Green offices

From quirky offices to additional policies: how businesses are going green with green offices

Today we are very lucky to have a guest blogger on our webiste. Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course. 

Many businesses are switching to sustainable practices in response to concerns over climate change and the consequences on our environment. In fact, the State of Green Business Report 2018 found that 60% of global companies are proactively investing in strategies to reduce their environmental impacts. Not only does this lower harmful emissions, but it can also save businesses substantial amounts of money on their energy expenses. What’s more, going green has become an effective way to attract eco-conscious customers by demonstrating support for a sustainable future. With this in mind, here are the top ways that modern businesses are going green:

Switch to renewable energy sources

One simple way to instantly reduce the carbon footprint of your business is by switching to renewable energy. The burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas releases huge amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Whereas, renewable energy comes from green energy sources like wind and solar, and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy is becoming an attractive option for many businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact and save money on energy. A recent survey by The Economist found that more than a third of UK businesses are now generating some of their own energy from renewable energy sources. The most popular type of renewable energy is solar, as companies can have solar panels installed on the roof of their business premises quickly with the help of a professional installer. Once the initial installation fees have been paid off, businesses have access to a free, clean energy source for anywhere up to 40 years, which is the potential lifespan of solar panels according to experts at The Renewable Energy Hub.

Sign up to Science Based Targets

One key action that organisations can take is to set science-based targets (SBTs). These are environmental targets that are set in line with the global targets, making them more robust and meaningful and in line with climate science. The current SBTs have been set in line with the 1.5°C target as of early 2019. This is a global movement, designed to future-proof companies and limit catastrophic climate change as far as possible. At present, over 500 organisations are taken science-based climate action, we are proud that we are one of these organisations. 

Switch to digital processes

Most companies use paper as part of their daily operations and business tasks. If your business is largely paper-based, then you will be wasting a lot of paper unnecessarily. This is because most documentation can now be prepared and sent online, rather than printed and posted. This includes items like letters, contracts, and other communications. Try to switch to digital processes wherever possible. This will reduce office waste and should also save you money in the long-run. Saving documents online using technology like the cloud, is also far more secure than keeping sensitive information stored in physical filing cabinets in your business premises. If it is necessary to print, then always try and buy recycled paper and make sure that you print on both sides to increase efficiency.

Creating green offices with recycled materials

There have been several large campaigns over recent years to make buildings more sustainable. One simple way for companies to make their business premises more eco-friendly is by building from recycled materials. Fortunately, many common building materials can easily be salvaged and reused. This includes items such as glass, wood, brick, and concrete. Often, it is far cheaper to use recycled building materials. Plus, these items may be stronger and long-lasting when compared to newer materials available on the market. Some green businesses are going on step further and creating offices out of recycled shipping containers. These containers provide an innovative, affordable, and environmentally-friendly solution for many startups looking to support sustainable business practices and improve their green credentials.

Of course, not all organizations have the opportunity or resource to simply build a new office – so many are initialing policies that improve their carbon footprint, such as going paperless, and investing in a better waste management systems. While this is not quite the same as creating workspace from recycled materials, it certainly makes a difference in the office.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to improve your business practices to help the environment. Introducing green office policies, going paperless, and switching to renewable energy and using recycled building materials are just a few options to reduce harmful emissions. Going green offers companies several great benefits including the chance to meet their corporate responsibilities and targets, reduce business expenses, and gain a competitive edge in an increasingly eco-conscious business environment. Do you need help trying a few of these strategies to create a green office today!