It's time to stop printing

Ok, first off, let’s pull back on the drama here. In truth, your office isn’t actually destroying the planet, but there will be a number of things taking place under your very nose which, when combined with millions of other businesses’ practices, are doing great harm to planet Earth.

The good news is you can make some relatively simple and low-cost changes to reduce your office’s carbon footprint.

Here’s 5 you almost certainly won’t have considered:

1. You’re still printing stuff out

The figures which depict the rate of deforestation are pretty frightening. And that’s surprising, given how many times we’ve all been warned against the dangers of using too much paper. Yet, we still do it.

Printing out emails is perhaps the most bizarre culprit (I can guarantee you have at least one person in your office who does that), but a reluctance to invest in new tech can create just as much needless paperwork.

The speed with which affordable tablets have flooded the market has finally made them a viable alternative to notebooks and printed minute agendas. By supplying staff with low-cost Android or Windows tablets and encouraging them to use their device during meetings instead of printing the supporting material makes a huge difference not only to the planet, but to your bottom line. Paper isn’t cheap, and nor is printer toner.

2. You’re still sending Christmas cards

Bah, humbug! Christmas is a time for giving, certainly, but if you’re still sending traditional Christmas cards to all of your suppliers, customers and partners, you’re doing more harm than good.

The differences between ecards and physical cards are compelling, not just from an environmental standpoint, but also when it comes to the time savings, cost and measurability made available when you go digital.

3. Everyone is using their own car

For some people, the idea of car sharing is rather unpalatable, but this planet-saving technique is becoming widely adopted in the world of business with some cities even creating car sharing lanes for those business travellers who are willing to partner up for the journey to the office.

If you’ve got 50 employees, there’s a good chance you’ve go 50 cars parked outside the office. Imagine halving that. It may sound entirely unachievable, but combine car sharing with government-backed initiatives like Bike2Work, and the number of emissions your employees pump out each day will be reduced significantly.

4. You’re not recycling

Multiple waste bins are something we’re used to at home, but step into the office and it’s easy to forget your recycling duties if you’ve still got that single bin sitting behind your desk.

Companies throughout the world are now implementing full recycling regimes with clearly labelled bins placed throughout their offices and shop floors. You should do the same. Speak to the local authority to see how they can support you.

5. You could be friendlier with your neighbours

If you work in an office park, there’s a very good chance that you’ll have a business or two nearby with whom you could share certain elements of your infrastructure.

Servers, telephone systems and meeting rooms all add to the emissions your company is pumping into the air, so if you can share one of something between two companies, you’ll instantly lower your carbon footprint.

Conclusion

When we step into the office, we all have strict focuses and limited time to get things done. It is therefore no wonder that our environmental responsibilities can fall down the pecking order somewhat. So, if you’re not doing any of the above at the moment, it’s time to get green!

Image credit