Article - Tips for Greening Your Office
At A Local Printer our office has been green for so long it is diffucult to remember that we too were once generating waste and burning up resources. The change from bad to green was very easy - and mostly very obvious!
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
This is what we do at A Local Printer. Obviously some of these actions are unique to our industry, but we include them to get you thinking about extra things you can do which are unique to your sector.
Green Office at A Local Printer
- We do not purchase copier paper. We reuse the make-ready from letterhead printing and print on the reverse!
- We print double sided in the office where possible.
- We switch off lights when they are not needed and on leaving a room.
- Computers and monitors are turned off when not in use.
- Our toner cartridges are recycled. The quality of recycled cartridges has improved - especially if you use a reputable company such as Cartridge World
- Working from home where appropriate saves around 50 litres per week of diesel fuel.
- Car share schemes are in place for staff.
- Spare uncut plain paper is distributed to local schools.
- Our Company Stationery is printed on Recycled Paper and marketing materials including our own full colour Leaflets are printed on recycled or FSC Certified Paper.
- We use Recycled Business Cards and display the FSC 100% recycled logo on the reverse.
- Office waste paper, packaging and shrink wrap is segregated and collected for recycling along with our production waste paper. This alone has halved our landfill waste collections.
- Online selling rather than reliance on a sales force reduces energy and resources consumption dramatically.
- We have one own van for local, consolidated deliveries that are made three times per week.
- The design of our building reduced heating costs by 60% compared to our previous premises - which were half the size!
- Our kettle is of the "fast boil" type and Our tea bags and coffee are from fair trade sources.
- We threw out the cool water machine and are proud to drink Sussex tap water to avoid needless deliveries (some would put this down to the boss being tight).
- We use email where possible to communicate rather than fax or letter.
More Things You can Do
- If you have lots of meetings with staff or customers that involve travelling some distance consider using video conferencing where possible.
- If you use vending machines for hot drinks are the plastic cups necessary? Consider getting your staff to use a mug or cup instead.
- Offer staff incentives to use public transport alongside car sharing schemes.
- Avoid using paper towels where possible.
- Sponsor or support local environmental initiatives.
- Contact you local authority or business enterprise scheme and enquire about local schemes for recycling, re-using and efficiency.
- Fix things that are broken! Leaky taps, faulty electricals (ohh, dangerous!), blocked drains can lead to excessive consumption or create the opportunity for pollution.
- If you have a member of staff who is enthusiastic about green issues consider appointing them as the company "green champion". It is amazing how a bit of enthusiasm helps!
- Use eco friendly cleaning products at work as well as at home.
- Bring in a few plants - they love to absorb indoor pollution.
- Write an Environmental Policy or Mission Statement. You did do that already, right?!
- If you have not got around to doing so have a look at our Environmental Policy Statement to give you some ideas to get started.
- With global warming and CO2 emissions at the top of the agenda it really is time to look at your energy consumption. You will likely save your business money by doing so. The Carbon Trust offers great advice and various schemes to assist you in these matters.
- The Green Electricity Marketplace can assist you in switching to a green electricity supplier business tariff. You might make savings and eliminate the climate change levy from your bill.
Urban Myths - Recycled Paper
- A recent survey by A Local Printer found that 36% of business owners will not consider using recycled paper having decided it is more expensive and of lower quality than conventional paper. Please read our article Recycled Paper - The Facts to dispel this urban myth.
- Are there other pre-conceived ideas you have that might not be correct? Why not spend an hour surfing the net and explore these issues to be sure?
The Green Business Opportunity
- If you think that going green will put you in the red we urge you to reconsider! Being green is now a business opportunity, not a hinderence.
- Many household name blue chip businesses are now grasping the green challenge. Marks and Spencer, Sky, B&Q and many more. Whilst there is still some "greenwash" there is also a lot of genuine direct action being taken.
- One day this will become the norm in business. Have a look at your competitors; are they taking more environmental steps than you?
- If so - it is likely they are stealing a march on you already as more customers are awakened to environmental issues and asking questions of their suppliers.
Convincing the Boss
- Are you reading this thinking "This is great - but I only work here. How do I convince the boss?"
- Appeal to their ego - "Hey boss - I know you have a great business brain so you will be onto this stuff already!"
- And "Think of the money we can save - and the opportunities to increase sales"
- Then - get them to read this article - and any other relevant stuff you can find!
- Good Luck!