Why Green your office?
We all want to preserve the natural environment and reduce our business carbon footprint, but going Green could even reduce costs to your business, while attracting customers to choose you. There’s other benefits too: creating a more natural environment, reducing the use of harmful chemicals, incorporating natural light and plants into the office may well have a positive effect on staff wellbeing, recruitment, attendance and productivity.
Easy ways to Green any office
- Use recycled paper and eco-friendly office supplies, ordering from a supplier with ethical values. Order in bulk where possible to save delivery trips. At New Leaf we use GreenStat https://www.greenstat.co.uk
- Use as much natural light as possible in your office,
- Switch to renewable energy – install solar panels if you can, or switch to a renewable energy supplier. Don’t waste power – turn off appliances when not in use
- Switch to recycled paper for toilet rolls and kitchen towels, we use Who Gives A Crap https://uk.whogivesacrap.org/ toilet paper it is 100% recycled and 50% of the profits are used to build toilets for people who need them.
- Use less packaging and where you need to use packaging choose recycled and greener options
- Replace single-use items with reusables
- Go digital – use digital filing systems and paperless billing to reduce paper use.
- Use green cleaning products
- When refurbishing your office use environmentally friendly materials.
- Only use licensed and appropriate organisations to dispose of waste (don’t forget that you have legal obligations as a business to lessen your environmental impact too).
- Bring plants to the office. Natural light and plants have obvious wellbeing benefits, Plants remove harmful chemicals from the air and can help reduce carbon dioxide levels. A 2010 study by the new University of Technology, Sydney, found significant benefits to introducing plants to the workspace – reductions in stress, tension and anxiety; even depression. decreased anger and hostility and a reduction in fatigue. Studies suggest they might even increase creativity! If you are working in a small space put in a window box!
Remember to let your current and potential customers know about your Green initiatives, besides encouraging them to choose you it might inspire them to do the same.
You might want to look at whether your employees need to be in the office at all – see this article which suggests the greenest option might be office working in winter and home working in summer.<
How New Leaf have Greened our Office Space – Our Rural Life Design Project
At New Leaf we wanted to increase our offer of services to SMEs and develop a rural mental health service. This gave us the opportunity to not just green our office space, but to build a whole Green office! Our Rural Life Design Project was purpose-built and is hidden on the Quantocks.
It was important to us to build a mental health garden to create a place of wellbeing to work from, so within the design for the office we incorporated a wildlife haven, with pond, bee and bird friendly shrubs, wildflower areas and a newt pond.
We incorporated a Butterfly Garden too https://www.newleaf.uk.com/news/how-to-create-a-butterfly-garden/
and a moon garden for night pollinators https://www.newleaf.uk.com/blog/how-to-create-a-moon-garden/
We started an office vegetable plot https://www.newleaf.uk.com/podcasts/french-fancy-series-2-episode-3/
Obviously it won’t be possible for all businesses to build a whole Green office, but we can all make a start towards making our offices better for the environment and better for us too!
We’re publishing this piece today (May 22nd) because it’s Biodiversity Day 2021. The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for this year is “We’re part of the solution #ForNature”, underscoring that we can all be powerful agents of positive change for people & planet. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. This campaign is truly international in scope and aims to build a robust new global biodiversity framework.
Why not make a commitment to be part of the solution, and register your action through the Action Agenda #ForNature and People? www.cbd.int/actionagenda.
Contact us New Leaf [email protected]