Running an office can be expensive but it is not just money that is sometimes wasted in a badly run establishment, but also energy. Keeping an eye on carbon footprints is something that everyone should do, for the good of their balance sheet and the good of the planet; there are many ways to do this, from the Green Deal to ditching staples. Some savings can be quite substantial, others small but if everyone does their best, the cumulative savings can be very worthwhile.
Get a Green Deal audit
An experienced Green Deal inspector can pinpoint ways in which you can save energy and there may be areas that you can improve, using a Green Deal loan which is repayable through energy bills, saving on capital expenditure. Even if there are no immediate opportunities to save in the major ways – although there usually are, especially if explored at the point of an office refurbishment – the audit alone will help you to assess waste and how it can be minimised.
This is somewhere that all the staff can get involved. Most things used in an office have a greener alternative. Some things can cost a little more but others offer great savings. For example, refilling ink cartridges saves a lot of money and is also a great way of preventing all those thousands of empty ones going to landfill.
Staples may seem like a tiny part of everyday office life that doesn’t need dispensing with – one staple can’t do any harm, right? Wrong! One staple soon becomes many and anyone who has ever received a delivery of the office staple order knows how heavy they are in bulk! Staplers that squeeze the corners together are not suitable for every office – in that case, use paperclips that are reusable.
This may need a little more co-operation from staff because the washing up rota is often a huge bone of contention. However, stopping the use of disposable paper cups, paper towels and sachets of instant coffee and going back to mugs, glasses, tea towels and refillable jars makes a very sizeable dent in office costs and also the impact on the environment.
The same goes for buying notepads – if you recycle anyway (and hopefully you do) why not slice paper up into sticky-note or note pad size and use the blank side. Then recycle it. This needs to be used with care – don’t do this if you routinely shred for security reasons.
Downgrade the dress code
Many offices are strict in what staff can wear and end up using a lot of energy throughout the year to keep them warm or cool. Office designs nowadays often include a lot of ducting for air conditioning, double glazing for warmth and a lot of complex placing of furniture to allow for very sophisticated heat and cooling options. By letting staff wear clothes appropriate to the weather – still neat and tidy, of course – there are major savings to be made.
Article by Rebecca Kilburn, freelance copywriter specialising in property related information. She sometimes writes for Fraser Projects.