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10 Ways to Create A More Sustainable Office Space
Blog...10 Ways to Create A More Sustainable Office Space

10 Ways to Create A More Sustainable Office Space

Net zero trajectory
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In this article, we’ll discuss sustainable offices, why they are important, and 10 ideas to make your office more sustainable.
laptop sitting at glass window

Even with remote work taking off as we dive deeper into the digital age in a post-pandemic world, many companies and even employees still choose to work at the office – meaning that sustainability in your office building remains paramount in the journey to reducing global emission.

There are several ways to make your office space more sustainable, such as with green infrastructure, energy efficient appliances, and leaving reusable utensils in the staff kitchen.

However, even though a more sustainable office can boost productivity amongst employees and slash utility bills – all of the options can be overwhelming. This can make it difficult for your company to decide which tactics will prove most effective for your business.  

In this article, we’ll discuss sustainable offices, why they are important, and 10 ideas to make your office more sustainable.

What is a sustainable office space?

A sustainable office space refers to the development of an interior space which makes use of energy efficiency and other eco-friendly ideals to reduce the environmental impact of an office space.

Sustainable office spaces are becoming more popular, as they not only help to protect the planet – but serve as a chic and minimalist design adored by younger generations, which can help motivate them to work or even join the company.
zero waste UC Irvine

A sustainable office space has become essential for several reasons: such as to help reduce energy consumption, ensure the productivity of employees, attract new talent or clients to the business, mitigate excess waste, and even to educate employees on the importance of well-rounded sustainability.

Some hallmark qualities of a sustainable office space include:

  • Utilizing green buildings materials
  • LED lights
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Efficient layout and design
  • Eco-friendly office supplies

👉 Sustainable offices spaces are especially important for companies seeking to reduce their overall carbon footprint, as much of the day-to-day emissions created by a business are bound to come from their employees and office activities alone.

building covered in green vegetation

Why are sustainable offices important?

A sustainable office is important because the environmental impact of current offices isn’t congruent with the actions that need to be taken to help reduce climate change and global emissions.

Many offices abuse energy consumption with light fixtures, construction, or even excessive heating or cooling – making a sustainable office space essential as we move forward, especially for business that will be required to comply with various environmental regulations or disclosures.

In fact, companies which seek to curate a sustainable office space will further illustrate their commitment to the environment – as they’ll demonstrate internal motivation as well as external motivation. 

However, what is more imperative to note is that as we battle climate change – a sustainable office space won’t be optional the way it is today. This is because traditional office spaces and our habits whilst at work continue to deplete vital resources, such as water and energy – making it pivotal to adjust our sustainable office space habits today before even more irreversible damage is done.

Currently, office spaces consume massive amounts of energy. Think about it: an immense amount of power is required to run multiple computers, outlets, light fixtures, and more. The best solution to reduce this massive energy consumption is to transition to the use of a sustainable office space. 

There are several benefits for companies that choose to curate a more sustainable office space, such as:

  • Reduced utility bills as more energy efficient appliances are implemented and employees will be encouraged to reduce their energy consumption while in the office;
  • Lower scope 3 emissions seeing as many employees will be encouraged to commute via public transportation under a sustainable office space model;
  • Less waste creation as more compost and recycling habits will be implemented at the office;
  • Greater productivity from employees, as a sustainable office space often equates to a healthier and happier workplace;
  • Improved brand recognition, reputation, and increased interest from investors;
  • Ability to attract new young talent to the company as many will take interest in the additional effort to reduce the company’s carbon footprint beyond what is required under current environmental regulations.

👉 A sustainable office space is ultimately beneficial for everyone – as it can help boost a company’s profit, encourage current and future employees to be more productive, and lend a hand in the fight against climate change all at the same time.

computers on screen saver with leafs

What are 10 ways to make your office more sustainable?

Here are 10 ideas to help make sure you curate the most sustainable office space possible for your company to be enjoyed or used by visiting clients and employees alike.

1. Green Infrastructure

Everything starts at the root, meaning one of the most effective ways to ensure your office is sustainable in the long-run is to choose to rent a space in a building that has been built with green infrastructure in mind.

This is because buildings with green infrastructure can have a massive impact on emission reductions, such as by making use of green roofs and other natural resources or elements to reduce the environmental impact of the infrastructure.

