How To Make Your Office More Sustainable

How To Make Your Office More Sustainable


There are many things business owners and their employees can do to make their workplaces greener and more sustainable. From disconnecting electronics from the mains supply to cutting paper usage and printing costs, office workers can apply simple ideas and principles to reduce their ecological footprint and make their office more environmentally friendly. Here are some of the changes you can apply to create a greener office.

Switch Off Electrical/Electronic Gadgets

Always remember to turn off all the lights when you are leaving your office for a meeting or when you close for the day. You should also turn off your computer, copier, printer, phone chargers and TV. Gadgets draw power continuously from the mains supply outlet when they are in standby mode. Sometimes, they draw as much as 15 to 20 watts. Thus, you can reduce your energy bill and save a substantial amount of money by turning off your gadgets and switching off the lights.

Reduce Your Paper Usage

Reducing paper usage will have a direct impact on your environment. Fewer trees will be cut and processed, less fossil fuels will be burnt and money used to purchase paper could be saved and used to improve employee welfare. You can cut your paper usage by making use of double-sided or duplex printing, asking people not to print emails unless they are necessary, and by making use of innovative technology.

Using duplex printing can reduce your paper consumption instantly by 50 percent. You may set duplex printing to be the default setting on your office printer or ask all users to make it the default setting on their computers. If the printer in your office is a bit old and does not have duplex printing capability, you may request for the printing tray to be retrofitted with a new printing tray that supports such functionality.

Another way to reduce paper usage is by fostering attitudinal change among your employees. For instance, many people have formed the habit of printing documents even when they don’t need to print them. Also, when they only need to print a few pages, they end up printing the entire document. Informing your employees about the cost savings and other benefits associated with changing this behaviour can go a long way to reduce paper wastage.

Another potent tool for cutting the use of paper is using digital technology. For instance, research has shown that up to 30% of pages sent to network printers in large offices are never collected. Hence, installing a kind of follow up technology that compels users to activate their printing request at the printer can reduce paper use by 30% or more. Also, instead of printing minutes and sending copies to every member of a team or committee, you should encourage them to come with their tablet or laptops and view the shared document or email during the meeting. Through cloud-based services, different employees can easily collaborate, edit documents and store them again without printing papers containing information that will eventually be amended and discarded.

Use Recycled Materials

Many businesses are now adopting environmentally friendly practices and providing green products manufactured from recycled materials. So you can make your office more sustainable by purchasing products that have words such as green, biodegradable, recycled and sustainable, written on the packaging. A few examples of recycled products you can use in your office include: recycled pens, biodegradable cleaners, recycled paper, refillable pens, recycled print cartridges and compatible cartridges. By making these changes, you will be reducing the cost of energy, transport, processing, and the impact on the environment.

Create a Recycling Area or Bin

In some business offices, it may not be possible to completely eliminate the use of paper. In such cases, it is advisable to set up a bin or section to store paper and other items for recycling. This means that you and your colleagues at work will have a well defined place to put your old papers, empty aluminium soda cans, disposable packaging, and other recyclable materials. Then you should contact a recycling pick up service in your area or make arrangements to take these items to a collection point. However, you should ensure that you shred all sensitive documents first before you dispose of them.


Those are a few ways to make your office greener. Implementing these simple ideas and tips can have a significant impact on the environment. They will also help you to reduce costs and have more money to invest in your business and employees.