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Making sustainable choices at work
Sustainability. The word dropped into use in 1972, but it has only entered everyday discourse in the last 10 or so years. Search ‘sustainability’ on Google and you’ll be greeted with a massive 1.45 billion results. This sheer volume is reflective of the broad nature of the topic and its relevance in today’s society with Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion occupying most of the recent headlines.
Many of us are now increasingly mindful of the environment in the way we live and dress, and the same should apply to our work set-up. In fact, the workplace is often where you can make a real difference. Here are some easy steps you can take to be more sustainable without compromising at work.
Laptops not desktops
The beauty of laptops, other than giving you the flex to be remote, is that they don’t consume constant energy. Ensure they are unplugged over night and put to sleep when you leave your desk to max in on this.
Cut energy consumption by disabling screen savers. They consume constant energy. Allow monitors to dim when you step away from your desk and review the settings to keep at top capacity while exerting low energy. This may seem insignificant but extrapolate to an entire office and these small changes have a profound effect.
Pay attention to what lighting is required, and more importantly, when it’s needed. Make the most of light and airy spaces and reduce lighting during daylight hours. Some desk work may need that bit more, and you can supply LED desk lights to help your staff get through crucial close document reading. Alternatively, you can choose to base your business from workspace like Fora where lights are activated by motion sensors, automatically switching off to preserve energy when not needed.
Make use of digital
Print isn’t the only place to get your reading and inspiration materials. Treat your team to online subscriptions and reap the rewards. Also, go paperless with internal communications as much as you can (use an online hub like Dropbox, or downloadable PDFs to distribute policies, benefits and values).
Upping the recycling ante
And I don’t just mean cardboard, cans etc. You can recycle (separately) coffee pods, printer cartridges and toners too. If your office isn’t following suit, put up signs to guide on what can go in each recycling bin. If you know what recycling X amount could do for the planet, share that information, and reward your staff for contributing.
Disposables are out
Avoid throwaway plastic food and drink utensils and containers. Encourage flasks for hot drinks, provide company branded water bottles and supply cutlery for your staff. Make sure you supply cold drinking water rather than bottled drinks. Residents of Fora each receive a reusable water bottle as standard. Plus, we provide stainless steel cutlery and chilled water taps in all of our locations.
Printing is necessary sometimes, and it’s very challenging to go completely paperless. With that in mind, the idea of print credits or print limits could help you to control the quantity of printing done by each department. If this isn’t going to work, encourage your team to use scrap paper when it comes to printing for their own personal use.
A lot of stationery and kitchen supplies can be purchased as refills. Not only is this cheaper, it means less useless packaging and is a really simple way of making an impact in the office.
Cycle to work schemes
Work initiatives, when done right, can spill into employees’ everyday life too. Incentivise cycling to work by providing employees with a scheme. Fora workspaces are equipped with on-site bike storage and showering facilities, making cycling the natural choice. Get employee buy-in and you’ll encourage mindful lifestyle choices both within and beyond of the office. All the above points are easy to incorporate into the day-to-day, and can make a massive difference to your footprint as a business. Take it one step further, set the team sustainability challenges and get their competitive juices flowing. If you’re looking for a workspace that will help you with your sustainability goals, then Fora is great option. Explore our spaces to see which space could work for you.