A green office does the world of good for the planet and your wellbeing. It means more plants, natural light and, well, happiness. Research from Greenwich and Sussex universities shows that companies with a sustainable and environmental strategy make their staff happier. Our friends at Fed by Abel & Cole share 7 simple steps to make your work more eco-friendly.
How to go greener at work
1. Cut down on plastic
The first step is to get everyone at work to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic – not as hard as it seems, once you get it on their radar. Try banning the ‘big five’ from the office for a week – that’s plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic cutlery, takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles.
2. Plant power
Plants improve air quality as they breathe out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide. So a bit of greenery can do the work of environmentally unfriendly air ventilation systems. Or go further and create a ‘living green wall’, turning a side of the office into a lush, green oasis. If you’re lobbying your boss for one of these, let them know a Harvard study found that green-certified offices get a 26% boost in employee cognition, and 30% fewer sickness related absences.
3. Heroes go zero waste
Zero waste means you aim to send nothing to landfill. It’s about reducing what you need, reusing as much as possible, sending little to be recycled, and composting what you can’t. Much easier said than done, as it means encouraging a change in behaviour. Not everything can be as effective as Blue Planet II, but getting the message across about the link between waste and climate change is important so, for example, you could organise a talk by a zero waste expert.
4. E-bike deliveries
If your office is in the city, get them to change to zero-emission deliveries by e-bike. Not only do they cut down on carbon, they help improve air quality. As Transport for London’s campaign ‘Let London Breathe’ tells us, London’s air is toxic due to petrol and diesel transport, causing life-long heart and lung diseases – even in children.
5. On your bike
Make the most of the Government Cycle to Work scheme. It helps companies encourage people to cycle to work through savings on bikes and other equipment. The intention is there’ll be fewer staff absences, increased wellbeing, and – note for your boss – more productivity.
6. It’s like Blackpool Illuminations in here
One of the simplest ways to reduce carbon emissions is to make sure you turn off all computers, printers, photocopiers and scanners until you need to use them again – check that computers are on their most energy-efficient setting. Paul Swift, a consultant with the Carbon Trust suggests companies should set targets, such as 20% energy use reduction per year. To see your progress, all you need to do is read the meter regularly.
7. Enjoy organic at work too
To convince the powers that be, tell them one of our favourite stats about organic food production from the Soil Association. ‘Organic farming has significant potential to help tackle climate change. If all UK farmland was converted to organic farming, at least 1.3 million more tonnes of carbon would be taken up by the soil each year – the equivalent of taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.’
If you want your work to go greener, ask your boss to switch the office shop to Fed by Abel & Cole, our new 100% organic food delivery service for London workplaces. Our range has everything from essentials like milk and coffee, to chef-prepared lunch bowls for client meetings.