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How to Make your Company Greener

With all the recent talks about the Paris Climate Agreement over the last few weeks; we thought it would be a good time to talk about what you and your company can do in order to make the world a greener place.

Green living isn't just a trend, it's here to stay, and can have positive effects on working conditions for employers and employees. According to The World Green Building Council:

Employees in green-certified buildings saw the following benefits:
  • 73% higher crisis response scores;
  • 44% higher applied activity level scores, which reflect ability to gear decision-making toward overall goals;
  • 38% higher focused activity level scores, which reflect capacity to pay attention to tasks at hand; and
  • 31% higher strategy scores

So as you can see, it really can help to have a green workplace (not to mention some of the potential savings you could save too). But how do you make it greener?

Try a new commute

If you work in a city then getting stuck in traffic can be a nightmare, so why not try cycling to work if you live close enough. This is a great way to cut down emissions and promote a healthy lifestyle. But if you don't live close enough and have a longer commute, you can still look at car sharing which helps to reduce the number of vehicles causing the traffic in the first place and can often mean shared fuel costs. It's a win-win situation.

Use Green materials around the office

We don't mean hanging green fabric from the walls, don't worry about that; we mean using and reusing. Look at using biodegradable soap and cleaners, having recycled paper as the norm. Also try buying items in bulk in order to reduce shipping and packaging waste. Also don't forget to recycle what you can.

Have a green lunch

Don't just focus on what you eat, but what you're eating out of. Eating out of reusable containers means less litter and less landfill waste, so why not give it a go? Also try and avoid paper plates and disposable kitchenware that can't be recycled, by having reusable plates and cutlery you're also helping your budget, not just the environment.

Unplug at the end of the day

This may seem like common sense and has been talked about since the beginning of the computer age but most people still don't realise that even equipment in standby mode still uses power, albeit a small amount. So make sure you switch off and unplug when you're going to be away from the office for a while. This may also help with your electricity bill too, so it's worth a go.

Save Paper

Most businesses these days are able to be completely paperless with transactions taking place online and even filling out tax forms and sending them to HMRC. But if there are some aspects in which you still need paper then there are some things you can do to cut down on use.

  • Use the entire page, not just half, not just one side. By using the entire page you are cutting down on the amount that you will be using. There are circumstances where this won't be possible, such as when sending letters to clients. But if you're using the paper for making notes then use all of the paper.
  • When setting up documents that will be printed, set up narrow margins so that you can fit more words to the page and cut down on the number of pages used. This may not make much of a difference but you may notice it in the long-run.

Be sustainable

This is all about reducing the wastage of natural materials by maintaining and managing them in a way that prolongs their useful life or even avoid exhausting them. If you manage your own building, why not look at installing solar panels in order to cut down on grid usage?

Read more about sustainability for small businesses

Introduce Greenery

Having green plants in the office can improve the sense of wellbeing as well as productivity within the workforce. But also it can improve the air quality and therefore overall health of the workforce.

There have been countless studies carried out that confirm having a green workplace is as good for employees as it is for the environment, so why not take a look at other ways you can improve on this idea. Remember, it's not just big business that can make a difference, even individuals can.

We'd love to hear how you ensure your office is being 'green'. Tweet us your ideas - @CompanyWizard

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