How to make your office ‘greener’?
We have all seen the effects that Covid-19 has had on the human population across the globe which has been unimaginable, but the effect on the environment has been far from disastrous; in fact it has given our planet a chance to breathe and heal.
The CO2 levels went down by around one billion tonnes worldwide. Full lockdowns have also pushed global electricity down by 20% or more according to scientists. Also, for the first time in almost 30 years you can see the Himalayan peaks from India almost 100 miles away. The ozone layer pretty much repaired itself and wildlife was seen in the Venice canals for the first time in living memory including dolphins, jellyfish and seahorses. Even on our home turf in Brighton, the pier and beaches were sparkling clean and clean waters have been seen on other beaches around the UK. The positive impact on nature and the environment has been amazing, and wildlife has returned to cities and habitats that humans had ruined for them. The big question many are asking is how long can we sustain it and protect our world?
We think it starts with the small things. Little changes that all of us can make, consistently that can make our world a better place. Think of it as like an eco-Kaizen: continuous change for the better.
What we do…
As a business even before the Covid situation we already had this ‘Greener’ approach to our working environment. We are all able to work from home, as each of us have laptops.
Our whole office is paperless, and our database and processes all being cloud based – so no printing out is needed in our office! The only form of paper we use is recycled cards which we send out to our new starters on their start date, and the environmentally friendly recycled paper note pads, although we are exploring electronic note pads to go hardcore paperless.
Our office is in a true zero carbon building and aspires to be the first non-domestic building in the UK to achieve the new ‘Passivhaus Plus’, a rigorous standard for energy efficiency.
Not to mention that pre-lockdown we already had an online video platform where we can set up 1st stage interviews to send to clients – this reduces everyone’s carbon footprint, as well as saving both client and candidate’s time.
What else could we do?
Have a desk plant? Who doesn’t want to look after a cute little peace lily? Indoor plants are known to increase the quality of air inside. We spend so much of the day indoors therefore improving the air inside, the better our health will be. Plus, Prince Charles encourages “talking” and “listening” to plants, so if you’re ever lonely, you’ve got a desk friend to lean on. Don’t blame us if you get weird looks from your colleagues.
Get those window blinds up! Having natural light shining through the windows is proven to increase employee productiveness by 15%. Relying more on natural light when possible also saves energy, so turn those big lights off!
Power down your devices. Turn those plugs off at the wall before you leave for the day. This takes 5 minutes and could cut down that unnecessary expense for your company if your electronics are left on standby mode.
BYORB!!! Bring your own reusable bottle. Bringing your own bottle or coffee mug/thermos flask to work is one of the easiest and healthiest eco-initiatives to bring to the office. BYORB will not only reduce the plastic waste in your office but will also encourage employees to swap out sugary canned drinks for something more hydrating. I’m sure the majority of us could do with shifting some lockdown pounds.
Cycle to work. There are showers and bike racks at the office, and the government has put in loads of extra cycle lanes across cities during lockdown. Healthier for you and the planet (just make sure you wear a helmet and hi-viz clothing).
These are a few things we could change in our everyday working lives to help the environment. Putting these changes in place have a huge impact on our planet long term so why not start and do your bit.
What other little ways can we all help?