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There are many benefits to developing a more environmentally friendly workplace. Not only can it reduce your operational costs, but the carbon savings and greater sustainability credentials can be a great selling point for your business.
Here at Peldon Rose, our team are always looking to incorporate green initiatives in to office design. So, we thought we’d share with you five simple ways you can make your office that little bit greener:
All productive offices need bright, natural lighting, so work out where the sun moves during the day, position desks close to windows so staff can see some daylight and try to keep blinds open so you don't rely heavily on internal lighting. If your office has lots of internal walls, consider whether these could be replaced with glass partitions and add some colourful manifestation on them to instil some branding and energy in the office. By allowing more light in to the office, you can also save money on artificial lighting costs. Also check your lighting is energy efficient, check any light glare on monitors, instil zoning and sensors to auto power down and check your lighting is appropriate for the space.
Centralise and split up your waste facilities to accommodate recycling bins for paper products, glass and plastic and non-recyclable waste. Educate staff on the importance of recycling, and work with a waste management provider that can advise you on how to be 'greener' in your area. Encouraging staff to get up and away from their desk to recycle also has the added benefits of exercise and social interaction with others.
Encourage your staff to start using their bikes or to walk, car-pool or take public transport to work. Not only will it cut carbon emissions, but it will also make them healthier and more social. You can also make your office more bike-friendly by incorporating lockers, bike storage, a drying room and shower facilities in your office space. Many of our clients have done just that with their office refurbishment, including Office Space in Town Waterloo who has creative bike storage in the central core of the building. Companies can also introduce tax free bike initiatives including the Government's Green Transport Initiative Cyclescheme.
Get your team into the habit of switching off all electrical appliances at the end of the day such as their monitors. Delegate responsibilities so that staff are also turning off printers, coffee machines and other key pieces of equipment which will help reduce the impact on the environment and your energy bills. Leaving your photocopier on overnight uses the same amount of energy as printing 1,500 pieces of paper!
All office refurbishments involve a lot of materials, and so sourcing them responsibly is key. For examples, being of a charitable nature, our client JustGiving had thriftiness as a key objective to their new home and they wanted to reuse 70% of the existing furniture, interior structure and finishes already in their office in Blue Fin Building, London. We reused existing floor tiles as wall treatments, acoustic panels and as cushions to create unique furniture pieces. We also reused an extensive amount of wood, creating platforms, structures, semi-dividing screens and storage units. Other points to consider when selecting the right materials are choosing ones which have high recycled or recyclable content, ones which are sourced responsibly and ideally select natural materials.