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Offices Holding Back Workers From Being Green

By on March 27, 2009 in Office Supplies, Office Workers

While office workers acknowledge the importance of environmentally friendly workplaces and are keen to do their bit, they feel they lack the power and facilities to do so, according to a YouGov poll. Seventy-nine percent of UK office workers believe that being environmentally responsible at work as a big impact on the environment. Despite this, the independent survey commissioned by office products experts Avery found that three-quarters thought that they were less environmentally friendly in the office than at home. The vast majority of office workers – 92% – believe that it is important for UK companies to be environmentally responsible but only half (51%) say their company has a green policy in place and only 54% think their company does enough for the environment. According to the poll, 48% of us don’t have the right office equipment to be environmentally friendly.

Being Green Makes Economic Sense

Although we spend a third of our lives at work, businesses are responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, compared with 27% from the home. However, a lack of empowerment, facilities, education, communication and general apathy are stopping workplaces from being greener. Seventy percent of office waste is recyclable but only 8% makes it to the recycling bin. In the current economic climate a lot of us have put environmental concerns on the back burner. But companies like Avery have stressed an economic rationale for for being green. Xerox suggests that being good to the environment is also good for the bottom line when it comes to printers and printer-related equipment. In short, being green can save businesses money.

Green Tips

  1. Highlight the benefits of recycling to your boss and colleagues:
    • Recycling reduces clutter in the office.
    • Recycling is cost effective and can save money
    • Recycling reduces waste going to landfill, saves energy and helps tackle climate change.
    • Recycling schemes are easy to set up and run. Go to recyclenowpartners.org.uk for guidance and information on waste disposal companies and other organisations offering recycling services.
  2. Return printer cartridges for recycling.
  3. Re-use envelopes by sticking on fresh labels.
  4. Avoid disposible products like Paper cups.
  5. Print on both sides of Paper.
  6. Videoconference where possible to save on travel costs and emissions.
  7. Replace stand-alone devices with multi-function machines. With a multifunction printer you save money on equipment and energy bills.
  8. Adjust printer default settings. For example, use draft mode when possible.
  9. Scan documents for archiving. This saves on Paper use and storage costs.
  10. Use recycled Paper and other recycled products.
  11. Buy some plants for the office. They look nice and can improve air quality in enclosed spaces.

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