Sustainable Tips for your Workday
Being more sustainable is a worthy and important goal for workspaces and their staffers; yet few know how to implement changes without interrupting their day-to-day lives. To some workplaces, it can seem overwhelming, an expense over an investment. Unfortunately, what these workplaces are failing to see is that a focus on sustainability is a huge advantage for any business. Contemporary consumers care about sustainability, and want to see their favourite brands and businesses care too. Consumers want to interact with brands who act on issues important to them, demonstrating that they value the planet, and the people on it. Consumers and organisations alike expect more from businesses: they expect a sense of social justice, of corporate responsibility to the wider community.
At A1 Office, we want to empower workspaces to adopt cost-effective and sustainable living practices that have the power to increase long-term profitability. We naturally design green workspaces that utilise sustainably sourced materials.
We’ve put together our favourite tips for businesses moving towards becoming a viable, sustainable workplace. Listed below are small steps any workplace can adopt to create a culture of balancing your people, your planet and your profit.
The daily grind just got greener
Let’s face it: coffee is a necessary product in the workplace as no one wants to face their co-workers without their daily caffeine fix! In Australia, coffee is a part of our DNA. Unfortunately, coffee isn’t a sustainable drink and has been known to be grown in countries faced with extreme human rights violations towards workers.
We recommend partnering with sustainably-focused office product suppliers. These suppliers can take care of everything, from toilet paper to fair trade tea and coffee. If you’re looking to further improve your internal sustainability processes and perhaps even save money on energy costs, we recommend Small Mighty CSR.
We also encourage workplaces to invest in high-quality coffee machines or Nespresso makers as it motivates staff to not buy coffee outside of the workplace, resulting in less waste of non-reusable coffee cups. Just keep in mind: you will need to buy eco-friendly Nespresso pods to reduce waste.
It’s 2021 and some workplaces still aren’t getting recycling right! There are many recycling programs available to ensure your workspace has simple recycling solutions to reduce your carbon footprint and help the planet. Recycling is crucial to the future of our planet. At the bare minimum, you should ask your employees to separate their plastic bags and water bottles from regular waste; however, we do encourage businesses to take it a step further and recycle food waste as well. A1 Office often up-cycles unwanted office furniture for clients when creating their new workspace, breathing new life into the old materials, and making them beautiful and useful again. You can also encourage your workplace to bring their lunches in reusable Tupperware or commonly available beeswax wrap to further reduce your business’s impact.
Think first print later
Reducing paper use in the office is a great tip for workplaces looking to both stay profitable and be sustainable. Most printed documents can be shared or read online and sometimes employees need a little push to think before they print.
The first step in reducing paper waste is to find out what your employees print and why. Often staff are printing documents to sign, unaware they can now do an e-signature. We recommend investigating the most commonly-printed documents in your workspace and then finding digital solutions to those issues. You should also create a ‘Paper Policy’ for your sustainable office.
Imagine paying less for utilities
Recently, we were nominated for a sustainability award in relation to our work with Caspak Packaging. Caspak Packaging is a fully self-sufficient building with a 335 panel 134kW solar power station on the roof which drives the company vehicles and forklifts, even extending its power to the energy-efficient internal appliances. Whilst being incredibly sustainable, the solar power system reduces costs of powering vehicles, machinery and their office. In the long-term, this will contribute to huge economic gains.
On a much smaller scale, installing a few solar panels in your office will not only help the environment but will also help to reduce your energy costs for your business. You can lower your power bill by using generated energy, and if more energy is generated than you use, you can supply that surplus power back to the grid in exchange for credits on your next bill to further offset business expenses. Energy-efficient appliances with a good energy star rating can reduce your environmental impact and also reduce your power bill in the long term.
Reduce, reuse, upcycle
Office furniture often goes to waste as businesses upgrade their office decor quite frequently. We highly recommend considering each piece of furniture’s potential before throwing it away. Sometimes a desk or a coffee table just needs a little TLC, and it is as good as new. Otherwise, donate or sell online any furniture in fair condition; dismantle the rest and recycle where possible.
Do your office armchairs or couches no longer look on-trend? Consider having them upholstered with new fabric. In our work with Caspak Packaging, we chose to recycle plastic and turn it into statement furniture for their foyer.
If you must get rid of office pieces we recommend donating them to places in need instead of throwing them away.
Talk to one of our workplace consultants today to discover how you can adopt a more sustainable lifestyle focus for your business.