2. Potted Plants 

The plant you put next to your desk may not only be for aesthetic purposes – but for ecological purposes, too.

This is because indoor plants (also referred to as house plants, or in this case “office plants”) can help to reduce carbon dioxide levels, and while indoor plants can’t make as big of an impact whilst situated inside – every small part helps while in the midst of climate change.

3. Energy Efficient Appliances

Energy efficiency is one of the most important components to curate a sustainable office space. 

This is because having energy efficient pieces of technology and appliances alike can help to reduce energy consumption and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of your office space.

Examples of energy efficient appliances and technologies you may want to consider for your sustainable office space include:

  • Company laptops or smartphones
  • Central heating or air conditioning
  • Microwaves
  • Light fixtures
  • Coffee machines
  • Refrigerators

4. Eco-Friendly Kitchen

It’s no secret that the convenience of eating out has preyed on millennials for quite some time now, and even up to 70% of Gen Z find themselves skipping lunch while at work – but it doesn’t mean that most offices have their kitchen spaces closed entirely.

In fact, having an energy efficient office kitchen may help to encourage employees to bring their lunch to work again – as many will be enticed by nifty appliances in a sustainable office space. This can encourage your staff to bring more sustainable meals to work, which can help to reduce their daily carbon footprint at the office.

In addition to more energy efficient appliances, it is important to incorporate the use of reusable or washable cups, plates, and utensils. 

👉 If your company decides to offer paper cups, be sure to make the recycling bin prominent – otherwise, employees may throw them away.

office kitchen

5. Put Recycling Bins in the Office

Speaking of paper cups in the office kitchen, another great idea to curate a sustainable office space is to ensure more recycling bins are placed around the office.

👉 Think about it: when in the middle of a high-stress meeting or work task – how likely are you to get up and search the office for a recycling bin?

More recycling bins can help to reduce the chances of excess waste accidentally being thrown away.

6. Green Cleaning Products

Most people don’t think twice about the chemicals in their household cleaning products, but we should – especially with the cleaning products used at the office.

If your company is trying to create a sustainable office space, it’s a good idea to have your custodians switch out their current cleaning products for nontoxic cleaners.

In addition to this, encouraging everyone to use reusable products and towels such as microfiber cloths for dusting instead of waste generating products like paper towels can also help to reduce the environmental impact of your office space.

people on public transportation

7. Reuse Printed Paper as Scrap Paper

Even if this sounds dated, many people still use scrap paper at the office – either as sticky notes or to jot down a quick idea.

While it’s okay to opt for a paper and pen over your laptop, it’s best to encourage people at the office to do so wisely – such as by using failed printer paper as scrap paper and making an available pile for anyone looking to write something down by hand.

👉 Everytime something is printed incorrectly or there is a piece of paper that has already been used and has a blank side – employees should leave this scrap paper in an available area for use to avoid wasting fresh pieces of paper.

8. Offer a Stipend for Public Transportation

Creating a sustainable office space helps to reduce your company’s emissions, especially scope 3 emissions – which includes the emissions created on behalf of an employee’s commute.

Therefore, offering to pay for part of an employee’s monthly public transportation pass can help to reduce the carbon footprint of your company and curate an eco-friendly and sustainable office space.

9. Propose a Hybrid Work Model

While remote working is only less energy intensive if employees are mindful of their actions, remote working should still be considered for companies looking to reduce their emissions and curate a more sustainable office space.

A hybrid work model can help to directly reduce the carbon footprint created by employees who commute.

10. Create Green Challenges to Motivate Employees

Everyone loves a little friendly competition, so why not create some green challenges in the office to encourage employees to make more sustainable changes?

Challenging employees to participate in Veganuary or to go one month with their laptop on energy saver mode in exchange for a small gift card or free meal.

Overall, creating a sustainable office space isn’t as difficult as you think – and doing so can help to create a world of difference as we all become more environmentally aware of the impact of our actions, especially whilst at the office.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about 10 ways to create a more sustainable office has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Having a tough time deciding which eco-friendly tactics would be most effective for your office? Don’t worry, Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you find ways to improve energy efficiency and decrease the dependency on fossil fuels in your own company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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