5 Ways to Reduce Your Office Carbon Footprint

Ever wondered how the carbon footprint of a printed letter compares to a boiled kettle? I have, and it turns out a letter can do just as much damage to the environment as two boils of a kettle. Who’d have thought it?

You’ll be glad to hear I haven’t gone as far as testing this myself. Thankfully, a carbon footprint comparison tool came to my rescue. Tools like this provide eye-watering examples of just how easy it is to damage our lovely planet whilst going about our jobs.

The office, given its abundance of tech, materials and volume of occupants, can be a key culprit. We all have to do our bit when it comes to keeping the Earth healthy, and if you’re concerned your office’s carbon footprint is rather larger than it should be, I’ve got 5 brilliant tips for reducing it.

1. Go digital

This one is rather obvious, but we all need reminding occasionally. Before you print anything, ask yourself if you need to. I can guarantee the answer will nearly always be "no." We live in a world where document sharing is incredibly simple and convenient, so make use of wonderful tools like Dropbox.

2. Allow people to work from home

One less person in the office will result in fewer emissions emanating from the building and one less car in the car park. That all adds up over time, and if you make it a regular, acceptable thing, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment and will most likely see a positive upturn in productivity as a nice side effect.

3. Recycle as you would at home

When you enter the office, do you think about recycling in the same way you do at home? Are there different bins for different types of waste?

If you’re shaking your head, it’s time to start recycling as you would at home. Add bins for plastics, metals, glass and food waste and encourage your staff to use them.

4. Turn stuff off

If you’re running a business, there’s a good chance you’ve got a server which needs to be on at all times. That’s fine and is part and parcel of every day life. Everything else, though, can be switched off when it’s time to go home: workstations, monitors, lights - the lot. Similarly, if the photocopier is barely used throughout the day, reach for the plug.

5. Share your green credentials with others

If you share the green workload between two buildings, you’ll reduce the carbon footprint of both, so why not team up with a like-minded company nearby? You could share servers, web hosts or simply keep one printer between the two of you if you’re close enough. Make it a partnership - it’ll work brilliantly for both companies.

Summary

When Apple launches a new product, it spends a great deal of time highlighting its green credentials. This is for two reasons: 1) they know they have a responsibility to protect the planet and, 2) it works marvellously as a marketing tactic by endearing them to customers.

You can do the same. Go green!