where it may lead you?
Looking to become more efficient and sustainable? Green Office can assist in improving your organization’s environmental performance, lowering your organization’s carbon footprint, identify the environmental impacts associated with business operations as well as implement mitigation measures to reduce the business’ environmental impacts.