As we all move towards a more environmentally friendly world, there are plenty of things that business owners can do to increase sustainability.

Here are some simple ideas you can use to make your office more sustainable:

  • Create a sustainable team
  • Find green energy suppliers
  • Create sustainability targets
  • Aim to go paperless
  • Encourage green commuting
  • Encourage remote working
  • Source eco-friendly office supplies
  • Practice recycling
  • Preserve heat to save on central heating 
  • Ditch single use products

Create a sustainability team

It’s very easy to start with good intentions of making your office sustainable, only for the whole plan to lose steam when after a few weeks. 

The best way to prevent this is to create a dedicated sustainability team. You can ask for volunteers, or assign employees randomly and rotate them every month or so. 

They’ll be responsible for coming up with sustainability ideas and implementing changes for the whole office. 

Find green energy suppliers

One of the biggest long term changes you can make is switching your energy supplier. Eco-friendly suppliers can supply you with gas and electricity from either completely renewable sources, or partially renewable sources mixed with traditional fuels. 

Nowadays, there are loads of green energy companies to choose from, so here are a few to get you started:

Create sustainability targets

At the start of the business year, set some achievable targets for your office. It’ll give your sustainability team concrete goals to work toward and it’s an easy way to measure the success of the whole project

You could even offer rewards for reaching certain targets throughout the year, or set individual goals and turn them into a competition. To make things interesting, post the whole journey on your social media channels and website so that others can track your progress and get inspired themselves. 

It’s good for the planet, gets people involved, and will generate a little bit of good PR for your social media

Aim to go paperless

This one is fairly simple. Offices can churn through enormous amounts of paper products every day, and it’s completely avoidable. 

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to avoid using paper as most work is done with devices and computers. Just make sure paper is only used if it’s absolutely necessary, and encourage your office to recycle it if they do. 

Encourage green commuting

For most people, their largest direct carbon emissions come from their daily commute. Millions of cars all over the country driving to and from work adds up incredibly quickly. 

If it’s a viable option, encourage your employees to use greener forms of transport like:

  • Cycling
  • Carpooling 
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Trams

Ir doesn’t even have to be every day. Ditching the car even a couple of times a day will help make a difference.

Encourage remote working

Of course, the greenest commute is no commute at all. If there has been any upside to COVID-19, it’s shown offices that remote working can work for a lot of people, without having a negative effect on business operations

This switch has a huge impact on the environment because it completely cuts out daily emissions.

Source eco-friendly office furniture 

A lot of people don’t realise it, but furniture contributes to a lot of environmental damage. When you factor in the timber, the energy used to mass-produce it, and the carbon spent for large-scale shipping, it has a large impact. 

Your office can help prevent this by sourcing eco-friendly furniture like desks, chairs, tables, and shelves. 

There are loads of businesses that specialise in upcycling, the practice of reusing old materials to create something new. It’s a more sustainable alternative that will definitely lead to some more unique furniture for your office.

Alternatively, you can always look for second-hand furniture. It’s good for all the same reasons, plus it’ll probably be a lot cheaper. 

Practice recycling

Every office should have different bins used for recyclable materials. 

There should be separate bins for:

  • Plastic and cans
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Glass
  • Food waste
  • Non-recyclables 

The trickiest part of this is making sure everybody sticks to the right bin. It’s really easy to just throw something in the wrong bin, but it’ll make a world of difference if you and your team make the effort.

Preserve heat to save on central heating

Nobody likes to be uncomfortable, and we all know how quickly the cold can make things miserable in the UK. 

Still, there are cheaper, more sustainable alternatives to blasting the central heating. 

Make sure your office walls and ceilings are well insulated, and invest in insulated windows, to keep it nice and warm in the winter. It’ll also save your business money on heating bills. 

If you don’t mind sounding like a grumpy parental figure, you can always encourage people to wear extra layers in the colder months. 

Ditch single-use products

We all remember the great straw purge that happened in recent years, Well straws are just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads of single-use products thrown away every day that can be easily replaced with multiple-use alternatives. 

In your office, you can replace:

  • Plastic straws with metal or bamboo straws.
  • Plastic cutlery with metal cutlery.
  • Plastic cups with reusable “keep cups”.
  • Plastic bottles with reusable bottles. 

It’s usually a good idea to gift your employees with their very own reusable products to keep in the office. It’ll show you’re taking sustainability seriously, and who doesn’t like getting gifts.