Going green in the office is not new. Many businesses and serviced office providers have adopted far reaching environmental policies that include everything from recycling to cycling bays to create truly green offices.
Here are our top seven things to look out for that will help your business have a better environmental impact.
Recycling everything in green offices
There is recycling and then there is recycling. In short there is a big difference in what office buildings recycle. Take a moment to look at how the rubbish gets recycled in your current building. Often there will be recycle bins in public areas but in many cases the waste generated in the offices all goes in to one bin. Check to see if the office space has the facility to separate recyclable waste from general waste and food waste.
The ability to split the rubbish in both individual offices and public areas really separates the men from the boys.
The Mayor of London gave the go-ahead for the cycle super highway to cut through London passing along the Embankment and making cycling a whole lot safer for London’s growing army of cyclists.
It’s now easier than ever to cycle with Boris Bike bays (The Santander Cycle Hire Scheme) dotted right across the entire Central London area. This drive to get more people to cycle goes some way to help reduce emissions. Many serviced office business centre’s have introduced cycling bays to help secure valuable bikes. With many costing several thousand pounds, it’s important to make sure they don’t get stolen.
Energy efficient lighting
It’s been widely reported that offices are a huge part of the wasted energy problem. You’ve heard the messages that if each of us turn off a light we help save the planet. Well look around at night to see how many office lights are left on when everyone has gone home.
Office spaces that have movement sensors to turn off lights if the office is empty help save thousands of kilowatts of energy every year. Not only does it help reduce energy waste but it also helps reduce costs.
Air cooling versus air conditioning
How many of us have assumed that air cooling is the same as air conditioning? It’s a common mistake. Air cooling pushes naturally cooled air around an office to maintain a comfortable room temperature of under 21 °C. Unlike air conditioning which uses harmful gases, air cooling uses recycled air and is less harmful to the environment.
Zero landfill from Green Offices
Recycling is now widespread but where does it go. If general waste goes to landfill the impact on the environment is higher than if it’s burnt. Many offices with zero landfill policies are actually selling energy, created by burning the waste, back to the national grid. It’s a win win scenario.
The average ten storey office building can generate enough waste to cover a football pitch every year. That’s a lot of waste. With about 60% of the average waste created by all of us being recycled, there’s still 40% that can’t be. However, what happens with this waste is important. Minimising the impact on the environment is important for all of us.
Using paper is almost unavoidable these days. From printing paper to toilet paper the quantities we use at work are huge. It’s not always possible to use recycled paper especially for printing but office providers can use ethically sourced paper from sustainable sources. Providers like BE Offices have been using ethically sourced paper for a number for years.
Chemicals have gone green
We all know about COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) in the workplace. But chemicals used in areas of offices like toilets are still caustic. Therefore there has been a move towards the use of environmentally friendly chemicals that do not affect the water table and are kinder to the skin. Brands like Clover and Ecover have improved the reliability of these products and gone a long way to dispel the belief that they are not as effective as their less kind cousins.
With so many different ways to help the environment your next office space could seriously raise your businesses green credentials and help your company do it’s “bit” to save the planet.
You can find out more about green offices by talking to one of our property consultants.